Construction Permits

The Permit to Construct (PTC) process provides for the review of proposed sources or proposed modifications to existing sources of air contaminants. A construction permit is issued only if it is expected that the proposed source or modification will comply with the applicable rules.

For questions related to a specific construction permit or general questions about construction permitting contact Craig Thorstenson at 701.328.5188 or by email at cthorstenson@nd.gov.


Permit Required

A Permit to Construct (PTC) is required for any new stationary source, or modification to an existing source, within a source category designated in Section 33-15-14-01. Sources that are exempt from obtaining a Permit to Construct are listed in Section 33-15-14-02.13.

Electric-driven Compressor Stations

Electric-Driven natural gas compressor stations have special permitting considerations.   Please see the attached memo for the conditions required for submitting a permit request for an electric-driven compressor station.   Electric Compressor Policy.


Construction May Not Begin Before a Permit Is Issued

No construction, installation or establishment of a new stationary source may commence unless the owner or operator has filed an application for and received a Permit to Construct in accordance with Chapter 33-15-14.

Construction, installation or establishment means:

  1. For sources subject to a standard or requirement under chapters 33-15-13, 33-15-15 (excluding increment consumption by non-major sources), and 33-15-22, it shall have the meaning given for construction in each of the respective chapters.

  2. For all other sources construction means the placement or erection - including fabrication, demolition or modification - of an air contaminant emissions unit and any equipment, process, or structure that will be used to reduce, physically or chemically change, or transmit to the atmosphere any air contaminant. This does not include the building that houses the source, site work, foundations or other equipment that does not affect the amount, ambient concentration or type of air contaminants that are emitted. With respect to a physical change or a change in the method of operation, it means those on-site activities which will affect an existing emissions unit or establishment of a new unit that emits to the atmosphere.


The Application Process

Construction Permitting is based on the Potential to Emit (PTE) of Criteria Pollutants and Hazardous Air Pollutants (HAPs).

The application package is received by the Department and reviewed for completeness.

NOTE: At the very minimum, an application should include the following items:

  1. A written description of the proposed project and the facility including site diagrams (if a physical change is proposed) and applicable process descriptions and technical specifications.

  2. A summary of Hazardous Air Pollutant emissions and compliance with the Air Toxics Policy.

  3. A written section addressing Title V and PSD applicability.

  4. A summary of state and federal rule applicability including a listing of any New Source Performance Standards (NSPS, see 40 CFR 60) and National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP, see 40 CFR 63) subparts that apply.

  5. A statement addressing any dispersion modeling requirements for Criteria Pollutants or Air Toxics and the inclusion of any required modeling analysis with a complete method description in accordance with the State Air Quality Analysis Guide or Department guidance.

  6. All Applicable Air Quality Permit Application forms.

  7. The $325 Permit to Construct filing fee payment per NDAC 33-15-23-02.

Completeness is determined on a case by case basis and, to be deemed complete, a given application may require other information in addition to the items listed above.
  • If the application is incomplete, the applicant will be notified of the deficiencies. If the application is complete, the technical review will begin.  

  • After review, the Department will issue or deny the permit. The decision to issue or deny the permit will be based on the expected compliance status with respect to applicable state and federal air pollution requirements.

  • The Permit to Construct may include conditions for compliance testing, monitoring, record-keeping and reporting. If the conditions of the permit to construct are satisfied, a Permit to Operate will be issued for the source. See Permit to Operate.

NOTE:   Construction permits become invalid if construction is not commenced within 18 months of the permit's issuance. The department may extend the 18 month period upon a satisfactory showing that an extension is justified per NDAC 33-15-14-02.10b.

A Construction Permit is required for the installation of a new stationary source or modification to an existing source that is designated in Section 33-15-14.01.

True Minor—A true minor source Construction Permit is issued to facilities that have the potential to emit less than 100 ton/yr of a criteria pollutant, less than 10 ton/yr of any single hazardous air pollutant and less than 25 ton/yr of any combination of hazardous air pollutants.

General Permit— A general Permit to Construct may be issued to cover numerous, similar, true minor sources such as asphalt plants, dry cleaners and grain elevators.

Some sources or modification may represent such a minor impact to the air quality that a permit to construct is not required. In such cases, an application for a Construction Permit is required, at which point the Department will determine if a Permit is necessary. Should it be deemed that a Permit is not required, the Department will notify the source in writing as such.


Is modeling required?

Modeling may be required dependent on the amount and types of pollutants emitted by the source. Some source types may be exempt from modeling if they meet the criteria for exemption. For more information on exemptions, inputs, and modeling guidance see Modeling.


A source that has the potential to emit 100 ton/yr or greater of a criteria pollutant, 10 ton/yr or greater of any hazardous air pollutant, or 25 ton/yr or greater of any combination of hazardous air pollutants, and the permittee accepts a federally enforceable limit in the Permit to Construct which limits the potential to emit to the same limit specified for a true minor source.


What are federally enforceable limits?

Typically, a federally-enforceable limit is a physical or operational limitation on the capacity of a source to emit an air pollutant that is capable of being enforced by the federal government and citizens in federal court. A limitation will be considered federally enforceable if it is enforceable as a practical matter.

Examples of federally enforceable limits include:

  • Throughput limits/Production rate limits
  • Operational limits
  • Fuel type and usage amount limits
  • Emission limits over a set period of time

Is modeling required?

Modeling may be required dependent on the amount and types of pollutants emitted by the source. Some source types may be exempt from modeling if they meet the criteria for exemption. For more information on exemptions, inputs, and modeling guidance see Modeling.


