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In re Anadarko Uintah Midstream, LLC

11/15/2018
Case Number:NSR Appeal No. 18-01
ELR Citation:48 ELR 41403

WildEarth Guardians (“Petitioner”) petition the Environmental Appeals Board (“Board”) to review a decision by U.S. EPA Region 8 (“Region”) to issue six synthetic minor new source review permits to Anadarko Uintah Midstream, LLC (“Anadarko”) authorizing continued operation of six natural gas compression facilities in Uintah County, Utah, within the boundaries of the Uintah and Ouray Indian Reservation. The Region issued the permits pursuant to the Federal Minor New Source Review Program in Indian Country. 40 C.F.R. §§ 49.151-.161.

The six facilities are currently operating under emission controls and other requirements established in a federal consent decree entered on March 26, 2008 (“2008 Consent Decree”). Anadarko requested the permits in this matter to incorporate the requirements of the 2008 Consent Decree into the six federally issued permits, so that the 2008 Consent Decree as to these facilities could be terminated. Because the facilities were operating pursuant to the 2008 Consent Decree, which effectively limited the facilities’ potential to emit to below major source levels, the Region treated the facilities as existing synthetic minor sources. On appeal, Petitioner argues that the Region violated the Tribal Minor New Source Review rules by inappropriately concluding that issuance of the six permits did not constitute permitting actions warranting an air quality impacts analysis (“AQIA”) pursuant to 40 C.F.R. § 49.154(d). That section states that “[i]f the reviewing authority has reason to be concerned that the construction of your minor source or modification would cause or contribute to a [National Ambient Air Quality Standards] or [Prevention of Significant Deterioration] increment violation, it may require you to conduct and submit an AQIA.” The Region concluded that the transfer of emissions and operational requirements from the 2008 Consent Decree to minor source permits did not result in any construction or modification and thus section 49.154(d) was not applicable, and in any event section 49.154(d) is permissive and, in its discretion, the Region determined that an AQIA was not warranted for these facilities.

Held: The Board denies WildEarth Guardians’ Petition for Review. The Petitioner has not demonstrated clear error or an abuse of discretion in the Region’s determination not to require an AQIA for these facilities.