2016 Look Ahead – ALL4 Perspective
Posted: December 30th, 2015Authors: Meghan R. Dan D. John E. Ron H. JP K. Lindsey K. Nick L. Roy R. Sharon S. Eric S. Kayla T. Sally A. All4 Staff
As we do each year, ALL4 looks ahead to the upcoming new year and evaluates the air quality regulatory topics that may matter most to the regulated community. For 2016, it certainly will be the year of Boiler MACT, as facilities gear up to prepare plans and conduct performance testing. We see a continuing trend of electronic reporting and public access to such data. Finally, Federal enforcement initiatives and recently implemented programs are driving new monitoring requirements for affected facilities that will require collaboration between industry, consultants, and equipment vendors. We welcome your feedback on these, and other topics, as you read our articles on what will be hot in 2016.
Please feel free to take a look at the entire Look Ahead, or jump to an article below:
- Next Generation Compliance – The Final Frontier?
- Looking Into 2016 for the Oil and Gas Industry
- Regulation of Greenhouse Gases
- The SO2 Data Requirements Rule in 2016
- Again with the Data
- Benzene Fenceline Monitoring – The Next Phase of Monitoring and Public Transparency on Compliance
- Lessons Learned from E-Reporting
- RCRA Air Emissions Standards – When Regulatory Worlds Collide
- The Eight (8) “Ws” of RACT 2 – Who, What, When, Why, Where, In What Way, and By What Means
- Yes, More Toxic Release Inventory Revisions
- The Window is Closing: A Case for Plantwide Applicability Limits Now
- Facilities, Start Your Engines!
- Refinery Sector Rule – Where Do I Start?
- 4 Rules: Beyond Boiler MACT
Looking Into 2016 for the Oil and Gas Industry | JP Kleinle
Throughout 2015, ALL4 has provided the Oil and Gas Industry with numerous updates on the regulatory happenings affecting the sector. In this article we will look into the crystal ball to see what 2016 may hold.
- 2016 will be a year of change for greenhouse gas (GHG) reporting. The amendments to 40 CFR Part 98, Subpart W (Mandatory GHG Reporting for Petroleum and Natural Gas Systems) become effective January 1, 2016 and will come into play for the 2016 calendar year. GHG reporters will have to begin monitoring, recordkeeping, and calculating emissions in accordance with the amendments beginning January 1, 2016. The first reports to be submitted using the amended requirements will be those submitted March 31, 2017, covering the reporting year 2016. See ALL4’s December 2, 2015 blog on this topic.
- U.S. EPA is expected to take action on the comments for New Source Performance Standard (NSPS) Subpart OOOOa that were received on or before the December 4, 2015 comment period deadline. As you may recall, these comments covered many topics including (but not limited to) applicability thresholds, methods of compliance, and definitions contained in the proposed rules.
- Will we finally get clarity on what constitutes “adjacent?” 2016 may be the year when U.S. EPA decides on a specific definition for the word adjacent. U.S. EPA proposed two (2) different definitions; one (1) that relies on proximity, and one (1) that relies on functional interrelatedness (see ALL4’s September 14, 2014 blog on this topic). Depending on the direction U.S. EPA chooses, this decision could have significant impact on the industry.
- In response to a long-time push from environmentalists, U.S. EPA has agreed to begin a rulemaking which would add natural gas processing facilities to the list of industry sectors subject to Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) reporting (see ALL4’s November 16, 2015 blog on this topic). ALL4 will be watching this rulemaking closely as we move into 2016.
- On August 18, 2015, U.S. EPA posted draft Control Techniques Guidelines (CTGs) for the oil and gas industry in order to reduce volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions from existing oil and gas sources in ozone nonattainment areas, including the Ozone Transport Region (OTR). Within two (2) years of the final issuance of the CTGs, U.S. EPA will require revisions to the appropriate State Implementation Plans (SIPs) (i.e., the States that include ozone nonattainment areas, including the OTR) to incorporate the changes in Reasonably Available Control Technology (RACT) regulations for the oil and gas industry, which will most likely be based on the information presented in these CTGs. We should start to see this process taking shape in 2016.
As you can see, 2016 will be another busy regulatory year for the Oil and Gas Industry. As always, ALL4 will continue to monitor the regulatory changes that are important to your business. In 2016 we will continue to stand ready to support you with your regulatory needs. We wish everyone in the Oil and Gas sector a happy and healthy new year. Please contact JP Kleinle at (610) 933-5246, extension 120, firstname.lastname@example.org or Bob Kuklentz at (610) 933-5246, extension 124, email@example.com to discuss Oil and Gas Industry compliance concerns.