A sources that has the potential to emit 100 ton/yr or greater of a criteria pollutant, 10 ton/yr or greater of any hazardous air pollutant, or 25 ton/yr or greater of any combination of hazardous air pollutants is considered a Major Source under Title V of the Clean Air Act (Operating Permits) and may be Major or Minor under the Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) rules depending on source type.


Is modeling required?

Modeling is often required for major sources dependent on the amount and types of pollutants emitted by the source. Some source types may be exempt from modeling if they meet the criteria for exemption. For more information on exemptions, inputs, and modeling guidance see Modeling.


Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD)

Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) applies to new major sources or major modifications at existing sources for pollutants where the area the source is located is in attainment or unclassifiable with the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) . North Dakota is in attainment for all criteria pollutants.

PDS sources require the following:

  • installation of the Best Available Control Technology (BACT) or Best Available Retrofit Technology (BART);
  • an air quality analysis;
  • an additional impacts analysis (modeling); and
  • public involvement

Modeling

Below are a few of the modeling policies that apply to construction permits. If modeling is required for your facility, please see Modeling for guidance documents and more information.


Public Notification and Participation

A 30-day public comment period is required for PTCs which are:

    1. Affected facilities under Chapter 33-15-13— Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants.

    2. New sources that will be required to obtain a Permit to Operate under the Title V Permit Program.

    3. Modifications to an existing facility that will increase the potential to emit from the facility by the following amounts:

      • One hundred tons [90.72 metric tons] per year or more of particulate matter (PM, PM10 PM2.5), sulfur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen oxides (NOx), hydrogen sulfide (H2S), carbon monoxide (CO) or volatile organic compounds (VOCs); or

      • Ten tons [9.07 metric tons] per year or more of any contaminant listed under section 112(b) of the Federal Clean Air Act; or

      • Twenty-five tons [22.68 metric tons] per year or more of any combination of contaminants listed under section 112(b) of the Federal Clean Air Act; or

    1. Sources that the Department has determined to have a major impact on air quality, sources that have received a request for a public comment period from the public, a source with a significant degree of public interest, or those sources that request a federally enforceable permit which limits their potential to emit (i.e. synthetic minor permits).


Permit Type 30-Day Public Comment Required
Major Source
Initial Issue
Yes (newspaper & website)
Synthetic Minor
Initial Issue
Yes (website)
True Minor or Minor by Rule1
Initial Issue
No
Modification of Issued PTC1 See NDAC 33-15-14-02.6 for public comment modification rules.

1 A public comment period may be required if there is a significant level of public interest or if a public comment period has been requested by the permittee or the public.



Construction Permit Packages

The Division has developed pre-made packages of common construction permit application types for easy use. These packages contain some of the commonly used permit forms, policies, and documents that may apply to those permit groups. These are not all inclusive and other forms or rules and regulations may apply to your facility.

Below are forms commonly needed for a construction permit (PTC) for a natural gas compressor station.


Form Name SFN Rev. Date Form Type
Air Contaminant Sources 8516 06-13 Permit Application
Air Pollution Control Equipment 8532 09-12 Permit Application
Flares 59652 09-12 Permit Application
Fuel Burning Equipment for Indirect Heating 8518 09-12 Permit Application
Hazardous Air Pollutant (HAP) Source 8329 09-12 Permit Application
Internal Combustion Engines and Turbines 8891 09-12 Permit Application
Volatile Organic Compounds Storage Tank 8535 10-13 Permit Application

Download All

What happens after my permit is issued?

Construction may begin per NDAC Chapter 33-15-14. Review your permit to see if any testing and/or record-keeping and reporting are required of your facility.

After a permit to construct is issued, the permittee has 18 months to start construction. After construction is completed the permittee is required to notify the Department within 30 days of initial operation. After the Department is notified, Department staff will arrange a site inspection to verify that equipment in place matches what was permitted and that all pollution control equipment is in operation.


Department staff may arrange a facility inspection after initial operation. During the inspection staff will review the equipment in place to verify that it matches equipment listed in the construction permit, and verify that any and all pollution control equipment is present and operational.

After the initial inspection, a summary of inspection findings will be submitted to the permittee. If the facility is in compliance with the construction permit an operating permit may be issued. More information about inspections can be found on our Inspection Page and more information about Operating Permits can be found on our Operating Permit Page .


Engine, stack, and other testing maybe required of equipment to verify emission rates. Review your permit for any testing requirements and any time-frame requirements to complete the testing. Some testing may be required after initial operation, others maybe on specified intervals. More information about testing can be found on our Testing Page.


Depending on the type of facility and equipment, there maybe requirements for record-keeping and reporting to the Department or EPA. These requirements will be listed on your construction permit or within the regulations that apply to it. More information about record-keeping and reporting can be found on our Reporting Page.


I'm looking for an issued permit.

All issued Construction Permits can be found here. If you are looking for issued Permits to Operate you can find those and PTCs on our Permit Portal.

Questions related to a specific Construction Permit call 701.328.5188 or email Craig Thorstenson (cthorstenson@nd.gov).


How long will it take to issue my permit?

Because the permitting process can be very detailed and can include public participation and modeling, it can take from three months to one year to obtain a Permit to Construct. Therefore, plan to submit your application well before the proposed installation and start-up date of the source.

You can find the progress of PTC applications on our In Progress page.


FAQ

Because the permitting process can be very detailed and can include public participation and modeling, it can take from three months to one year to obtain a Permit to Construct. Therefore, plan to submit your application well before the proposed installation and start-up date of the source.

Last Updated: 12/13/2017

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