1. DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION
      2. Bureau of Air Quality
      3. TABLE OF CONTENTS
      4. COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIADEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION
      5. BUREAU OF AIR QUALITY
      6. NOTICE
      7. Plan Approval and Operating Permit Exemptions
      8. Further Qualifications Regarding Plan Approval Exempted Sources
      9. Physical Changes Qualifying for Exemption Under Section 127.14(a)(9)
      10. Exemption Criteria for Operating Permits
      11. State-Only Operating Permit Facility Exemptions*
      12. Pollutant PTE< Actual Emission Rate<
      13. Exempted Facility and Source Categories for Operating Permits
      14. Deferral of Operating Permit Requirements for Area Sources
      15. Trivial Activities

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DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION
Bureau of Air Quality
DOCUMENT NUMBER:
275-2101-003
TITLE:
Air Quality Permit Exemptions
EFFECTIVE DATE:
July 26, 2003
August 10, 2013 for Category No. 33 and Category No. 38 of Exemptions
Draft February 4, 2017, for modification of Category No. 38 of
Exemptions
AUTHORITY:
Act of January 8, 1960, P.L. (1959) 2119, No 787, as amended, known as
The Air Pollution Control Act, (35 P.S. § 4001 et seq.)
POLICY:
Plan Approval and Operating Permit Exemptions
PURPOSE:
The document provides criteria for sources and physical changes to
sources determined to be eligible for permitting exemptions as sources of
minor significance.
APPLICABILITY:
Staff/Regulated Public
DISCLAIMER:
The policies and procedures outlined in this guidance document are
intended to supplement existing requirements. Nothing in the policies or
procedures will affect regulatory requirements.
The policies and procedures herein are not an adjudication or a regulation.
There is no intent on the part of the Department to give these rules that
weight or deference. This document establishes the framework, within
which DEP will exercise its administrative discretion in the future. DEP
reserves the discretion to deviate from this policy statement if
circumstances warrant.
PAGE LENGTH:
20 pages

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TABLE OF CONTENTS
3.1
Listing of Plan Approval Exemptions..............................................................................................3
Further Qualifications Regarding Plan Approval Exempted Sources ...........................................10
Physical Changes Qualifying for Exemption Under Section 127.14(a)(9)....................................11
Exemption Criteria for Operating Permits.....................................................................................13
State-Only Operating Permit Facility Exemptions* ......................................................................13
Exempted Facility and Source Categories for Operating Permits .................................................13
Deferral of Operating Permit Requirements for Area Sources......................................................14
Trivial Activities ............................................................................................................................15

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COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION
BUREAU OF AIR QUALITY
NOTICE
Plan Approval and Operating Permit Exemptions
Consistent with the applicable provisions of the Pennsylvania Air Pollution Control Act (APCA),
35 P.S. §4001
et seq.
and 25 Pa.
Code
§ 127.14 (relating to exemptions), the Department of
Environmental Protection (Department) may determine sources or classes of sources to be exempt from
the plan approval and permitting requirements of 25 Pa.
Code
Chapter 127 (relating to construction,
modification, reactivation and operation of sources). This guidance document identifies the following:
exemptions under Section 127.14(a); exemptions under Section 127.14(a)(8) that do not require
submission of a Request for Determination (RFD) form; exemption criteria that the Department may use
when an owner or operator of a source or a facility is seeking an exemption from plan approval; further
qualifications regarding plan approval exempted sources; exemptions under Section 127.14(a)(9) related
to physical changes; and exemption criteria for operating permits. This amended guidance document is
applicable to sources that will be constructed as new or modified sources after the effective date of this
document. It does not apply to sources that were constructed or modified prior to the effective date of
this guidance document and operating lawfully without a permit. Sources exempted from plan
approvals are not automatically exempted from operating permit requirements.
Words and terms that are not defined in this document have the meaning set forth in
25 Pa.
Code
§ 121.1 (relating to definitions) or the APCA (35 P.S. § 4003),
25 Pa.
Code
, Chapters 121 - 145 and applicable definitions codified in the Code of Federal Regulations
including 40 CFR Parts 60 and 63.
Listing of Plan Approval Exemptions
Section 127.14(a) Exemptions
In accordance with § 127.14(a), approval is not required for the construction, modification, reactivation
or installation of the following:
1.
Air conditioning or ventilation systems not designed to remove pollutants generated by or
released from other sources.
2.
Combustion units rated at 2.5 million or less Btus per hour of heat input.
3.
Combustion units with a rated capacity of less than 10 million Btus per hour of heat input fueled
by natural gas supplied by a public utility or by commercial fuel oils which are No. 2 or lighter-
viscosity less than or equal to 5.82 C St--and which meet the sulfur content requirements of
§ 123.22 (relating to combustion units). Combustion units converting to fuel oils which are
No. 3 or heavier-viscosity greater than 5.82 C St or contain sulfur in excess of the requirements
of § 123.22 require approval. For the purpose of this section, commercial fuel oil shall be virgin
oil which contains no reprocessed, recycled, or waste material added.

