Oil and Gas Air Permitting in Oklahoma
September 12, 2017

The Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality (OKDEQ) is the environmental agency that administers air quality regulations and permitting programs in Oklahoma. Oil and gas (O&G) production facilities are required to obtain, from the OKDEQ, an air permit prior to construction with some exemptions available.

Below is a summary of some key things to know about the OKDEQ air permitting process for O&G operations. Consult the OKDEQ rules or contact the OKDEQ Air Quality Division (AQD) for details for O&G air permitting.

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Activities Requiring an Air Permit and Authorization Types

  • Construction of new facility or modification of existing facility.
    • A construction permit is required before a new source is constructed or an existing source is modified. Upon approval, the AQD issues a Permit or Authorization to Construct.
  • Operation of facility or modification.
    • An operating permit is issued after construction is completed and demonstration is made that the source is capable of meeting applicable emissions limitations and air pollution control requirements. Upon approval, the AQD issues a Permit or Authorization to Operate.
  • No air permit required for Permit Exempt and De Minimis facilities (see explanation below).   

The OKDEQ uses a dual permitting system that has separate construction permits and operating permits. A construction permit is required before a new source is constructed or an existing source is modified. An operating permit is issued after construction is completed. An Authorization to Construct and an Authorization to Operate under a particular general permit correspond to the construction and operating permit, respectively.

Facilities Exempt from Permitting             

Facilities that meet the following are exempt from permitting:

  • Permit Exempt Facility – O&G facilities that have actual emissions less than or equal to 40 tons per year (tpy) of each regulated air pollutant and are not subject to a Federal New Source Performance Standard (NSPS) such as NSPS OOOO/OOOOa, IIII, JJJJ or the Federal National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants  (NESHAP) rules.
  • De minimis facilities – facilities that have actual emissions of 5 tpy or less of each regulated air pollutant and no Federal NSPS or NESHAPs applies. Exceptions are facilities that are major sources (based on Potential to Emit) or that the facility is part of a facility requiring an air permit.

Air Permit Types for O&G Operations

Three types of construction permits are available: Permits by Rule, General Permits and individual permits. Permit limits are based on calculated Potential to Emit (PTE) emissions. For O&G operations these permits include:

  • Permit by Rule (PBR) Permit for minor O&G facilities
  • PBR for emergency engine facilities (e.g., diesel generators)
  • Minor Source General Permit for O&G facilities
  • Individual minor & synthetic minor source permit facilities
  • Area Source NESHAP and Small NSPS General Permit
  • Major Title V (Part 70) Permit (General Operating Permit and individual permit)
  • Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) Permit (Individual per only)
  • Nonattainment New Source Review (NNSR) Permit (if OK ever has a nonattainment area)

PBRs and General Permits Usage

Most companies permit O&G facilities, when feasible, as minor source permit facility. Typically, they use a PBR or minor source General Permit when the facility can meet all requirements in the respective permit. If an oil and gas facility does not qualify for the PBR or General Permit, then they can apply for an individual minor and synthetic minor source permit.

Since the public notice was completed during the General Permits/PBR issuance process, most Authorizations and Registrations may only need minimal public notice (e.g., DEQ Landowner Notification Affidavit).

For General Permits/PBRs most facility changes are pre-approved so that modification of the Authorization and Registration may not be needed to add or remove equipment.

Permit Exempt and De Minimis Facilities Documentation

  • No submittal to the OKDEQ required for these exempt facilities.
  • Companies should document how the facility meets the exemption. This would include equipment inventory, emission calculations and documentation of facility and equipment construction, reconstruction, modification and installation dates.

Air Permitting Process for Oil and Gas Facilities  

  1. Prepare air permit application using OKDEQ forms or e-Permit System (see below). Also see HY-BON/EDI Blog topic on air permitting tips.
  2. Submit application to the OKDEQ – via hardcopy or using e-Permit System. 
  3. Include with the application submittal, payment of the appropriate permit application fee. The application is not complete unless the correct fee is submitted. There are separate fees schedules for the construction permit and the operating permit.
  4. Requires separate permit applications/Notice of Intent (NOI) for construction and operation.

OKDEQGovOnline e-Permit System

The OKDEQ has an online e-Permit system that serves as a central location for companies to create, submit and track air permit applications for facilities. The system also allows online payment of permit application fees via credit card or e-check.

The system offers online options to:

  • Apply for new air permits
  • Submit air permit modification applications/Notice of Intent (NOI)

Applications for the following types of air permits are currently included in e-Permit system:

  • Oil & Gas Facility – Minor Source General Permit
  • Permit by Rule (PBR) Permit
  • Minor & Synthetic Minor Source Permit
  • Area Source NESHAP and Small NSPS General Permit
  • Major Title V Permit

Check following link for more information on setting up an account and the process for submitting applications online at: OK GovOnline e-Permit System LINK

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