In 2019, we can expect continued high levels of activity in New Jersey’s air quality program. NJDEP has been busy implementing the new reporting thresholds finalized in last year’s RATE rulemaking, and has also finalized updates to Technical Manual 1002 Guidance on Preparing an Air Quality Monitoring Protocol, and Technical Manual 1003 Guidance on Preparing a Risk Assessment for Air Contaminant Emissions. NJDEP also continues to work on changes and updates to its Risk Screening Worksheet, including clarifying changes to the Worksheet guidance and instructions governing use of the Worksheet in lieu of a refined health risk assessment. The Worksheet also clarifies that where a refined health risk assessment is required, the applicant may opt to have the Department perform the assessment (and the submittals that are required to support such assessment) or may opt to perform the assessment itself in accordance with Technical Manuals 1002 and 1003. Other updates to the Worksheet will focus on the methodologies used to determine the Worksheet’s health risk outputs, with further discussion of these updates anticipated to occur at February’s Industrial Stakeholder Meeting.

NJDEP continues to work on new and revised general permits, including the revised general permit GP-016A (Manufacturing and Materials Handling Equipment) and the new GP-015A (Plating, etching, pickling and electropolishing operations), which are now available for use. Other general permits are also in the works for 2019. The Department announced a new Startup Shutdown and Malfunction guidance for permitting, available here. With respect to new guidance from EPA, NJDEP has stated that it will not follow EPA’s January 2018 Once In/Always In policy, but will continue to follow EPA’s 1995 policy on this subject.

Most recently, NJDEP has announced its intention to commence a rulemaking process that will (1) clarify permit applicability for fumigation operations; (2) evaluate the addition of hydrogen sulfide, sulfuryl fluoride and n-propyl bromide to NJDEP’s list of hazardous air pollutants governed under Subchapter 17; and (3) evaluate a requirement to report additional substances through emission statements, based on its review of the relative risk of substances emitted by permitted facilities not currently required to be reported. NJDEP has extended invitations to a stakeholder meeting in January to discuss these potential rulemaking items.