275-2101-003 / DRAFT February 4, 2017 / Page 2
4.
Sources used in residential premises designed to house four or less families.
5.
Space heaters which heat by direct heat transfer.
6.
Mobile sources.
7.
Laboratory equipment used exclusively for chemical or physical analyses.
8.
Other sources and classes of sources determined to be of minor significance by the Department.
Section 127.14(a)(8) Exemptions
The following is a list of those sources and classes of sources determined, in accordance with
§ 127.14(a)(8), to be exempt from the Plan Approval requirements of §§ 127.11 and 127.12. The
commencement of construction of sources is exempted from the plan approval requirements provided the
exemption criteria are met. Unless labeled otherwise, emission rates are to be considered actual tons per
year (tpy). Note that certain exceptions and qualifications regarding this list are contained in the
discussion that follows the list.
1.
Incinerators with rated capacities less than 75 lb per hour burning a municipal or residual waste
as defined by the Bureau of Land Recycling and Waste Management.
2.
Shot blast and sandblasting units with appropriately designed fabric collectors, cartridge
collectors or scrubbers manufactured as an integral part of the design and which have exhaust
volumes equal to or smaller than 5,000 scfm.
3.
Combustion turbines rated at less than 1,000 horsepower or 10.7 gigajoules per hour.
4.
Internal combustion engines rated at less than 100 brake horsepower. Note Category 38
addresses oil and gas facilities.
5.
Portable, temporary internal combustion engines used for 14 days or less at special events (such
as county fairs, circuses and concerts).
6.
Internal combustion engines regardless of size, with combined NOx emissions less than
100 lbs/hr, 1000 lbs/day, 2.75 tons per ozone season and 6.6 tons per year on a 12-month rolling
basis for all exempt engines at the site.
7.
Natural gas-fired heat-treating furnaces with less than 10 million Btus per hour heat input (fuel
burning emissions only).
8.
Steam aspirated vacuum degassing of molten steel.
9.
Coal handling facilities processing less than 200 tons per day. (Thermal coal dryers and
pneumatic coal cleaners remain subject to the requirements of § 127.11). This exemption
includes internal combustion engines meeting the criteria for plan approval exemption described
in category 6 above.

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10.
Wet sand and gravel operations (screening only) and dry sand and gravel operations (including
crushers) processing unconsolidated materials with a rated capacity of less than 150 tons per
hour.
11.
Coal and non-metallic mineral handling activities directly associated with either deep or surface
mines that consist only of conveyors and non-vibratory screens (aka. grizzlies). This exemption
includes internal combustion engines meeting the criteria for plan approval exemption described
in category 6 above.
12.
Portable crushers that are controlled with properly located water sprays or with fabric filters,
have a rated capacity less than 150 tons per hour, operated during daylight, and located on a site
for less than 60 days; provided, however, that the crushers do not process materials containing
asbestos. This exemption includes; associated screens and drop points; tub grinders used to
mulch grubbing waste; and, internal combustion engines meeting the criteria for plan approval
exemption described in category 6 above.
13.
Concrete batch plants and associated storage vessels that are equipped with appropriately
designed fabric collectors.
14.
Bulk material storage bins, except those associated with a production facility with total actual
facility particulate emissions greater than 10 tpy.
15.
Storage vessels for volatile organic compounds [which do not contain hazardous air pollutants
(HAPs)] which have capacities less than 40 m
3
(10,000 gallons) based on vessel dimensions,
unless subject to § 129.59 (bulk gasoline terminals) or § 129.60(b) and (c) (bulk gasoline plants).
16.
Storage vessels containing non-VOC, non-malodorous, or nonhazardous air pollutant materials.
17.
Diesel fuel, Nos. 2, 4 and 6 fuel oils, or kerosene and jet fuel storage and dispensing facilities as
long as the stored or dispensed product has a vapor pressure less than 1.5 psia.
18.
Covered wastewater transfer systems such as covered junction boxes, sumps, and tanks at
industrial sites.
19.
Plastic bead or pellet milling, screening, and storage operations (does not include handling and
storage of resin powders).
20.
Plastic parts casting ovens and injection molding processes.
21.
Tire buffing.
22.
Paper trimmers/binders.
23.
Vocational education shops. Chemistry laboratories at schools and colleges.
24.
Bench-scale laboratory equipment used for kinetic studies, mass/energy transport studies,
chemical synthesis and physical or chemical analysis.

