Ohio EPA Considers Allowing General Permits for Compressor Stations; Opens Pre-Comment Period for Interested Parties

Requesting feedback from interested parties, Ohio EPA today announced a “pre-comment period” related to the Agency’s drafts of general permits for oil and natural gas mid-stream compressor stations. Currently, air emissions at these facilities are subject to more lengthy case-by-case permits. By contrast, applications for general permits follow a template and can be issued for common pieces of equipment that (as a result of specific engineering and conditions) have more predictable emissions characteristics.

Under the proposal, applicants would be required to demonstrate that the equipment qualifies for a general permit, and agree to meet pre-defined permit terms including installation and/or operating requirements, monitoring, record-keeping and reporting. Among the common pieces of equipment that would potentially qualify for general permits:

  • natural gas fired spark ignition compressor engines (four lean burn size choices, five rich burn choices);
  • diesel engines (two size choices);
  • dehydrators;
  • flares (one open flare or two enclosed flare choices);
  • compressors;
  • equipment (pipes, valves, flanges, pumps, etc.) that has the potential to leak;
  • liquid storage tanks;
  • truck loading operations; and
  • pigging operations.

In recent years, Ohio has seen a large increase in the number of compressor stations due to the expansion of the oil & gas industry in eastern Ohio. General permits are an effective means to track and regulate air emissions and can be more efficient and timely for processing. After Ohio EPA reviews feedback received during this pre-comment period and the Agency makes appropriate revisions to the initial drafts, an official 30-day comment period will begin, with public comments formally considered before a final decision is made on the general permits.

Interested parties may review the general permits drafts at: http://epa.ohio.gov/dapc/genpermit/permitsec.aspx.

Related comments should be submitted prior to September 18, 2015 and may be emailed to: Dana.Thompson@epa.ohio.gov.


The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency was created in 1972 to consolidate efforts to protect and improve air quality, water quality and waste management in Ohio. Since then, air pollutants dropped by as much as 90 percent; large rivers meeting standards improved from 21 percent to 89 percent; and hundreds of polluting, open dumps were replaced with engineered landfills and an increased emphasis on waste reduction and recycling.