Ohio EPA releases draft general air permit for shale gas production for interested party comment

Ohio EPA has created a new general air permit that covers emission limits, operating restrictions, and monitoring, testing and reporting requirements for shale gas production. The agency states that the general permit will create consistent standards for the sites and will allow most applicants to apply for and receive permits in as little as two weeks. While the general permit will cover internal combustion engines, dehydration systems, truck-loading racks, storage tanks, flares and unpaved roadways, it will not cover activities that occur during the drilling and hydraulic fracturing phase. In the view of Ohio EPA, these activities are temporary and therefore exempt from permitting. The agency has not finalized the draft general permit and will be making it available for a 30-day public comment period later. Ohio EPA plans on announcing the beginning of the public comment period in the near future. The current version of the draft general permit, qualifying criteria and related information are available online here. The general permit is expected to be finalized and made available to applicants this fall.