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25.
Research and development activities with annual emission rates:
i.
less than or equal to 20 tpy of CO;
ii.
less than or equal to 0.12 tpy of lead;
iii.
less than or equal to 3 tpy of PM
10
;
iv.
less than or equal to 8 tpy of SO
2
or VOC;
v.
less than or equal to 10 tpy of NO
x
;
vi.
less than or equal to one tpy of a single HAP or 2.5 tpy of a combination of HAPs.
26.
Woodworking facilities including sawmills and pallet mills which process green wood; or, small
woodworking facilities processing kiln-dried wood or wood products (flakeboard, particleboard,
etc.) associated with pattern shops, retail lumber yards, shipping and packing departments, etc.
This category also includes woodworking facilities of any size processing kiln-dried wood or
wood products equipped with appropriately designed fabric collectors designed to have emission
rates that are less than 0.01 gr/dscf.
This exemption does not apply to woodworking facilities processing wood that has been treated
with a wood preservative of any kind. The term “woodworking facilities” refers only to
operations in which wood or a wood product is sawed, sanded, planed, or similarly shaped or
reshaped. The term does not include such activities as painting, finishing, hardboard
manufacturing, plywood manufacturing, and the like.
27.
Smokehouses.
28.
Slaughterhouses (rendering cookers remain subject to the requirements of § 127.11).
29.
Restaurant operations.
30.
Degreasing operations using solvents containing no more than 5% VOC by weight, except those
emitting more than 2.7 tons of VOCs or those subject to the Federal NESHAP for halogenated
solvent cleaners under 40 CFR Part 63.
31.
Sources of uncontrolled VOC emissions not addressed elsewhere in this exemption listing
modified or newly added, such that emission increases are less than 2.7 tpy. Facilities’ claiming
this exemption must provide a 15-day prior written notification to the Department and limit VOC
emission increases to less than 2.7 tpy.
32.
Dry-cleaning facilities that are not subject to § 129.70, NSPS, MACT (area MACT sources are
currently deferred from plan approval and operating permit requirements), PSD or NSR
requirements.
33.
a.
Retail gasoline dispensing facilities and similar vehicle-fueling operations at industrial
facilities.

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b.
Compressed natural gas dispensing facilities meeting the following requirements:
i.
Combined NO
X
emissions from the stationary internal combustion engines at a
facility less than 100 lbs/hr, 1000 lbs/day, 2.75 tons per ozone season (the period
beginning May 1 of each year and ending on September 30 of the same year) and
6.6 tons per year on a 12-month rolling basis. The emissions criteria do not
include emissions from sources which are approved by the Department in plan
approvals, general plan approval/general operating permits or emissions from
sources at the facility approved under Category No. 33(a).
ii.
Combined VOC emissions from all the sources at the facility less than 2.7 tons on
a 12-month rolling basis. If the VOCs include HAPs, the HAP exemption criteria
in this paragraph must be met. Compliance with this criterion will be determined
using any generally accepted model or calculation methodology. Combined HAP
emissions [not including Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs), Chromium (Cr),
Mercury (Hg), Lead (Pb), Polycyclic Organic Matter (POM), Dioxins and Furans]
at the facility less than 1000 lbs. of a single HAP or one ton of a combination of
HAPs in any consecutive 12-month period. The emissions criteria do not include
emissions from sources which are approved by the Department in plan approvals,
general plan approval/general operating permits, or emissions from sources
approved under Category No. 33(a) at the facility.
iii.
The owner or operator of the compressed natural gas fueling station will annually
perform a leak detection and repair (LDAR) program that includes either the use
of an optical gas imaging camera such as a FLIR camera or a gas leak detector
capable of reading methane concentrations in air of 0% to 5% with an accuracy of
+/- 0.2% or other leak detection monitoring devices approved by the Department.
The LDAR program will be conducted on valves, flanges, connectors, storage
vessels/storage tanks, and compressor seals in natural gas or hydrocarbon liquids
service. Leaks are to be repaired no later than 15 days after leak detections unless
facility shutdowns or ordering of replacement parts are necessary for repair of the
leaks. For the storage vessel, any leak detection and repair are to be performed in
accordance with 40 CFR Part 60, Subpart OOOO.
A.
A leak is considered repaired if one of the following can be demonstrated:
1.
No detectable emissions consistent with Method 21 specified in
40 CFR Part 60, Appendix A;
2.
A concentration of 2.5% methane or less using a gas leak detector;
3.
No visible leak image when using an optical gas imaging camera;
4.
No bubbling at leak interface using a soap solution bubble test
specified in Method 21. A procedure based on the formation of
bubbles in a soap solution that is sprayed on a potential leak source
may be used for those sources that do not have continuously
moving parts and that do not have a surface temperature greater

