2015 Shaping Up to Be Busy in the World of Air Toxics
Posted: February 16th, 2015Author: All4 Staff
Our August 2014 4 The Record newsletter focused on air toxics, and specifically the residual risk and technology review (RTR) process required by the Clean Air Act (CAA). Our discussions on how the RTR process can alter the landscape of regulatory requirements for National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAPs) are proving to be timely, as this topic was on the agenda for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) and Air & Waste Management Association (A&WMA) information exchange meeting in December 2014. However, regulatory developments this month may have an even larger impact on NESHAPs for the coming years, making our newsletter seem almost prophetic.
On February 3, 2015, Earthjustice submitted a Notice of Citizen Suit Concerning Clean Air Act Deadlines to U.S. EPA for its failure to implement the RTR process for over 30 NESHAPs. This notice starts a 60-day clock for U.S. EPA to perform its RTR duties; otherwise, the organizations represented by Earthjustice may commence a citizen suit. It would be next to impossible for U.S. EPA to meet this 60-day deadline (which is established by the CAA) given how far behind schedule it already is, and due to its competing resources and its funding issues, particularly within the air toxics program. During the information exchange meeting, U.S. EPA indicated that surface coating NESHAPs will be a major portion of this year’s RTR process. For example, the proposed RTR rule for Aerospace Manufacturing and Rework Facilities was signed on January 22, 2015. In addition, source categories such as Integrated Iron and Steel Manufacturing, Coke Ovens, Publicly Owned Treatment Works, Plywood and Composite Wood Products, and Ethylene Production also are expected to be priorities.
Please take a moment to review the Earthjustice letter for source categories that impact you and stay tuned to our blogs for continuing updates on the RTR regulatory process.