5 Tips for a Strategic Approach to Air Permitting in Biotech Facilities


Have you recently increased production or added new equipment to your operations? If so, you may need a new or modified air permit to stay in compliance with local, state, and federal regulations. To an environmental health and safety (EHS) manager, air permitting may seem like an arduous and expensive process; however, what many permittees do not realize is that there can be an upside depending on how you approach the air permitting process. This blog will demonstrate 5 ways Capaccio adds value through its strategic approach to air permitting for biotech facilities.


1. Determine Growth Potential

During the planning stages of an air permit, Capaccio works with the client to map out potential 5-year growth scenarios. During this stage in the permitting process, Capaccio assesses sources on site, current emission calculations, and emission factors used. This allows the client to determine a baseline for current emissions which can be modified as changes take place. Planning efforts provide the client with potential strategies that can be followed to achieve a balance of production flexibility and air compliance.


2. Identify Redundancies in Operation

Along with an emissions baseline, the permitting process gives the client a better understanding of its potential to emit, early on. That way the client can decide the best way to grow its facility’s operations while still maintaining compliance. Capaccio works with clients to determine what processes are most critical to the client. Capaccio also identifies redundant emission units, such as primary and standby boilers, and whether applying operational limits on redundant units can benefit the facility’s potential to emit, giving the facility room to grow.


3. Synthetic Minor Status and Unrestricted Emissions

If no limitations can be made, Capaccio works with the client to obtain a permit with higher limits. Evaluating where a client can reduce potential emissions allows them to determine whether they can be considered a Synthetic Minor, staying below Major Source thresholds. This assessment allows for additional flexibility in the operation of a client's facility and determines whether the client is able to stay a Synthetic Minor or if the facility should become a Major Source and have unrestricted operation and emissions.


4. Encourage the Use of Cleaner and Safer Chemicals

The permitting process not only identifies redundant units but also helps the client identify potential chemical substitutions that can be made to reduce Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) and Hazardous Air Pollutant (HAP) emissions. This allows facilities to reduce process emissions from chemicals high in VOCs and/or HAPs, avoid noncompliance, and possibly avoid increased annual compliance fees.


5. Improve the Efficiency of Surface Disinfectant Usage

If chemical substitution does not provide the expected result, Capaccio works with the client to better assess how it can reduce emissions from the largest emission source. For example, surface disinfection activities can be a large emission source in the biotech industry. Looking at how the disinfectant is applied can help facilities identify process efficiencies. One way this can be achieved is by utilizing pre-moistened surface disinfecting wipes rather than spray bottles.


It is Capaccio’s mission to “help industry and the environment prosper” meaning to help clients be good neighbors and minimize impact on the environment while minimizing the impact to the operational capacity of their biotech facilities. Although air permitting can seem like a daunting task, there is a lot of added value to developing an effective air permit.


Want to learn more about Capaccio’s strategic approach to air permitting? Please contact Lynn Sheridan at LSheridan@capaccio.com or Christine Silverman at CSilverman@capaccio.com.

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