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Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, Bureau of Air Quality

As part of Pennsylvania's initiative to provide wider public access to electronic media, this service offers the most comprehensive on-line resource for air quality information in the Commonwealth. We welcome the opportunity to develop and extend this service as recommended by users.
Joyce E. Epps, Director


new Carbon Emissions Continue to Decline in PA
Reducing greenhouse gases (GHG) and other emissions  is an important public health matter and is an issue that Pennsylvania continues to pursue. Pennsylvania is achieving emissions reductions though regulatory requirements and holistic decision making efforts, and those efforts have resulted in considerable emissions reductions in recent years. (More)

new DEP Urges EPA to Consider State Differences When Developing Framework for Emissions Guidelines for Existing Fossil Fuel-Fired Power Plants
On April 10, 2014, the department submitted a white paper to EPA urging them to consider state differences and needed flexibility when developing emissions guidelines addressing carbon dioxide standards for existing fossil fuel-fired power stations.

On July 31, 2014, DEP delivered testimony during
EPA’s public hearing in Pittsburgh on the agency’s
proposed Clean Power Plan. 

On June 27, 2014, DEP presented testimony on the
energy effects of EPA’s proposed Clean Power Plan
to the Pennsylvania Senate Environmental Resources
and Energy Committee.

On May 6, 2014, DEP held a webinar on the department’s White Paper on Section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act.

How Pennsylvania is Regulating Methane from the Oil and Gas industry
Pennsylvania set the bar for tough emission requirements and is a national leader in creating and implementing stringent enforceable regulations on the oil and gas industry. As the first state in the country to require a comprehensive leak detection and repair program at natural gas operations, Pennsylvania has led the way in protecting public health and the environment from emissions resulting from natural gas operations in the Marcellus Shale region of the commonwealth. Today, although implemented differently than other states, we continue to regulate methane as stringently and effectively as any other state in the nation. [More]

Comment Periods Now Open

new Lead Attainment in the Lower Beaver Valley Area
The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is seeking public comment on a State Implementation Plan revision which demonstrates how the Lower Beaver Valley Area (Potter, Vanport and Center townships) will attain the 2008 Lead National Ambient Air Quality Standard by the prescribed attainment date, Dec. 31, 2015. A public hearing will be held at DEP’s southwest regional office on Sep. 3, 2014. Comments are due to the department no later than Sep. 5, 2014. The notice and related documents are found under “Reducing Lead Pollution” on the PA SIPs page.

Advisory Committee Meetings

Agendas and materials are posted approximately two weeks before each meeting.

Air Quality Technical Advisory Committee

Small Business Compliance Advisory Committee

Grant Availability

None currently available.

For Your Reference

Department Comments to EPA on the proposed Standards of Performance for Greenhouse Gas Emissions for New Stationary Sources: Electric Utility Generating Units (Section 111b)
The department submitted these comments on May 6, 2013.

2012 Natural Gas Emission Inventory
The 2012 annual emissions data for the natural gas drilling industry from unconventional natural gas production and processing operations as well as compressor stations that receive gas from conventional well sites can be found here.

111(d) Listening Sessions
In anticipation of proposed guidelines, the department invited interested parties to two listening sessions to obtain their views on the design of a State Plan should EPA move forward with the promulgation of Emission Guidelines for the reduction of carbon dioxide from power plants. Statements were received from 10 environmental groups and general public participants on Dec. 9th. On December 16, 2013, 12 participants from the regulated industry and organizations provided statements and comments for consideration by the Department.

DEP Finalizes Air Quality Permit Criteria for Unconventional Gas Well Sites
The Department of Environmental Protection announced on Aug. 8, 2013, that operators of unconventional gas wells will no longer be unconditionally exempt from seeking an air quality plan approval for well sites. Plan approval authorizes the construction and temporary operation of air emissions sources. Revised technical guidance, released by DEP today, explains that the agency may grant such operators a permitting exemption, provided that they implement controls and practices more stringent than federal rules.

