EPA Director Nally touts permitting process to take as little as two weeks
Ohio EPA Director Scott Nally announced yesterday that his department has a draft “general permit” for air quality around shale gas production sites.
In a news release Nally said that Ohio EPA has several types of general permits that are meant to streamline the regulatory process for businesses involved in activities that do not differ substantially from site to site.
“A general permit for shale gas production will streamline the process, giving producers the tools they need to comply with Ohio’s air pollution regulations,” said Nally.
From Ohio EPA’s news release:
Since most shale gas operations will be similar, Ohio EPA is developing a general permit that will create consistent standards for the sites. This will allow most applicants to apply for and receive a permit in as little as two weeks. Ohio EPA’s air division currently offers 47 general permits which serve a variety of business sectors.
The draft general permit includes emission limits, operating restrictions, and monitoring, testing and reporting requirements. It will cover a variety of emissions sources found at most shale gas production sites including internal combustion engines, dehydration systems, truck-loading racks, storage tanks, flares and unpaved roadways. The permit will not cover activities that occur during the drilling and fracturing phase as the resulting air emissions are considered temporary and exempt from air pollution permit regulations.
The draft general permit and qualifying criteria have been reviewed by interested parties to ensure all common shale gas production operations are covered under the permit. Ohio EPA will incorporate comments received before finalizing the draft general permit and making it available for a 30-day public comment period. Ohio EPA will issue another news release to announce the beginning of the public comment period.
The draft permit may be viewed here.