Tribal NSR Permits in Region 9

EPA has authority to issue Non-attainment New Source Review Permits (major non-attainment NSR) and minor New Source Review permits (minor NSR) on Tribal Lands under 40 CFR 49. Note that EPA issues Prevention of Significant Deterioration permits under 40 CFR 52.21 on Tribal Lands as well. For a listing of PSD permits go to the PSD permits page in Region 9.

Tribal Minor New Source Review Permitting

On this page:

About Tribal Minor New Source Review Permitting

EPA promulgated the Review of New Sources and Modifications in Indian Country (PDF) (62 pp, 499 K, About PDF) on July 1, 2011. The final rule is a federal implementation plan (FIP) that outlines preconstruction permitting of air pollution control requirements for industrial facilities located in Indian country Exit.

The FIP includes two New Source Review (NSR) rules for the protection of air quality in Indian country. One of those rules, known as the Tribal Minor NSR Rule, applies to new industrial facilities or modifications at existing industrial facilities with projected emissions that are more than the minor NSR thresholds but less than the major NSR thresholds, which are generally 100 to 250 tons per year (tpy).

The FIP allows EPA Region 9 to review applications for and issue minor NSR permits to industrial facilities within the federally-recognized external boundaries of Reservations in the Region (Arizona, California, Hawaii, and Nevada). The FIP also allows EPA to delegate that authority to tribes in the Region that request it and are able to demonstrate appropriate capability to implement the FIP. Additionally, the FIP can be replaced by an EPA-approved tribal implementation plan (TIP).

The Tribal Minor NSR program provides three options for obtaining permits:
  • Site-Specific Permits - includes case-by-case determinations of the source emission limits as well as any control technology requirements
  • General Permits - permits that have been developed for a number of similar equipment types or facilities to simplify the permit issuance process for facilities; or
  • Synthetic Minor Permits – applies to a facility that has the potential to emit pollutants in amounts that are at or above major source thresholds, but has voluntarily accepted emission limits so that its potential emissions are below those thresholds, allowing the facility to avoid more stringent major NSR requirements of the Clean Air Act, such as Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD), and Title V Operating Permit requirements. This option is available to different types of facilities, including those that emit hazardous air pollutants so that they will not be subject to National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants, also known as Maximum Available Control Technology (MACT) standards, for major sources.

The permit issuance process includes public notice and comment requirements, as well as administrative and judicial review provisions.

Minor NSR Thresholds

Your potential regulated air pollutant emissions must be greater than the thresholds in the table below and less than the major NSR thresholds.

Table 1 to 40 CFR 49.153. Minor NSR Thresholdsa
Regulated NSR pollutant Minor NSR thresholds for nonattainment areas (tpy) Minor NSR thresholds for attainment areas (tpy)
Carbon monoxide (CO) 5 10
Nitrogen oxides (NOx) 5b 10
Sulfur dioxide (SO2) 5 10
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) 2b 5
PM 5 10
PM10 1 5
PM2.5 0.6 3
Lead 0.1 0.1
Fluorides NA 1
Sulfuric acid mist NA 2
Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) NA 2
Total reduced sulfur (including H2S) NA 2
Reduced sulfur compounds (including H2S) NA 2
Municipal waste combustor emissions NA 2
Municipal solid waste landfill emissions (measured as nonmethane organic compounds) NA 10

a If part of a tribe's area of Indian country is designated as attainment and another part as nonattainment, the applicable threshold for a proposed facility or modification is determined based on the designation where the facility would be located. If the facility straddles the two areas, the more stringent thresholds apply.
b In extreme ozone nonattainment areas, section 182(e)(2) of the Act specifies that any change at a major facility that results in any increase in emissions is subject to permitting. In other words, any changes to existing major facilities in extreme ozone nonattainment areas must comply with a “0” tpy threshold, but that threshold does not apply to minor facilities.

Which Form Should I use?

  • Existing Source only needing to register (no construction or modification)
    • Submit Form REG
  • General Permits/Permits by Rule
    • Forms for each general permit/permit by rule are available on the EPA’s Tribal Minor New Source Review webpage. In addition, Forms CLOSURE, OWN, and LOC above can also be used by sources with general permits. If your source is not eligible for a general permit you may apply for a site-specific permit using the forms above, as applicable.
  • Administrative Changes
    • Submit Form AMEND, OWN, LOC, or CLOSURE, as applicable
    • Existing sources needing permit revisions that qualify as administrative amendments should submit Form AMEND. For example, modifications to an existing source that are below the minor NSR thresholds.
    • For a change in ownership or a change in location (for portable sources) submit Form OWN or LOC, respectively.
    • For a permanent (non-seasonal) closure, submit Form CLOSURE.
  • Oil and Gas Industry Sources with construction or modifications projects from August 30, 2011 to March 2, 2016
    • Submit Form REG within 90 days after you begin operating
    • No permit required
  • Synthetic Minor Limit(s)
    • Submit Form SYNMIN
    • A source may apply for a synthetic minor limit at any time. However, if the limit is associated with a construction or modification project then also submit Form NEW.
  • Existing Major Sources with proposed construction or modification projects that are subject to minor NSR
    • Submit Form NEW for preconstruction approval
  • New or Modified Minor Sources (except Oil and Gas Industry Sources until March 2, 2016) with proposed construction or modifications that are subject to minor NSR
    • Submit Form NEW for preconstruction approval

Application Forms

Currently Available Forms

General Permits

General permits or Permits by Rule are now available at EPA's Tribal Minor New Source Review web page for the following source categories:
  • Hot mix asphalt plants;
  • Stone quarrying, crushing, and screening facilities;
  • Gasoline dispensing facilities;
  • Petroleum dry cleaners; and
  • Auto body repair and miscellaneous surface coating operations.

Implementation Tools

Implementation tools can be found on EPA's Tribal Minor New Source Review Web page.

Tribal NSR Permits

For further information related to Tribal NSR permits, please contact us at

Tribal NSR Permits Pending in Region 9

Facility Name State Location Type Action Related Documents Date
N/A CA Indian Country within California Gasoline Dispensing Facilities General Permit California Tribal Gasoline Permits 2017/01/31
Bureau of Reclamation AZ Fort Yuma Quechan Reservation, near Yuma, AZ Dredging Minor NSR Permit Minor New Source Review Permit Application 2016/09/14
Fluidic, Inc AZ Salt River Pima-Maricopa, near Scottsdale, AZ Battery Substrate Manufacturing Minor NSR Permit Minor New Source Review Permit Application 2016/10/11
WRT Indio, LLC CA Cabazon Reservation near Mecca, CA Energy Recovery Unit/Dryer Synthetic Minor NSR Permit Synthetic Minor NSR Permit Application 2016/06/27

Tribal NSR Permits Issued by Region 9

Facility Name State Location Type Action Related Documents Date
Desert View Power CA Cabazon Reservation, near Mecca, CA Power Plant Administrative Amendment
Related Documents 2015/05/22
SRP Navajo Generating Station AZ Navajo Nation, near Page, AZ Power Plant Administrative Amendment Docket #EPA-R09-OAR-2016-0249 2015/08/26
SRP Navajo Generating Station AZ Navajo Nation, near Page, AZ Power Plant Minor NSR Permit Docket #EPA-R09-OAR-2016-0026 2016/04/20

Requests for Coverage Under a General Permit or Permit by Rule

Facility Name State Location Type Action Related Documents Date
Fisher Sand & Gravel New Mexico, Inc. – Grey Mesa Gravel Pit NM Navajo Nation, near Newcomb, NM Stone Quarrying, Crushing, and Screening Facility Approved Related Documents 2015/11/05