Fugitive Emissions regulations & environmental compliance analysis

Fugitive Emissions: What you need to know

Governing Law and Regulations

Title V definitions: 40 CFR 70.2

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New Source Review (NSR): 40 CFR 51.165, 40 CFR 51.166, and 40 CFR 52.21

Visible emissions: 40 CFR 60 and 40 CFR 60 Appendix A

Fugitive volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions: 40 CFR 60, 40 CFR 61, and 40 CFR 63

Regulatory Agency

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Office of Air and Radiation

See ADDRESSES & CONTACTS for addresses and telephone numbers.


EPA defines fugitive emissions as unintended emissions from facilities or activities (e.g., construction) that "could not reasonably pass through a stack, chimney, vent, or other functionally equivalent opening." In general, the decision whether to consider emissions as fugitive is a factual determination made by the state permitting agency on a case-by-case basis.

The following are examples of fugitive emissions and fugitive emissions sources:

  • Dust
  • Fine particles
  • Aerosols
  • Quarries
  • Storage piles
  • Leaks or releases from valves, pumps, compressors, flanges

Methods of controlling fugitive particulate emissions include:

  • Enclosures
  • Water spray
  • Chemical dust suppressants
  • Windscreens
  • Vegetative barriers
  • Sweeping paved roads
  • Reducing speed on unpaved roads
  • Paving roads
  • Covering open trucks

The primary method of controlling fugitive VOCs from leaks is the implementation of a leak detection and repair program.

Fugitive Emissions and Major Source Definitions

Generally, a major source is any source that has the potential to emit:

  • 100 tons per year (tpy) or more of any regulated pollutant
  • 10 tpy of a hazardous air pollutant (HAP)
  • 25 tpy of any combination of HAPs

Sources in nonattainment areas for ozone, carbon monoxide (CO), or particulate matter (PM-10) have lower thresholds, depending on the area's classification. See the ...

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