Legal Defense for Air Operating Permit Noncompliance
One of our food and beverage clients was faced with a difficult situation: their newly acquired facility didn’t have the correct air operating permit-and hadn’t for over 20 years. Because the client was adding a new product line, and needed the appropriate permits for the new and existing processes, the insufficient permit needed to be addressed. To be successful, the client needed to fully address the noncompliant status, acquire the necessary air operating permit, demonstrate the facility wasn’t out of compliance (despite not having the correct permit), negotiate the Corrective Action Plan with the regulator, and finally, negotiate the civil penalty assessed by the State Attorney General.
To confront the list of needs above, Antea Group created the following action plan:
- Development of a strategic response plan.
- Development of written response to the State-issued Notice of Violation (NOV).
- Development of a Corrective Action Plan (CAP).
- Met with the State regulator to present the CAP and seek approval.
- Preparation of an air permit application to secure the appropriate air operating permit.
- Registration of the client with the State’s Emission Reduction Market System
- Arrangement for the purchase of the appropriate number of emission credits to achieve compliance
- Presentation of the client’s defense to the State Attorney General
- Worked with the client’s legal counsel for penalty reduction
The Antea Group team included an air compliance subject matter expert for major source permitting, who lead a team of experienced air compliance personnel. They worked swiftly to ensure a rapid and quality response to the issues at hand and to work with State Regulator.
Antea Group also worked to secure the emission credits needed by the facility to offset their emissions, and trained the client’s personnel in order to have an Emission Reduction Market System officer in place at the facility.
At the beginning of the project, the client was potentially facing closure of the newly acquired facility. Antea Group was able to meet with the State Regulator, and successfully present the client’s defense to the State Attorney General. As the client was able to meet all the terms laid out in the Corrective Action Plan, they were able to secure the appropriate air operating permit and continue production at the facility. The original penalty was reduced from over $2 million to $365,000, ensuring the client could save jobs and successfully invest in the facility by installing new operations and upgrading equipment.