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than the boiling point or less than the freezing point of the soap
solution; or
5.
Any other method approved by the Department.
B.
Leaks, repair methods and repair delays are to be recorded and maintained
for five years. If a gas leak detector is used, a leak is to be detected by
placing the probe inlet at the surface of a component. The Department
may grant an extension for leak detection deadlines or repairs upon written
request from the owner or operator of the facility documenting the
justification for the requested extension.
34.
Sources of particulate matter (not subject to NESHAPs, NSPS, PSD, or major source
requirements) that are controlled by a baghouse, have an emission rate which meets the limits of
Chapter 123, and are exhausted indoors and cannot be bypassed to exhaust to the outdoor
atmosphere. These sources should not emit more than 0.12 tpy of lead, one tpy of a single HAP
or 2.5 tpy of a combination of HAPs. Multiple sources within this category may be exempt from
plan approval requirements.
35.
Sources emitting inert gases only, such as argon, helium, krypton, neon, and xenon; pure
constituents of air such as nitrogen, oxygen, or carbon dioxide; or, methane or ethane.
36.
Source(s) qualifying under § 127.449 as de minimis emission increases.
37.
Sources that exhaust to a filter/baghouse and have particulate loading (before control) below
limits specified in Chapter 123.
(38a) Existing oil and gas exploration, development, and production facilities and associated
equipment and operations authorized to operate under exemption criteria dated August 10, 2013,
but prior to [the effective date] of this exemption criteria meeting the following provisions:
a.
Conventional wells, wellheads and all other associated equipment. A conventional well
is any well that does not meet the definition of unconventional gas well in 58 PA.C.S
§ 3203.
b.
Well drilling, completion and work-over activities.
c.
Non-road engines as defined in 40 CFR § 89.2.
d.
Unconventional wells, wellheads, and associated equipment, provided the applicable
exemption criteria specified in subparagraphs i, ii, iii, iv and v are met.
i.
Within 60 days after the well is put into production, and annually thereafter, the
owner/operator will perform a leak detection and repair (LDAR) program that
includes either the use of an optical gas imaging camera such as a FLIR camera or
a gas leak detector capable of reading methane concentrations in air of 0% to 5%
with an accuracy of +/- 0.2% or other leak detection monitoring devices approved
by the Department. LDAR is to be conducted on valves, flanges, connectors,
storage vessels/storage tanks, and compressor seals in natural gas or hydrocarbon

275-2101-003 / DRAFT February 4, 2017 / Page 7
liquids service. Leaks are to be repaired no later than 15 days after leak
detections unless facility shutdowns or ordering of replacement parts are
necessary for repair of the leaks. The optical gas imaging camera or other
Department-approved gas leak detection equipment are to be operated in
accordance with manufacturer-recommended procedures. For the storage vessel,
any leak detection and repair will be performed in accordance with 40 CFR
Part 60, Subpart OOOO.
A.
A leak is considered repaired if one of the following can be demonstrated:
1.
No detectable emissions consistent with Method 21 specified in
40 CFR Part 60, Appendix A;
2.
A concentration of 2.5% methane or less using a gas leak detector
and a VOC concentration of 500 ppm or less;
3.
No visible leak image when using an optical gas imaging camera;
4.
No bubbling at leak interface using a soap solution bubble test
specified in Method 21; or a procedure based on the formation of
bubbles in a soap solution that is sprayed on a potential leak source
may be used for those sources that do not have continuously
moving parts and that do not have a surface temperature greater
than the boiling point or less than the freezing point of the soap
solution; or
5.
Any other method approved by the Department.
B.
Leaks, repair methods and repair delays will be recorded and maintained
for five years. If a gas leak detector is used, a leak is to be detected by
placing the probe inlet at the surface of a component. The Department
may grant an extension for leak detection deadlines or repairs upon the
receipt of a written request from the owner or operator of the facility
documenting the justification for the requested extension.
ii.
Storage vessels/storage tanks or other equipment equipped with VOC emission
controls achieving emissions reduction of 95% or greater. Compliance will be
demonstrated consistent with 40 CFR Part 60, Subpart OOOO or an alternative
test method approved by the Department.
iii.
Combined VOC emissions from all the sources at the facility less than 2.7 tons on
a 12-month rolling basis. If the VOCs include HAPs, the HAP exemption criteria
in this paragraph will be met. Compliance with this criterion is to be determined
using any generally accepted model or calculation methodology. Combined HAP
emissions [not including Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs), Chromium (Cr),
Mercury (Hg), Lead (Pb), Polycyclic Organic Matter (POM), Dioxins and Furans]
at the facility less than 1000 lbs of a single HAP or one ton of a combination of
HAPs in any consecutive 12-month period. The emission criteria do not include
emissions from sources which are approved by the Department in plan approvals,

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or the general plan approvals/general operating permits at the facility and the
emissions from sources meeting the exemption criteria in subparagraphs i, ii,
and iv.
iv.
Flaring activities as outlined below:
A.
Flaring used at exploration wells to determine whether oil and/or gas
exists in geological formations or to appraise the physical extent, reserves
and likely production rate of an oil or gas field.
B.
Flaring used for repair, maintenance, emergency or safety purposes.
C.
Flaring used for other operations at a wellhead or facility to comply with
40 CFR Part 60, Subpart OOOO requirements.
D.
Enclosed combustion device including enclosed flare will be used for all
permanent flaring operations at a wellhead or facility. These flaring
operations will be designed and operated in accordance with the
requirements of 40 CFR § 60.18.
v.
Combined NOx emissions from the stationary internal combustion engines at
wells, and wellheads less than 100 lbs./hr., 1000 lbs./day, 2.75 tons per ozone
season (the period beginning May 1 of each year and ending on September 30 the
same year), and 6.6 tons per year on a 12-month rolling basis. The emission
criteria do not include emissions from sources which are approved by plan
approvals or the general plan approvals/general operating permits at the facility.
The owner or operator will comply with all applicable state and federal requirements including
notification, recordkeeping, and reporting requirements as specified in 40 CFR Part 60
Subpart OOOO. The owner or operator will also demonstrate compliance with the exemption
criteria using any generally accepted model or calculation methodology within 180 days after the
well completion or installation of a source. The owners and operators of sources not meeting the
provisions of subsections (a)-(d) of this category may submit an RFD form to the Department. If
the RFD is not approved by the Department, an application for authorization to use a general
permit or a plan approval application is to be submitted to the Department, as appropriate.
(38b) Oil and gas exploration, development, and production facilities and associated equipment and
operations for which construction or reconstruction commenced on or after [the effective date] of
this Exemption criteria meeting the following provisions:
Conventional wells, well drilling, completion and work-over activities, wellheads and all other
associated equipment. A conventional well is any well that does not meet the definition of
unconventional gas well in 58 PA.C.S § 3203.
39.
Combustion units with a rated capacity of less than 10 million Btus per hour of heat input fueled
by natural gas supplied by an independent gas producer. Sources firing natural gas supplied by
an independent producer shall be given the same consideration given sources that fire natural gas
provided by a public utility.

