What are the compliance mandates for industrial sources of air pollution?

All stationary sources must comply with the National Emission Standards for Source Specific Air Pollutants (NESSAP) and National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) and must secure their permit to operate, prior to operation.

   For new or modified sources, the permit to operate shall be converted to authority to Construct.

   The Act also provides for the maintenance of attainment and non-attainment areas, in respective specifications as would be described shortly. Attainment areas are such where the existing ambient air quality complies with the National Ambient Air Quality Guideline Values.

   For existing sources or those established prior to the effectivity date (November 25, 2000) of the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR), in attainment areas, the following must be observed:

  • Must comply with the NESSAP and the NAAQS, or submission of compliance program in case of non-compliance;
  • May use emission trading and/or averaging as part of compliance plan;
  • Must comply within 18 months if found non-compliant;
  • Must pay mass emission fees.

   For new modified sources of air pollution, in attainment areas, the following must be observed:

  •  Must comply with the NESSAP and NAAQS;
  •  Must have an “Authority to Construct,” which is converted to Permit to Operate;
  • Must apply “Best Available Control Technology,” or such approaches, techniques or equipment which when used, result in lower air emissions, but in a cost-effective manner;
  • Emissions averaging is not allowed, but may generate emission credits for selling;
  • Must pay mass emission fees;
  • Must install continuous monitoring system (CEMS) for sources with potential to emit greater than or equal to 100 tons per year.

   For existing stationary sources in non-attainment areas, the following must be observed:

  • Must comply with the NESSAP and NAAQS;
  • In case of non-compliance, compliance plan to meet the standards within 12 months is required;
  • Must pay a higher fee for the mass rate of emissions (50% surcharge);
  • Must pay a 100% surcharge (i.e., 200% of base) for any penalties and fines relating to a violation of the non-attainment provisions.

   For new or modified sources in non-attainment areas, the following must be observed:

  • Must comply with the NESSAP and NAAQS;
  • Must install Lowest Achievable Emission Rate (LAER) control technology, or such technology or combination of technologies and process controls that result in the lowest possible emissions of a given air pollutant. The technical feasibility, rather than the cost, is the consideration, in determining the applicable LAER for a given source;
  • Must not use emissions averaging and trading for compliance;
  • Must install CEMS;
  • Must pay 50% surcharge on mass emission fees;
  • Must pay a 100% surcharge (i.e., 200% of base) for any penalties and fines relating to a violation of the non-attainment provisions.

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Lifted from:

Department of Environment and Natural Resources. (2003, August). Primer on the Clean Air Act. Diliman: DENR-Public Affairs Office.