Air Pollution Control Program (APC)
The Division of Environmental Protection (DEP), and operating until of the Department of Planning & Natural Resources (DPNR), provides regulatory oversight and has authority to implement and enforce air pollution and quality requirements in the USVI. This includes laws and requirements under Title V of the Clean Air Act, as well as the Virgin Islands Air Pollution Control Act Rules and Regulations (VR&R) (i.e., Title 12, Virgin Islands Code, Chapter 9 and the 1995 Rules and Regulations of the Virgin Islands Air Pollution Control Act).
Under the auspices of its Air Pollution Control Program (APC), the DEP is responsible for the following:
Air Quality Monitoring – Weekly particulate matter samples are collected from five monitoring stations in the Territory. The local refinery, HOVENSA, LLC, conducts sulphur dioxide monitoring.
Annual Review of the Air Quality Surveillance System
Compliance Monitoring – Annual or more frequent inspections of regulated facilities are conducted to monitor and determine compliance. DEP also relies on citizen complaints to help identify sources that are not in compliance with local and/ or federal laws.
Permitting – Before a regulated entity can construct, install, erect, or operate an air pollution emission source, on “Authority to Construct Permit” and a Permit to Operate” must be obtained from DEP’s APC program. In general, emission sources that are subject to Title V of the Clean Air Act are classified and referred to as major air pollution sources based on their annual emission levels. However, some pollution sources are subject to Title V based on recent federal requirements, regardless of their emission levels.
Based on the regulatory requirements imposed on operations at major air pollution sources, the Title V Operating Permit Program is a comprehensive high profile program. Permit application processing for major sources is labor-intensive, requiring administrative and technical reviews as well as site assessments, public participation and mandatory public hearings.
Enforcement – The APC Program utilizes at least four (4) enforcement mechanisms in order to bring sources into compliance, including notices of violation, cease-and-desist orders, and notices of deficiencies and notices of non-compliance. In most cases, administrative orders are issued.
Quality Assurance – To ensure the integrity of ambient air quality monitoring networks, the APC Program participates in various self-monitoring activities, including quarterly audits by the DEP Quality Assurance Program Coordinator and equipment flow checks. In addition, the EPA conducts quarterly audits of the DEP’s state and local air monitoring stations (SLAMS) network to evaluate the performance of monitoring equipment and DEP’s proficiency in the implementation of the EPA-approved Quality Assurance Project Plan (QAPP) and associated standard operating procedures.
For more information, please contact:
Environmental Program Manager
(340) 773 – 1082 ext. 2274