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40.
Any source qualifying for exemption based on criteria contained in a general permit developed in
accordance with the procedures described in §§ 127.601 through 127.642.
41.
Powdered metal sintering furnaces using only organic lubricants equal to or less than 0.75%
organic lubricant by weight. The furnace atmosphere must contain hydrogen (H
2
) at 3% or
greater. The furnace must also maintain an operating flame curtain between the part entry and
pre-heat zone. In the absence of an operating flame curtain, the furnace must operate an
afterburner.
A sintering furnace using only metal containing lubricants may be exempted if the furnace emits
particulate matter not exceeding 0.15 lb./hr. (determined by mass balance or stack tests). Note,
for mass balance purposes, the following conversion factors are to be used:
Zinc Stearate to Zinc Oxide particulate matter = 0.129,
Lithium Stearate to Lithium Carbonate particulate matter = 0.15.
The Department may approve alternate conversion factors provided a satisfactory written
justification is submitted to the Department.
A sintering furnace using organic lubricants and operating outside the limitations specified
above, may be exempted under a case-by-case determination through the execution of a Request
for Determination of Requirement for Plan Approval Application form. The owner/operator of a
sintering furnace exempt from permitting requirements must notify the Department within
30 days of the furnace installation. For sintering furnaces using metal containing lubricants,
records must be maintained to demonstrate compliance with the particulate matter emission limit
of 0.15 lb/hour for each product.
Facilities that use both organic and metal-containing lubricants are exempted if the lubricants are
less than 0.75% organic lubricant by weight; and, the furnace is designed and operated as
described in the preceding paragraph and emits particulate matter at rates less than 0.15 lb./hr
(determined by mass balance or stack tests).
The previous exemption does not apply to sintering furnaces used to sinter parts that are treated
with oil.
42.
Facilities engaged primarily in collision repair and refinishing of automobiles and light duty
trucks.
43.
Remediation of gasoline or fuel oil contaminated soil, groundwater or surface water by
equipment installed, maintained and operated as provided herein. All air exhaust points are
controlled by dual, activated carbon beds operating in series or a thermal/catalytic oxidizer. For
activated carbon beds, monitoring (e.g. intrinsically safe ionization detector) at an appropriate
frequency (e.g., one-fourth the predicted time to breakthrough of the first bed) must be
performed at the inlet, between the first and second beds and after the second bed. If
breakthrough of the first bed is detected, the first bed is removed, the second bed is shifted to the
first position and the new bed is placed in the second position. Monitoring, operating, and
maintenance records are maintained and available to the Department upon request. Equipment
installed and operated as described above must be designed to achieve a minimum VOC control

275-2101-003 / DRAFT February 4, 2017 / Page 10
efficiency of 90%. As long as actual annual emissions after control are less than one TPY VOC
or HAPs, the remediation project is determined to be of minor significance in accordance
with 127.14(8), no Air Quality Plan Approval is required and no Request for a Determination
(RFD) needs to be filed. Other remediation projects may be considered for exemption via a
Request For Determination and may be required to obtain Plan Approval at the discretion of the
Department on a case-by-case basis.
44.
Any source granted an exemption by the Department through the execution of a Request for
Determination of Requirement for Plan Approval/Operating Permit (RFD) form.
Further Qualifications Regarding Plan Approval Exempted Sources
1.
This notice shall not be construed to exempt facilities that include multiple sources of air
contaminants, unless specifically stated in the source category.
2.
The addition of any source that would subject the facility to major source New Source Review or
Prevention of Significant Deterioration, Title V or Reasonably Available Control Technology
(RACT) requirements shall comply with plan approval requirements, even if such sources are
within a category in the above list.
3.
Sources exempt from plan approval may be required to be included in the operating permit if the
source is not included in the trivial activity listing.
4.
Sources located in Allegheny and Philadelphia Counties may be subject to different permitting
requirements. Please contact the Allegheny County Air Quality Program at 412-567-8115 or the
Philadelphia Air Management Services at 215-823-7580 for information applicable to sources
located in those counties.
5.
Any sources claiming an exemption based on emission thresholds must keep adequate records to
clearly demonstrate to the Department that the applicable thresholds are not exceeded.
These determinations do not exempt the above-listed sources from compliance with the emission
limitations, work practice, and other applicable requirements contained in Chapters 121, 122,
123, 124, 127, 129, and 135. Although a source may be exempt from the plan approval and
operating permit requirements of Chapter 127, the source is subject to all other applicable air
quality regulations. For example, combustion units exempt from the requirements of
Chapter 127 are not exempt from the opacity limitations of § 123.41 or the emission limitations
of § 123.22. Storage vessels for organic compounds with capacities between 2,000 gallons to
40,000 gallons, not subject to the requirements of Chapter 127, must install pressure relief valves
in accordance with the requirements of § 129.57. (Note: Storage vessels in this size range
would also not be subject to the requirements of §§ 129.59 and 129.60.)
If the Department determines that any exempted source is causing air pollution in violation of
Section 8 of the Air Pollution Control Act, 35 P. S. § 4008, or 25 Pa. Code 121.7, the
Department may order the installation of additional air cleaning devices. In those cases, plan
approvals and operating permits may be required.
Requests for exemptions from the plan approval requirements of Chapter 127 for multiple source
facilities must be considered on a case-by-case basis.

