Air Quality Modeling and Air Quality Increments

An air quality analysis is a critical element of the PSD review process. In order to obtain a permit, an applicant must demonstrate that emissions from the proposed new or modified source will not violate the NAAQS or allowable PSD increments. The increments for each regulated pollutant are shown in Table 16-2. These are short-term increments that are not to be exceeded more than once per year. Increments vary with local classification. Class I covers certain pristine areas. All other areas are Class II. Class III treatment is an option to states that is not in use.

To conduct the air quality analysis, the permitting authority can require that the permit applicant monitor meteorological conditions and air quality at the selected site. Since this can take up to one year, this should be the first topic addressed when a PSD triggering project is under consideration.

An air quality analysis is required for each pollutant subject to PSD review. The screening level analysis uses dispersion modeling techniques to predict ground level concentrations of each pollutant from the proposed new

Table 16-2 PSD Increments (in g/m3)

Sulfur dioxide

Class I Areas

Class II Areas

Class III Areas

Annual

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