Regulation of Greenhouse Gases | ALL4 Staff
Clean Power Plan
Around this time last year we could only speculate as to when U.S. EPA would finally finalize its highly discussed and oft-revised Clean Power Plan. U.S. EPA came forward on August 3, 2015 with the final version of the Clean Power Plan, which consists of the following components:
- Standards of Performance for New Stationary Sources (i.e., the NSPS) for New Electric Generating Units (EGUs)
- Carbon Pollution Emission Guidelines for Existing EGUs
- Carbon Pollution Standards for Modified and Reconstructed EGUs
How can an EGU expect to be impacted in 2016? Construction of new (or modification or reconstruction of existing) steam generating units, integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) units, or stationary combustion turbines will need to be evaluated henceforth in terms of the new 40 CFR Part 60, Subpart TTTT if the unit has a base load rating of greater than 250 million British thermal units per hour (MMBtu/hr) of fossil fuel and serves a generator capable of selling greater than 25 megawatts (MW) of electricity to a utility power distribution system (grid). In short, these units will need to be able to comply with the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions standards in either Table 1 (steam generating and IGCC units) or Table 2 (combustion turbines) to Subpart TTTT following completion of the proposed project. If you are responsible for an EGU and contemplating a future construction project, we encourage you to review the new performance standards with your ALL4 Project Manager to understand how you will be impacted.
What about an existing EGU that is not planning a project in the short-term? An existing EGU by itself won’t be immediately affected by the Carbon Pollution Emission Guidelines for Existing EGUs because these are guidelines for states. But an existing EGU would be wise to get clear on its State’s current position around achieving the rule’s CO2 reduction goals. U.S. EPA has proposed state-specific rate-based goals for CO2 emissions from the power sector, as well as guidelines for states to follow in developing plans to achieve a 30% CO2 emissions decrease nationwide by 2030. States have until September 2016 (or September 2018 with an approved extension) to submit their plans for approval. In the interim, states are busy reaching a decision as to whether they will develop and submit a plan or otherwise default to the federal plan. Because the Clean Power Plan allows for significant flexibility, states also need to decide how they will achieve their goals — develop individual plans, join in a multiple-state plan, or opt into an interstate cap-and-trade program. States developing individual plans can elect to meet a rate-based goal in pounds per megawatt hour (lb/MWh), a mass-based goal in tons of CO2, or mass-based goals with a new source compliment in tons of CO2. If a state opts for an interstate cap-and-trade program, the states involved must have the same plan basis (mass- or rate- goal).
Need help figuring the out Clean Power Plan or assistance determining if your facility is subject to the GHG NSPS? Please contact ALL4.
GHG Reporting Rule
Through the Mandatory GHG Reporting Rule, U.S. EPA collects and publishes emissions data from individual facilities that are subject to one (1) or more of the over 40 individual subparts of 40 CFR Part 98. To date, Part 98 has been amended more than 25 times since its initial publication in October 2009 in order to add new source categories and to make both clarifying and technical amendments. U.S. EPA was once again active during October 2015 when it finalized new reporting requirements for onshore petroleum and natural gas gathering and boosting activities, onshore natural gas transmission pipelines, completions and workovers of oil wells with hydraulic fracturing, well identification numbers, and confidentiality determinations for new Subpart W data elements. If you are responsible for reporting under Subpart W, we encourage you to review these recent amendments with your ALL4 Project Manager to understand how you will be impacted during the current reporting season and beyond.
The SO2 Data Requirements Rule in 2016 | Dan Dix
If your facility has been affected by the sulfur dioxide (SO2) Data Requirements Rule (DRR), 2016 is going to be a busy and critical year. In case you haven’t read one (1) of the many articles we’ve put out there on which facilities may be affected check out this page that summarizes them all. Essentially you or your State Agency should have begun or will begin in 1st quarter 2016 determining the 1-hour SO2 National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) designation status for areas without existing SO2 ambient monitoring systems. To be affected your facility must emit more than 2,000 tons per year (TPY) of actual SO2 emissions, or is located in an area with a cluster of facilities that as a whole may have similar impacts to singles sources that emit greater than 2,000 TPY. There are three (3) approaches laid out in the SO2 DRR for demonstrating attainment with the 1-hour SO2 NAAQS:
- Conduct air dispersion modeling to show modeled attainment with the 1-hour SO2 NAAQS based on three (3) calendar years of actual emissions; or
- Install an ambient monitor or monitors to measure ambient SO2 concentrations for a period of three (3) years. Often times dispersion modeling will still be used to identify areas of maximum modeled concentrations and therefore where an ambient monitor would be installed.
- Take a federally enforceable permit limit to limit facility-wide SO2 emissions to less than 2,000 TPY of SO2.
