Skip to main content
Environmental Management Assistance Program
877-ask-emap

Speak Up for Your Small Business: DEP Invites Public Comments on Crematory Incinerator Permits

Written on . Posted in , , .
The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is inviting public comments on the proposed General Plan Approval (GPA) and General Operating Permit (GP) for Human or Animal Crematory Incinerators (BAQ-GPA/GP-14 or GP-14). This opportunity is particularly relevant for small businesses, including small animal and human crematories, as well as veterinary clinics, who may have an existing air quality permit.

Key Details:

The permit type is a proposed General Plan Approval (GPA) and General Operating Permit (GP), applicable to human or animal crematory incinerators with rated capacities less than 500 pounds per hour. The authority for this permit was developed under section 6.1(f) of the Air Pollution Control Act (35 P.S. § 4006.1(f)) and 25 Pa. Code Chapter 127, Subchapter H. The proposed GP-14 includes visible and odor emissions monitoring.

Facilities must maintain records of maintenance performed, municipal notifications, malfunction reporting, and annual facility inventory reporting. These records must be kept onsite or at the nearest local field office for 5 years.

The fees associated with the permit include a General Plan Approval application fee of $1,600, a General Operating Permit application/renewal fee of $750, an Annual Operating Permit maintenance fee of $500, a Transfer of ownership fee of $500, and an Administrative amendment fee of $500. The permit term is 5 years, and approved authorizations can be renewed before the expiration date.

Work Practice Standards:

  • Temperature Requirements:
    • Before charging the unit, the temperature at the exit of the secondary (or last) chamber shall achieve and be maintained at or above 1600°F throughout the cremation cycle.
    • For units that are charged when both chambers are cold, the temperature at the exit of the secondary (or last) chamber shall achieve and be maintained at or above 1600°F before firing of the primary chamber burner.
  • Interlock System:
    • The crematory incinerator shall provide an interlock system that precludes charging of the primary chamber until the secondary (or last) chamber exit temperature is established and holding at 1600°F.
    • In units charged when both chambers are cold:
      • The crematory incinerator shall also provide an interlock system that precludes firing the primary chamber burner until the secondary chamber exit temperature is established and holding at 1600°F.
      • The unit shall not be charged until the primary chamber is cooled to less than 150°F after the previous cremation cycle.
  • Operator Guidelines:
    • Operators may open the charge door during the cremation cycle for short periods of time to inspect or reposition the remains. If the owner or operator opens the charge door, they must follow the manufacturer’s recommended written specifications for operating the unit during inspection.

How to Participate:

To participate, you can review the full proposal on the Pennsylvania Bulletin. You can submit comments using the Department’s eComment system at www.ahs.dep.pa.gov/eComment or by email to ecomment@pa.gov. The Department must receive comments no later than June 17, 2024.
Jeremy Hancher is the EMAP Program Manager located at the Widener University SBDC.  He holds over 15 years of experience in environmental compliance, environmental policy, and program management.  He is proud to be the team lead of the award-winning EMAP program which provides free and confidential environmental assistance to the Pennsylvania small business community in fulfillment of the requirements of the Pennsylvania Air Pollution Control Act and Section 507 of the federal Clean Air Act.
In 2015, Jeremy was part of the team effort when EMAP was recognized by US EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy for Outstanding Accomplishments by a State Small Business Environmental Assistance Provider in Providing Technical Environmental Assistance to the Small Business Community. Jeremy holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Pittsburgh, a Master’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania, and a certificate from the Wharton School.