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(1) Pursuant to section 7503 of the FCAA, emission offsets in nonattainment areas are required to be in the form of, and against, actual emissions. Actual emissions preceding the filing of the application to construct or modify a source are the baseline for determining credit for emission and air quality offsets, as determined in compliance with this subchapter.

(2) Where the emission limitation under the Montana State Implementation Plan allows greater emissions than the actual emissions of the source, emission offset credit will be allowed only for control below the actual emissions.

(3) For an existing fuel combustion source, credit shall be based on the actual emissions for the type of fuel being burned at the time the application to construct is filed. If the existing source commits to switch to a cleaner fuel at some future date, emissions offsets credit based on the actual emissions for the fuels involved is not acceptable, unless the Montana air quality permit is conditioned to require the use of a specified alternative control measure which would achieve the same degree of emissions reduction should the source switch back to a dirtier fuel at some later date. The department shall ensure that adequate long-term supplies of the new fuel are available before granting emissions offset credit for fuel switches.

(4) Emission reductions achieved by shutting down an existing source or curtailing production or operating hours below baseline levels may be generally credited if such reductions are permanent, quantifiable, and federally enforceable, and if the area has an EPA-approved attainment plan. In addition, the shutdown or curtailment is creditable only if it occurred on or after the date specified for this purpose in the Montana State Implementation Plan, and if such date is on or after the date of the most recent emissions inventory used in the plan's demonstration of attainment. Where the plan does not specify a cutoff date for shutdown credits, the date of the most recent emissions inventory or attainment demonstration, as the case may be, shall apply. However, in no event may credit be given for shutdowns which occurred prior to August 7, 1977. For purposes of this (4) , the department may choose to consider a prior shutdown or curtailment to have occurred after the date of its most recent emissions inventory, if the inventory explicitly includes as current "existing" emissions the emissions from such previously shutdown or curtailed sources. Such reductions may be credited in the absence of an approved attainment demonstration only if the shutdown or curtailment occurred on or after the date the new source's air quality application is filed, or if the applicant can establish that the proposed new source is a replacement for the shutdown or curtailed source, and the cutoff date provisions described earlier in this (4) are observed.

(5) No emissions credit shall be allowed for replacing one hydrocarbon compound with another of lesser reactivity, except for those compounds listed in Table 1 of EPA's "Recommended Policy on Control of Volatile Organic Compounds" (42 FR 35314, July 8, 1977) .

(6) All emission reductions claimed as offset credit shall be federally enforceable.

(7) Emission offsets may only be obtained from the same source or other sources in the same nonattainment area, except that the department may allow the owner or operator of a proposed source to obtain such emission reductions in another nonattainment area if:

(a) the other nonattainment area has an equal or higher nonattainment classification for the same pollutant than the area in which the proposed source will locate; and

(b) emissions from the other nonattainment area contribute to a violation of a national ambient air quality standard in the nonattainment area in which the proposed source will locate.

(8) In the case of emission offsets involving oxides of nitrogen, offsets will generally be acceptable if obtained from within the same nonattainment area as the new source or from other nonattainment areas which meet the requirements of (6) . However, if the proposed offsets would be from sources located at considerable distances from the new source, the department shall increase the ratio of the required offsets and require a showing by the applicant that nearby offsets were investigated and reasonable alternatives were not available.

(9) In the case of emission offsets involving sulfur dioxide, particulates, and carbon monoxides, areawide mass emission offsets are not acceptable and the applicant shall perform atmospheric simulation modeling to ensure that the emission offsets provide a positive net air quality benefit. However, the department may exempt the applicant from the atmospheric simulation modeling requirement if the emission offsets provide a positive net air quality benefit, are obtained from an existing source on the same premises or in the immediate vicinity of the new source, and the pollutants disperse from substantially the same effective stack height.

(10) Credits for an emissions reduction can be claimed to the extent that the department has not relied on it in issuing any Montana air quality permit under subchapters 7, 8, 9, and 10, or Montana has not relied on it in a demonstration of attainment or reasonable further progress.

(11) Production of and equipment used in the exploration, production, development, storage, or processing of oil and natural gas from stripper wells, are exempt from the additional permitting requirements of subchapter I, part D, subpart IV of the FCAA, and the application of these additional permitting requirements in this subchapter and subchapter 10 to any nonattainment area designated as serious for particulate matter (PM-10) . These sources must comply with all other requirements of section 173 of the FCAA and this subchapter and subchapter 10.

(12) Emission reductions otherwise required by any applicable rule, regulation, Montana air quality permit condition or the FCAA are not creditable as emissions reductions for the purposes of the offset requirement in ARM 17.8.905(1) (c) . Incidental emission reductions which are not otherwise required by any applicable rule, regulation, Montana air quality permit or the FCAA shall be creditable as emission reductions for such purposes if such emission reduction meets the requirements of this rule.

History: 75-2-111, 75-2-203, MCA; IMP, 75-2-202, 75-2-203, 75-2-204, MCA; NEW, 1993 MAR p. 2919, Eff. 12/10/93; TRANS, from DHES, 1996 MAR p. 2285; AMD, 2002 MAR p. 3567, Eff. 12/27/02.

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