Tech Focus: Automation – the Future of Air Permitting
Cloud computing and artificial intelligence are revolutionizing the world around us—and it’s time to embrace these cutting-edge technologies in the world of air permitting, as well. The current model for preparing air permit applications consists of numerous manual steps. This model does not take advantage of time-saving actions via applications and automated systems, it needs a high level of review prior to submitting a final product, and it leaves valuable permitting data trapped in “spreadsheet silos.”
Langan uses Permit Vault to provide an automated process for preparing air permit applications. Guided by qualified professionals, this process uses smart technology to make applicability determinations, perform calculations, complete forms and area maps, perform screen dispersion modeling, and create final application PDFs for agency submittals—all in record time.
The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality has tested and approved this automated process through the approval of hundreds of applications. It is currently available for use in a variety of oil and gas applications in Texas, with several more states and industry segments coming soon.
The automated process provides the following benefits:
- With extensive automation and qualified professionals guiding the process, PDF applications can be prepared in a fraction of the time
- Automation minimizes the risk of error from manual data translation, propagating errors in calculation tools, and other risk-prone sources
- Consistent, organized application structure and virtually error-free applications lead to faster agency review time while significantly reducing the need for agency Q&A
- Data and trends from applications can be evaluated across facilities and harnessed for use in compliance planning and ESG efforts
We are at an interesting crossroads with companies facing both an unprecedented rise in stakeholder expectations regarding voluntary ESG disclosures as well as tremendous regulatory pressures and ever-increasing permitting and compliance requirements. It is inevitable that these two worlds will converge, and we believe companies that streamline data, processes, and efforts across the regulatory and voluntary landscapes will ultimately be best positioned for the future. An air permit is the “emissions blueprint” for a facility, and we believe a successful air permitting program is a fundamental prerequisite for the success of the company’s broader ESG program.
Companies seeking to improve cost, reliability, and turnaround times should contact Langan’s team of air quality professionals to help with air permitting actions.
Erin Hansen, PE (TX, CO, NM, UT) is an Environmental Engineer with 10 years of air quality permitting and compliance experience, focusing on oil & gas and nonattainment-area projects.