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Notice Requesting Public Comment on Draft Title V and Chapter 2 Air Quality Operating Permit, National Zoological Park

Friday, March 27, 2020


Notice Requesting Public Comment on Draft Title V and Chapter 2 Air Quality Operating Permit Modification for Smithsonian Institution, National Zoological Park

Notice is hereby given that the Smithsonian Institution has applied for a Title V air quality permit significant modification pursuant to the requirements of Title 20 of the District of Columbia Municipal Regulations, Chapters 2 and 3 (20 DCMR Chapters 2 and 3) and that the Air Quality Division (AQD) of the Department of Energy and Environment (DOEE) is proposing to issue a permit modification (No. 024-R2-A1) in response to this application. The facility is the National Zoological Park, located at 3001 Connecticut Ave. NW, Washington DC 20008. This permit modification only revises Condition III(c) of the permit to remove the reference to a 15 kWe propane emergency generator set and to include a new Condition III(h) covering the a recently installed diesel-fired emergency standby generator set. No other portions of the permit are affected. This action does not extend the expiration date of the original permit.

The contact person for the facility is John Michael Bixler, Deputy Director of Facilities Management, Smithsonian Institution, at 202-633-5477.

The National Zoological Park has the potential to emit greater than the District’s major source threshold of 25 tons per year of NOx.  Therefore, the facility is classified as a major source of air pollution and is subject to 20 DCMR Chapter 3 and must obtain an operating permit modification when applicable under the regulation.


The following table shows the effect of the generator replacement on the potential to emit (PTE) of the facility in tons per year:

Criteria Pollutants

Potential Emissions of Removed Generator

Potential Emissions of New Generator

Change from Project

Facility PTE After Generator Replacement

Sulfur Dioxide (SO2)





Oxides of Nitrogen (NOx)





Total Particulate Matter including condensables (PM Total)





Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC)





Carbon Monoxide (CO)





Total Hazardous Air Pollutants (HAPs)





Not previously estimated, but expected to have been insignificant given the size and fuel type of the unit.

Note that the facility-wide potential to emit was updated for several units since the 2017 permit renewal action resulting in changes to estimates of emissions from various activities at the facility. The most significant changes were a significant decrease in VOC emissions facility-wide, especially from non-booth painting operations, and a slight overall decrease in HAP emissions due to several offsetting increases and decreases.

The National Zoological Park has the PTE of 67.11 tons per year (TPY) of NOx. This total exceeds the major source threshold in the District of Columbia of 25 TPY of NOx or VOCs, and/or 100 TPY of any other criteria pollutant.  Because potential emissions of NOx exceed the relevant major source threshold, pursuant to 20 DCMR 300.1(a), the source is subject to Chapter 3 and must obtain an operating permit in accordance with that regulation and Title V of the federal Clean Air Act.

DOEE has reviewed the permit application and related documents and has made a preliminary determination that the applicant meets all applicable air quality requirements promulgated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the District. Therefore, draft permit No. 024-R2-A1 has been prepared.

The application, the draft permit, and all other materials submitted by the applicant [except those entitled to confidential treatment under 20 DCMR 301.1(c)] considered in making this preliminary determination are available for public review during normal business hours at the offices of the Department of Energy and Environment, 1200 First Street NE, 5th Floor, Washington DC 20002. Copies of the draft permit and related fact sheet are available at

A public hearing on this permitting action will not be held unless DOEE has received a request for such a hearing within 30 days of the publication of this notice.  Interested parties may also submit written comments on the permitting action. 

Comments on the draft permit and any request for a public hearing should be addressed to:

Stephen S. Ours    
Chief, Permitting Branch - Air Quality Division

Department of Energy and Environment
1200 First Street NE, 5th Floor
Washington, DC 20002

[email protected]


No comments or hearing requests submitted after April 27, 2020 will be accepted.


For more information, please contact Olivia Achuko at (202) 535-2997 or [email protected].