275-2101-003 / DRAFT February 4, 2017 / Page 11
As noted in Category 44 of the list, additional exemptions, when appropriate, may be obtained
through the submission of a completed Request for Determination of Requirement for Plan
Approval Application form. These forms are available from any of the Department’s Air Quality
offices and on the DEP website www.dep.state.pa.us under the Air Quality page.
Physical Changes Qualifying for Exemption Under Section 127.14(a)(9)
In accordance with § 127.14(a)(9), the Department has determined that the following physical changes
qualify for plan approval exemption if the change: a) would not violate the terms of an operating
permit, the Air Pollution Control Act, the Clean Air Act or the regulations adopted under the acts;
b) would not result in emission increases above the allowable in the operating permit; and, c) would not
result in an increased ambient air quality impact for an air contaminant. These changes may be made
without notification to the Department.
Caution
: Do not make determinations regarding the following list without consideration of the
preceding criteria.
1.
Changes in the supplier or formulation of similar raw materials, fuels, paints and other coatings
which do not affect emissions and which meet all applicable standards and limitations.
2.
Changes in product formulations that do not affect air emissions.
3.
Changes that result in different speciation of pollutants but fall within permit limitations.
4.
Changes in the method of raw material addition.
5.
Changes in the method of product packaging.
6.
Changes in temperature, pressure, or other operating parameters that do not adversely affect air
cleaning device performance or air emissions.
7.
Additions of or changes to sampling connections used exclusively to withdraw materials for
testing and analysis including air contaminant detection and vent lines.
8.
Changes to paint drying oven length designed to alter curing time, so long as capture efficiencies
of control equipment are not altered.
9.
Routine maintenance, inspection and cleaning of storage tanks and process vessels or the closure
or dismantling of a storage tank or process.
10.
Changing water sources to air cleaning devices when there is no effect on air cleaning device
performance or air emissions.
11.
Moving a source from one location to another at the same facility with no change in operation or
controls.
12.
Installation of an air-cleaning device that is not installed to comply with regulatory requirements
and will not be used to generate emission reduction credits.

275-2101-003 / DRAFT February 4, 2017 / Page 12
13.
Repairing, replacing, upgrading, maintaining, or installing pollution control device
instrumentation or component equipment including pumps, blowers, burners, filters, filter bags,
devices for measuring pressure drop across an air cleaning device or a filter breakage detector for
a baghouse, provided such changes would not violate an operating permit term or condition.
14.
Installing a fume hood or vent system for industrial hygiene purposes or in a laboratory.
15.
The temporary (no longer than six months) replacement of a source with a source of equal or less
emission potential.
16.
Repairing, replacing, upgrading, maintaining, or installing equipment and processes at oil and
gas extraction and production facilities and operations. The category includes equipment or
processes used either to drill or alter oil and natural gas to the point of lease custody transfer, to
plug abandoned wells and restore well sites, or treat and dispose of associated wastes.
In accordance with § 127.14(c), additional physical changes may be determined to be of minor
significance and not subject to plan approval requirements through the following procedure:
1.
If the changes do not involve the installation of equipment, the changes may be made within
7 calendar days of the Department’s receipt of a written request provided the Department does
not request additional information or objects to the change within the 7-day period.
2.
If the changes involve the installation of equipment, the changes may be made within
15 calendar days of the Department’s receipt of a written request provided the Department does
not request additional information or objects to the change within the 15-day period.
3.
If the change would violate the terms of an operating permit the plan approval exemption may be
processed contemporaneously with the minor operating permit modification under the
procedures described in § 127.462.

