Colorado greenhouse gases

On June 23, 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its decision in Utility Air Regulatory Group v. EPA (Case No. 12-1146). The court concluded:

  • The EPA may not treat greenhouse gases as an air pollutant for purposes of determining whether a source is a major source required to obtain a Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) or Title V permit.
  • PSD permits that are otherwise required (based on emissions of other pollutants) may continue to require limitations on greenhouse gas emissions based on the application of Best Available Control Technology.
Colorado revised Regulation No. 3 on Jan.21, 2016, in response to the court decisions and EPA’s corresponding revisions.
A project that is major for PSD for a criteria pollutant triggers PSD review for greenhouse gases if:
  • it has emissions greater than 75,000 tpy CO2e for a new major source, or
  • it has an increase of 75,000 tpy CO2e for an existing major source.
See Regulation No. 3, Part A, Section I.B.44.d.

Tools to calculate and report your project’s CO2e

Permitting considerations

  • A permitting engineer may request additional greenhouse gas information as part of the permit application review.
  • Sources don’t need to submit Air Pollutant Emission Notices (APENs), obtain construction permits or pay annual fees due to their greenhouse gas emissions unless a source is voluntarily requesting a synthetic minor construction permit for greenhouse gas.
  • Other APEN and permitting requirements may apply for non-greenhouse-gas pollutants, including criteria pollutants and hazardous air pollutants.

Applicability for stationary source emissions

If you’re concerned about whether the PSD and/or Title V programs apply to your stationary source, review the requirements in Regulation No. 3 regarding permitting and reporting requirements. Refer to the definitions below to determine the applicability for your stationary source.
PSD applicability determination guide:
  • Part A, Section I.B.44. — Subject to Regulation.
  • Part D, Section II.A.40. — Regulated New Source Review (NSR) Pollutant.
  • Part D, Section II.A.23. — Major Modification.
  • Part D, Section II.A.25. — Major Stationary Source.
Title V applicability determination guide:
  • Part A, Section I.B.44. — Subject to Regulation.
  • Part A, Section I.B.25. — Major Source.

Synthetic minor construction permits

Stationary sources determined to be major sources or major stationary sources have the option to request synthetic minor construction permits for their greenhouse gas emissions to limit the potential to emit to less than the “subject to regulation” thresholds, under Regulation No. 3, Part B, Section II.A.7.
The requirements for synthetic minor sources of greenhouse gases can be found in Regulation No. 3, Part B, “Concerning Construction Permits.”


PS Memo 11-02 Operating permits and the Greenhouse Gas Tailoring Rule