NJDEP Draft Memo: Most Repair And Maintenance Equipment Does NOT Need A Permit

By Heidi Fleming

Avogadro regularly attends meetings of NJDEP’s Industrial Stakeholders Group (ISG).  This group focuses on Air Quality Permitting within the State of New Jersey and is composed largely of DEP air quality permitting and air quality enforcement staff as well as representatives of regulated industries.  At the February 4th NJDEP ISG Meeting, Mr. John Preczewski of the Air Quality Permitting Program distributed a draft memo regarding Permitting Repair and Maintenance Activities for review and comment. 

The memo contains potential clarifications on whether equipment used to conduct repair and maintenance activities should fall under the same air requirements as equipment used to conduct construction activities.  This means that if the repair and/or maintenance equipment will be situated at one location for less than 12 months, it does not require an air permit.  If the equipment is to remain onsite for more than one year, however, then it will require permitting.  This only applies to equipment that is brought onsite in order to conduct the repair or maintenance, and does not become part of the production process. 

The memo lists 15 equipment scenarios and whether they are required to obtain a permit.  Some specific examples include:

During stack testing activities, Avogadro’s field crew may need to set up where power is not readily available.  In this case, small portable diesel generators can be the best choice to provide power.  This temporary equipment does not need to be permitted.

A facility may need to bring in a crane and compressor to replace a burner in a boiler.  In this case, the burner replacement is a permitable activity and would need to be reviewed by DEP.  The crane and compressor needed to perform the repair, however, do not need permits.

A facility is cleaning out a reaction or mixing vessel for a new production load utilizing a compressor/pump.  In this case, both vessel cleaning and compressor/pumps would need permits, as they are part of the production process.

A temporary piece of process equipment or a control device is brought in so that a turnaround can take place on the existing equipment.  In this case, since a permitted piece of equipment or control device is being replaced, even though it may be of equal quality and/or for a short period, a permit is required.

Portable lighting powered by diesel engines can be brought onsite to be used during power failures and other out of the ordinary events such as spill cleanups.  In this case, if the activity is less than one year in length, no permit is required.  However, if the equipment is purchased, instead of rented, the generator for the lighting would be subject to permitting if it’s above subchapter 8 thresholds.                       

 NJDEP encourages interested parties to provide any additional scenarios so that the guidance can be clarified and intends to publish a final document by sometime in the spring of 2011.

If you would like to share any comments on this document with NJDEP, please email john.preczewski@dep.state.nj.us.  For more information regarding ISG, please go to http://www.nj.gov/dep/aqpp/isg.html.