275-2101-003 / DRAFT February 4, 2017 / Page 13
Exemption Criteria for Operating Permits
A Title V operating permit is needed by all facilities that have the potential to emit (PTE) exceeding the
levels described in the definition of “Title V facility.” A state-only operating permit is needed for
facilities that do not have a PTE which exceeds the Title V facility thresholds, but which has actual
emissions equal to or exceeding the facility levels summarized below. An existing facility which does
not have a PTE exceeding the Title V facility thresholds and which does not have actual emissions
exceeding the levels shown below is exempt from the requirement to obtain an operating permit.
State-Only Operating Permit Facility Exemptions*
Pollutant
PTE<
Actual Emission Rate<
CO
100 TPY
20 TPY
NO
x
100 TPY**
10 TPY
SO
x
100 TPY
8 TPY
PM
10
100 TPY
3 TPY
VOCs
50 TPY**
8 TPY
Single HAP
10 TPY
1 TPY
Multiple HAPs 25 TPY
2.5 TPY
*
Sources located in Allegheny and Philadelphia Counties may be subject to different permitting
requirements. Please contact the Allegheny County Air Quality Program at 412-567-8115 or the
Philadelphia Air Management Services at 215-823-7580 for information applicable to sources
located in those counties.
*
25 TPY for Severe Ozone NA areas including Bucks, Chester, Delaware, and Montgomery
counties.
Sources listed in the plan approval exemption list should be included in an operating permit application
unless it is also included in the listing of trivial activities. When a RFD is issued for a source not
included on the list of trivial activities the source need not be brought onto the operating permit until the
renewal of the operating permit. So long as all applicable requirements are met there is no need to
revise an operating permit to include a source installed under an RFD or the de minimis provisions of an
operating permit. Only in the case where a physical change of minor significance would violate the
terms of an operating permit should a plan approval exemption and a minor permit modification under
§ 127.462 be processed contemporaneously. A facility that currently has or should have a plan approval
or an operating permit is not exempted from the operating permit requirements. However, if the facility
would now be eligible for exemption, the owner/operator may submit a RFD in accordance with
§ 127.14(c).
Exempted Facility and Source Categories for Operating Permits
Unless preclude by the Clean Air Act, or the regulations there under, the following facilities and source
categories are exempted from the operating permit requirements of § 127.402.
1.
Residential wood stoves.

275-2101-003 / DRAFT February 4, 2017 / Page 14
2.
Asbestos demolition/renovation sites.
3.
Facilities engaged primarily in collision repair and refinishing of automobiles and light duty
trucks.
4.
Retail gasoline stations.
Deferral of Operating Permit Requirements for Area Sources
Sources subject to MACT standards are not exempted from operating permit requirements. However,
the permitting of MACT area sources will be deferred at this time. Area MACT sources emit or have
the PTE less than 10 tpy of any hazardous air pollutant or 25 tpy of any combination of hazardous air
pollutants. These non-major sources include: perchloroethylene dry cleaning, halogenated solvent
cleaning, ethylene oxide commercial sterilization and fumigation operations, hard and decorative
chromium electroplating, chromium anodizing tanks and secondary lead smelters. These MACT area
sources are still required to meet all applicable emission control requirements established by the
respective MACT requirement. The owner or operator of a MACT area source need not submit an
operating permit application until December 9, 2004.

275-2101-003 / DRAFT February 4, 2017 / Page 15
Trivial Activities
Trivial activities are those located within a facility, which do not create air pollution in significant
amounts. These insignificant activities need not be described in a Title V or state-only operating permit
application. Also, these activities do not require a plan approval. Sources listed in the plan approval
exemption list should be included in an operating permit application unless it is also listed in the
following list. Certain of these listed activities include qualifying statements intended to exclude many
similar activities.
1.
Combustion emissions from propulsion of mobile air contamination sources. The term “mobile
air contamination source” means an air contamination source, including, but not limited to,
automobiles, trucks, tractors, buses and other motor vehicles; railroad locomotives; ships, boats
and other waterborne craft. The term does not include a source mounted on a vehicle, whether
the mounting is permanent or temporary, which source is not used to supply power to the
vehicle. Examples might include lawn mowers, tow and lift vehicles, and the like.
2.
Air-conditioning units used for human comfort that do not have applicable requirements under
Title VI of the Act.
3.
Ventilating units used for human comfort that do not exhaust air pollutants into the ambient air
from any manufacturing, industrial or commercial process.
4.
Electric space heaters. Propane and gas fired space heaters with a plant-wide capacity less than
2.5 million Btus per hour heat input and which have not been subject to RACT requirements.
5.
Electrically heated furnaces, ovens and heaters, and other electrically operated equipment from
which no emissions of air contaminants occur.
6.
Non-commercial food preparation.
7.
Use of office equipment and products, not including printers or businesses primarily involved in
photographic reproduction.
8.
Any equipment, machine or device from which emission of air contaminant does not occur.
9.
Janitorial services and consumer use of janitorial products.
10.
Internal combustion engines used for landscaping purposes.
11.
Garbage compactors and waste barrels.
12.
Laundry activities, except for dry-cleaning and steam boilers.
13.
Bathroom/toilet vent emissions.
14.
Emergency (backup) electrical generators at residential locations.
15.
Tobacco smoking rooms and areas.

