As of October 5th, 2018, the New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) has issued a new permitting mechanism for oil and gas production facilities in New Mexico (excluding Bernalillo County, tribal lands, non-attainment areas, and City of Sunland Park). This permit is a new General Construction Permit (GCP), the GCP-Temporary Control (GCP-TC), which is favorable since GCPs have the advantage of a streamlined agency review and issuance process along with standardized permit conditions. The new GCP-TC can be used to allow temporary control of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) by authorizing the installation of a flare or combustor at a site for up to twelve (12) consecutive months.

There are two forms of this new permit; one for minor sources (GCP-TC-Minor) and one for Title V major sources (GCP-TC-Major). The most significant difference between these two authorizations are the monitoring requirements. Each permit establishes monitoring, recordkeeping, and reporting conditions for the authorized flare/combustor that meet the requirements of their respective regulations; Part 72 of the New Mexico Administrative Code (NMAC) for major sources and Part 70 NMAC for minor sources. In addition, the permits will have different annual fee requirements (in accordance with Part 71 NMAC for major and Part 75 NMAC for minor) and the GCP-TC-Major application will require public notice.

The most significant benefit of these new permitting mechanisms will be the ability for oil and gas production facilities to use them to establish federally enforceable limits. Major facilities that are potentially subject to Title V or PSD permitting can use the GCP-TC-Minor permit to reduce their emissions below both Title V and PSD major source thresholds. Similarly, major facilities potentially subject to PSD permitting can use the GCP-TC-Major to stay below PSD permitting thresholds.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at Trinity's Albuquerque office at (505) 266-6611 or rreese@trinityconsultants.com.