The deadline to submit a dispersion modeling protocol or an ambient monitoring plan is July 1, 2016. That means in 1st and 2nd quarter 2016 facilities need to conduct air quality modeling to determine if they can demonstrate compliance with the 1-hour SO2 NAAQS. If an air quality modeling demonstration cannot demonstration compliance with the 1-hour SO2 NAAQS (which ALL4 is seeing more than U.S. EPA initially thought) then an ambient monitoring plan must be prepared. The ambient monitoring plan will include air quality modeling used to properly site the location of an SO2 ambient monitoring station. For sources that elect (and/or are forced) to go the ambient monitoring route this doesn’t leave too much time to meet the January 1, 2017 deadline for ambient monitors to be installed and operating. For those lucky enough not to have experience with ambient monitoring programs six (6) months (or less because the State Agency and U.S. EPA will have to approve your ambient monitoring plan) is not a lot of time to procure, install, and test ambient monitoring equipment. Therefore, ALL4 has been working with our clients to complete air quality modeling analysis a soon as possible and prepare dispersion modeling protocols or ambient monitoring plans for submittal to State Agencies and U.S. EPA well before the July 1, 2016 in an effort to get approval to move forward with the next steps.
The two (2) other deadlines that will require effort in 2016 is the submittal of an air quality modeling demonstration by January 13, 2017 for those that can demonstrate compliance with the SO2 NAAQS through air dispersion modeling. Lastly, a 2,000 TPY SO2 federally enforceable limits will need to be established by January 13, 2017. Happy 2016!
Again with the Data | Eric Swisher
It seems every year I say the same thing, and in 2016 it is not any different. Data collected by continuous monitoring systems (CMS) that are used for compliance purposes are going to be scrutinized by corporate auditors, regulatory agencies, and interested third parties. Why? Because it is a lot more readily available since every year more and more regulations are requiring electronic submittal of data. In 2015 it was sources affect by the Portland Cement MACT. In 2016 it will be sources subject the Major Source Boiler MACT and Refinery MACTs. When will it end? Never. The data collected by CMS are by far the most transparent look at your facility’s operations and compliance demonstration. Once it is submitted in an electronic format it is available to be scrutinized by anyone with minimal Excel skills. What will they find? What questions will that have? Can you answer them?
Do not think that if your facility is using a Data Acquisition and Handling System (DAHS) that your little “magic black box” where all of your data go “magically” spits out compliance demonstrations. It is time to understand process for collecting the data points, validations, averaging periods, alarm sequences, and reporting tools. Even worse if your compliance is demonstrated simply using legacy spreadsheets create by someone else to validate and generate compliance averages. I suppose if we bury our heads in the sand in 2016 that all this will go away, or I will be writing about data management in next year’s annual look-ahead article.
Benzene Fenceline Monitoring – The Next Phase of Monitoring and Public Transparency on Compliance | Nick Leone
The Petroleum Refinery Rule Package was published in the Federal Register on December 1, 2015 officially starting the two (2) year process of preparing for and implementing the 40 CFR Part 63, Subpart CC benzene fenceline monitoring (BFM) requirements. One (1) specific BFM requirement included as part of Subpart CC is the collection of bi-weekly air samples around the “fenceline” of refineries for benzene analysis. U.S. EPA’s intent behind the BFM requirement is to implement a program to identify fugitive emissions from refineries and to be able to implement corrective action to minimize those emissions more quickly than would otherwise be implemented. The default monitoring method in the rule is a passive technique, in conjunction with onsite or locally sourced (meeting data quality and representativeness criteria) hourly meteorological data, to quantify benzene concentrations at the fenceline. Refineries are required to begin their BFM sampling program so that the first official sampling episode begins on or before February 1, 2018. Given this relatively new monitoring approach imposed on refineries by U.S. EPA, here are a few considerations:
- Advanced Monitoring – sophisticated monitoring technology exists to enable facilities (and regulators) to “see” equipment leaks and fugitive emissions that were previously invisible. Facilities will now be generating a tremendous amount of data and because the measurement technique is time integrated (i.e., over a 2-week period) and is measuring ambient/fugitive emissions (as opposed to stack/point source emissions), outside influences can impact the results. For example, tailpipe emissions from nearby roadways or other industrial facilities with upwind emissions.
- Information Age – With advances in technology, information is abundant and quickly accessible. While this has benefits making all parties more informed, is more information really better? High quality data of a lesser quantity may provide much more insight than a large amount of poor quality data. U.S. EPA is looking to provide the public with more information requiring that refineries report BFM data and which will be available to the public. Have you thought about how this data will be managed and quality assured? Will the data be presented in a way that can be clearly understood by the public?
- Plan for Success – The default method proposed by U.S. EPA is a passive analytical technique that is not complicated when compared to the sophistication of operation and maintenance associated with other analytical techniques such as a continuous emissions monitoring system (CEMS). With passive analytical techniques, it is the outside influences and the interpretation of the resulting data that present the challenge. What happens when an abnormally high benzene concentration result is reported from the lab? Were emissions even from your facility? How do facilities handle missing data points due to lost/damaged samples or vandalism? A site-specific monitoring plan (SSMP) should not be another regulatory checkbox as this is where the planning should occur (prior to sampler deployment). The SSMP can be and should be an asset as the foundation and the key to a successful monitoring program.
