Excess Emissions, Deviations, and Malfunction Determinations

This webpage provides guidance and procedures for malfunction determination requests under 15A NCAC 2D .0535 "Excess Emissions Reporting and Malfunctions" and Title V permit deviations.

Please review the referenced regulation, 15A NCAC 2D .0535, and the May 8, 2002 memo "Definition of Deviation for Title V Reporting."

The following list details the flow of actions for these events.

  1. Companies are required to report excess emissions that last more than four hours to the appropriate Division of Air Quality (DAQ) regional office according to 15A NCAC 2D .0535(f). Upon becoming aware of the excess emissions event, notification is required by 9:00 AM eastern time of the DAQ's next business day. However, sources subject to NSPS, NESHAP, MACT, or any other rule addressing excess emissions shall follow the requirements of that rule.
  2. The initial notification is typically communicated by phone. Under the authority granted by 15A NCAC 2D .0535(f)(3), the DAQ requires facilities to submit a written report of the excess emission event including the following:
           (A) name and location of the facility,
           (B) identification or description of the processes and control devices involved in the malfunction or breakdown,
           (C) the cause and nature of the event,
           (D) time and duration of the violation or the expected duration of the excess emission if the malfunction or breakdown has not been fixed,
           (E) estimated quantity of pollutant emitted,
           (F) steps taken to control the emissions and to prevent recurrences and if the malfunction or breakdown has not been fixed, steps planned to be taken, and
           (G) any other pertinent information requested by the Director.
  3. During the initial telephone notification, the regional office staff will record appropriate information on the "Excess Emissions Notification Form", but will not make a determination that an excess emission event was a malfunction. The DAQ Director will make the determination upon review of the submitted information.
  4. When the Excess Emissions Report is received, it will be evaluated to determine if the excess emissions event meets the criteria for a "malfunction." According to 15A NCAC 2D .0535(a)(2),

    "Malfunction" means any unavoidable failure of air pollution control equipment, process equipment, or process to operate in a normal and usual manner that results in excess emissions. Excess emissions during periods of routine start-up and shutdown of process equipment are not considered to be a malfunction. Failures caused entirely or in part by poor maintenance, careless operations or any other upset condition within the control of the emission source are not considered a malfunction.

    If the excess emissions event results from a recurring condition, then it is not a malfunction. The review of the excess emission event shall also include a review of the Malfunction Abatement Plan (MAP) for the facility, if applicable, to evaluate if the plan was followed. The Director has the authority to require any source to have a MAP.

  5. If the facility holds a Title V permit, the event may also be considered a deviation. These events must be reported within one business day of occurrence with a written notification submitted within two business days. The responsible official must sign the written notification. Deviations must be reported on the semi-annual summary report and annual compliance certification.
  6. After a complete review of the written excess emission report and the MAP (if applicable) has been conducted:
  7.        a) The DAQ Director may deem the excess emission event to be the result of a malfunction. If the event exceeded four hours and was determined to be a malfunction, the DAQ Director will notify the facility in writing.
           b) The excess emissions event may be deemed a violation and appropriate correspondence will be sent to the facility.

Excess Emissions Notification Form

Malfunctions Reporting Flowchart