Air Permitting and Compliance for Denver Metro Medical Facilities
Air quality regulations are complex, and the approach to compliance can vary. Many facilities operate boilers and stationary engines without understanding the air quality requirements that apply to these emission sources.
Each day a business operates without recognizing these regulations, it risks receiving a notice of violation, a letter of non-compliance, or worse, monetary fines from regulatory agencies, as well as possible project delays and other costs.
Additionally, when a facility is located in an ozone nonattainment area, the state and local governments have three years to develop implementation plans outlining how the areas will attain and maintain the standards by reducing air pollutant emissions. Facilities located in nonattainment areas are subject to more stringent requirements and increased scrutiny.
Our Client’s Challenge
The City of Denver and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) focused on several Denver metro area medical facilities located in the ozone nonattainment area. The CDPHE issued two medical facilities compliance advisories regarding air permitting for boilers and emergency generators.
Gannett Fleming was retained by both medical facilities to respond to the CDPHE’s inspections and compliance advisory notices to address inquiries, assist with permitting submissions, and develop compliance tracking tools to prevent future violations.
The Gannett Fleming team’s first step was reviewing and responding to agency inquiries. The team investigated alleged violations for failure to submit air pollutant emission notices (APENs) prior to construction, failure to obtain an operating permit, and lack of compliance with air permits and federal and state requirements related to:
- Equipment labeling.
- Emissions calculations.
- Fuel usage tracking.
- Records of fuel specifications.
- Opacity observations, notifications, and other demonstrations of compliance.
Next, the team inventoried active operational equipment, such as boilers, emergency generator engines, paint booths, and laboratory solvents, and developed Potential to Emit (PTE) and Actual Emissions calculations. The PTE emissions were calculated using maximum design fuel consumption and either emissions data from the equipment manufacturer or published U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) emission factors. Actual emissions were calculated based on fuel consumption data for the prior years within the scope.
To develop the emissions estimates, the team gathered information from the medical facilities, including equipment specifications, operational data, and other information related to air emissions and compliance. Resulting emissions estimates were used to help determine which allegations may be disputed and which may not. The team helped prepare responses to alleged violations. In some cases, the response required preparing and submitting complete air permit applications, or APENs, for unpermitted or inaccurately permitted units.
Finally, the team developed emissions tracking tools to provide for ongoing compliance demonstration into the future, as well as a list of compliance actions, frequencies, and deadlines to track.
- Investigated alleged CDPHE violations.
- Inventoried active operational equipment.
- Calculated PTE emissions.
- Developed emissions estimates.
- Submitted complete APENs.
Awards & Recognition
- Awards. This web part is hidden.
- Resolved alleged violations.
- Demonstrated compliance with air quality permitting requirements.
- Implemented the use of compliance tracking tools to prevent recurring issues.