Ohio law authorizes the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (Ohio EPA) to “develop a model general permit for any category of air contaminant sources, or specific portions of any category of air contaminant sources,” subject to certain specified conditions. Ohio law also permits certain categories of air pollution sources to avoid the Permit-To-Install and Operate (“PTIO”) process and, instead, effectively obtain a permit-by-rule, if they meet certain rule-based “criteria, emission limitations, conditions for operation and [record-keeping and reporting] requirements.” 

On Feb. 15, 2013, the Ohio EPA announced proposed revisions to the existing general permit for oil and gas well-site production operations that incorporate the requirements of the New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) for the Oil and Natural Gas Sector (Subpart OOOO), published by the United States EPA in August 2012.

On Feb. 15, 2013, the Ohio EPA also announced a proposed new alternative general permit for oil and gas well sites. The Ohio EPA explained that the new general permit would “allow[ ] the owner/operator to install a larger flare/combustion device if they are willing to live with a tighter limit on total horsepower of the natural gas engines.”

Finally, on Feb. 15, 2013, the Ohio EPA announced proposed revisions to the general permit for unpaved roadways and parking areas with a maximum of 120,000 vehicle miles traveled per year and a new permit-by-rule for well flow back operations. 

Interested parties may submit comments on the proposed changes through March 22. Additional information about the proposed rule changes and instructions for submitting comments is available on Ohio EPA’s website.