275-2101-003 / DRAFT February 4, 2017 / Page 16
16.
Blacksmith forges.
17.
Plant maintenance and upkeep activities (such as, grounds-keeping, general repairs, cleaning,
painting, welding, plumbing, re-tarring roofs, installing insulation, and paving parking lots)
provided these activities are not conducted as part of a manufacturing process, are not related to
the source’s primary business activity, and not otherwise triggering a permit modification.
1
18.
Repair or maintenance shop activities not related to the source’s primary business activity, not
including emissions from surface coating or de-greasing (solvent metal cleaning) activities, and
not otherwise triggering a permit modification.
19.
Portable electrical generators that can be moved by hand from one location to another.
2
20.
Hand-held equipment for buffing, polishing, cutting, drilling, sawing, grinding, turning or
machining wood, metal or plastic.
21.
Brazing, soldering and welding equipment, and cutting torches related to maintenance and
construction activities that do not result in emission of HAP metals.
3
22.
Air compressors and pneumatically operated equipment, including hand tools.
23.
Batteries and battery charging stations, except at battery manufacturing plants.
24.
Storage tanks, vessels, and containers holding or storing liquid substances that will not emit any
VOC or HAP.
25.
Propane or natural gas tanks and containers.
26.
Storage tanks, reservoirs, and pumping and handling equipment of any size containing soaps,
vegetable oil, grease, animal fat, and nonvolatile aqueous salt solutions, provided appropriate lids
and covers are utilized.
27.
Equipment used to mix and package, soaps, vegetable oil, grease, animal fat, and nonvolatile
aqueous salt solutions, provided appropriate lids and covers are utilized.
28.
Drop hammers or hydraulic presses for forging or metalworking.
29.
Equipment used exclusively to slaughter animals, but not including other equipment at
slaughterhouses, such as rendering cookers, boilers, heating plants, incinerators, and electrical
power generating equipment.
30.
Vents from continuous emissions monitors and other analyzers.
31.
Natural gas pressure regulator vents.
32.
Hand-held applicator equipment for hot melt adhesives with no VOC in the adhesive
formulation.

275-2101-003 / DRAFT February 4, 2017 / Page 17
33.
Equipment used for surface coating, painting, dipping or spraying operations, except those that
will emit VOC or HAP.
34.
CO
2
lasers used only on metals and other materials that do not emit HAP in the process.
35.
Consumer use of paper trimmers/binders.
36.
Electric or steam-heated drying ovens and autoclaves, but not the emissions from the articles or
substances being processed in the ovens or autoclaves or the boilers delivering the steam.
37.
Salt baths using nonvolatile salts that do not result in emissions of any regulated air pollutants.
38.
Laser trimmers using dust collection to prevent fugitive emissions.
39.
Bench-scale laboratory equipment used for kinetic studies, mass/energy transport studies,
chemical synthesis and physical or chemical analysis.
40.
Sources emitting inert gases only, such as argon, helium, krypton, neon, and xenon; pure
constituents of air such as nitrogen, oxygen, or carbon dioxide; or the organic aliphatic
hydrocarbon gases methane and ethane.
41.
Routine calibration and maintenance of laboratory equipment or other analytical instruments.
42.
Equipment used for quality control/assurance or inspection purposes, including sampling
equipment used to withdraw materials for analysis.
43.
Hydraulic and hydrostatic testing equipment.
44.
Environmental chambers not using hazardous air pollutant (HAP) gasses.
45.
Shock chambers.
46.
Humidity chambers.
47.
Solar simulators.
48.
Fugitive emissions related to movement of passenger vehicles, provided the emissions are not
counted for applicability purposes and any required fugitive dust control plan or its equivalent is
submitted.
49.
Process water filtration systems and demineralizers, but not including air strippers.
50.
Demineralized water tanks and demineralizer vents.
51.
Boiler water treatment operations, not including cooling towers.
52.
Oxygen scavenging (de-aeration) of water.
53.
Potable water treatment systems.

275-2101-003 / DRAFT February 4, 2017 / Page 18
54.
Ozone generators.
55.
Fire suppression systems and activities involved in fire protection training, first aid or emergency
medical training.
56.
Emergency road flares.
57.
Steam vents and safety relief valves.
58.
Steam leaks.
59.
Steam cleaning operations.
60.
Steam sterilizers.
61.
Reserved.
62.
Typesetting, image setting, and plate making equipment used in the preparatory phase of
printing.
If an applicant conducts an activity that is believed trivial but not covered by this listing, the applicant
may list the activity in an operating permit application and provide a written justification for listing the
activity as trivial. If the Department accepts the applicant’s justification, no further information will be
required on the activity. If the Department rejects the justification, additional information must be
included in an operating permit application submitted to the Department.
______________________
1
Cleaning and painting activities qualify if they are not subject to VOC or HAP control requirements. Asphalt batch plant
owners/operators must still get a permit.
2
”Moved by hand” means that it can be moved without the assistance of any motorized or non-motorized vehicle,
conveyance, or device.
3
Brazing, soldering and welding equipment, and cutting torches related to manufacturing and construction activities that emit
HAP metals are more appropriate for treatment as insignificant activities based on size or production level thresholds.
Brazing, soldering, welding and cutting torches directly related to plant maintenance and upkeep and repair or maintenance
shop activities that emit HAP metals are treated as trivial and listed separately in this appendix.

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