DEP Conducting Long-Term Marcellus Shale Air Monitoring Study in Southwestern Pennsylvania
The Department of Environmental Protection is conducting a one-year air monitoring study of Marcellus shale development. The study, in Washington County, would measure ambient airborne pollutants in an effort to determine potential air quality impacts associated with the processing and transmission of unconventional natural gas.
The data from the study will allow DEP to assess any potential long-term impact of emissions from unconventional natural gas operations to nearby communities. This initiative will also assist the DEP in its efforts to address the cumulative impact of these operations in the Marcellus shale region.

Final Report - Pennsylvania Biofuel Development and In-State Production Incentive Act (Act 78 of 2008)
The Pennsylvania Biofuel Development and In-State Production Incentive Act, enacted on July 10, 2008, mandates the use of renewable fuels and promotion of the production of renewable fuels in Pennsylvania in order to grow the state's economy and reduce it's dependence on foreign fuels. The Act establishes biodiesel and ethanol volume standards once certain production triggers have been met. The act also requires that an ambient air quality study be completed by an independent third party qualified to conduct an ambient air quality study to determine the impact of the act on the Commonwealth's ability to achieve and maintain the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS).

2014 Ambient Air Monitoring Network Plan
The commonwealth’s Air Monitoring Network Plan outlines DEP’s proposed changes to its air quality monitoring network. First, the department intends to continue a correlation study on the PM2.5 monitoring equipment, namely the comparison of the manual Federal Reference Method and automated Federal Equivalent Method Beta Attenuation Monitor readings at certain sites. Secondly, DEP is planning to install a new PM2.5 monitoring site in Lancaster County to meet monitoring requirements in this area pursuant to 40 CFR Part 58, Appendix D. Third, DEP will continue the long-term air monitoring study in Washington County in areas that are close to permanent natural gas processing facilities. Finally, the plan describes a proposal to relocate a volatile organic compound sampler from Springville in Susquehanna County to a site in Wyoming County to monitor areas near shale gas related drilling activities.

Notice of the availability of the plan for public review and comment was published in the Pennsylvania Bulletin on May 4, 2013 (43 Pa. B. 2514). During the public comment period, which closed on June 4, 2013, DEP received comments from 22 interested parties that are addressed in the below Comment and Response Document.

General Plan Approval and/or General Operating Permit BAQ-GPA/GP-5
Natural Gas Compression and/or Processing Facilities
Conditions, Application, and Instructions are all available on the Air Quality General Permits Page.

Single Stationary Source Determinations for the Oil & Gas Industry
This policy applies to case-by-case analyses conducted by DEP’s air program permitting staff when determining whether stationary sources at oil and gas facilities should be considered a single source for permitting requirements applicable to air permitting programs including PSD, Non-attainment NSR, and Title V Permits. The policies and procedures outlined in this guidance are intended to supplement existing requirements.  Nothing in the policies or procedures shall affect regulatory requirements.

Evaluation of the Air Quality Program
This report, which is required under Section 4.3 of the Air Pollution Control Act (APCA or Act 95 of 1992), evaluates the effectiveness of programs adopted to implement Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990.

Control Techniques Guidelines
This page has information about the Control Techniques Guidelines (CTGs) documents issued by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from 1994 through 2008. The CTGs are documents issued by the EPA to provide States with the EPA’s recommendation on how to control the emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOC) from a specific type of product or source category in an ozone nonattainment area.

In accordance with § 127.705(e), the emissions fee for air pollutants emitted in calendar year 2013 is $85/ton of "regulated pollutant" as defined in § 127.705(d).

On October 9, 2008, the Diesel-Powered Motor Vehicle Idling Act was signed into law (Act 124). Taking effect 120 days from enactment, the law restricts most diesel-powered motor vehicles over 10,000 pounds from idling more than five minutes in any continuous 60-minute period, with a number of exemptions. Click here for information about Pennsylvania's new Diesel-Powered Motor Vehicle Idling Act.





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