Refineries are being tasked with implementing a monitoring program based on a philosophy new to them. This comes with new challenges for the industry. There is much experience to be shared from monitoring programs implemented elsewhere. Please contact Nicholas Leone at (610) 933-5246, extension 121 or at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your benzene fenceline monitoring concerns.
Lessons Learned from E-Reporting | Kayla Turney
Various subparts to 40 CFR Parts 60 and 63 [Standards of Performance for New Stationary Sources, commonly referred to as New Source Performance Standards (NSPS), and National Emission Standards of Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAPs), respectively] have electronic reporting (“E-Reporting”) requirements that use U.S. EPA’s new Compliance and Emissions Data Reporting Interface (CEDRI), with some reports needing to be generated using the Electronic Reporting Tool (ERT) before being uploaded to CEDRI. As with any new program, you can expect there are a number of nuances that still need to be worked out of the system. This past year has been one of learning, adapting, and a little frustration with E-Reporting. Here are the top five (5) lessons I’ve learned.
Data entry includes more than just “the basics”
When entering performance test or relative accuracy test audit (RATA) reports into ERT, you need to enter more than just the results. This can become a very large task. Not only do the results need to be entered, but a complete test plan needs to be entered as well. Additional example items required to be entered into ERT include:
– Sampling location information (e.g., upstream/downstream distance from disturbances)
– Control device parameters monitored (e.g., wet scrubber liquid flowrate)
– Calibration gas concentrations
– Fuel sampling lab data
– Pitot coefficients
Some data fields must be customized for the report to compile
The E-Reporting tools (e.g., ERT) do not vary between subparts. For this reason, sometimes a “required” data field might not be applicable to a particular report you are preparing. In order for the report to compile, sometimes data fields must be customized (typically as zero). For example: maybe you did not sample moisture during your stack test but ERT requires moisture values be entered. There is no way to actually tell which data fields are required other than trial and error. Leading into my next lesson…
Comment, comment, comment
The best thing you can do is to comment and explain your work. Since the systems are not perfect and may not exactly fit your facility needs, it is important to insert comments, attachments, etc. whenever possible to justify why you did what you did (e.g., entered dummy zeros).
ERT reports can fail to compile even if nothing is wrong with the data
Yes, you read that correctly. ERT reports can fail to compile into the file suitable for upload to CEDRI due to software bugs. Sometimes the report itself can be perfect but the software just won’t allow it to generate. Unfortunately, there is no way to know whether the issue lies with your data or with the software. All you can do is shutdown the program, shutdown your computer, sometimes re-install the software, cross your fingers, and hope for the best on the next try.
E-Reporting isn’t going to go away
There are more and more NSPS and NESHAPs with promulgated E-Reporting requirements and the number is only going to grow. We are living in a computer age and U.S. EPA is no exception. It is better to get ahead of the curve when it comes to E-Reporting.
RCRA Air Emissions Standards – When Regulatory Worlds Collide | ALL4 Staff
Every three (3) years, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) selects National Enforcement Initiatives (NEIs) to address specific environmental problems, risks, or patterns of noncompliance. According to U.S. EPA, these initiatives are reevaluated every three (3) years in order to focus Federal enforcement resources on the most important environmental problems where noncompliance is a significant contributing factor, and where Federal enforcement attention can have a significant impact. On September 15, 2015, U.S. EPA released for public comment a planning document containing its recommendations for NEIs for fiscal year (FY) 2017 through FY 2019. In this publication, U.S. EPA reviewed the status of the existing NEIs (i.e., FY 2014-2016) and presented NEIs for consideration for FY 2017-2019. Not surprisingly in this time of residual risk and technology reviews for National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAPs) and associated Maximum Achievable Control Technology (MACT) requirements, air toxics emissions remain a focus for U.S. EPA. However, what is different for FY 2017-2019 is the inclusion of air toxics emissions from the handling of hazardous waste, which are regulated under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) and its associated regulations in 40 CFR Parts 260-265. Huh? Air emissions are also regulated under hazardous waste regulations? Yes!
For large quantity generators (LQGs) of hazardous waste, as well as treatment, storage, and disposal facilities (TSDFs) such as cement kilns burning hazardous wastes and solvent recovery (distillation, extraction, etc.) and fuel blending facilities, Subparts AA, BB, and CC to 40 CFR Parts 264 and 2651 contain air emissions standards for process vents; equipment leaks; and, tanks, surface impoundments, and containers. According to U.S. EPA, its observations during field work, as well as the publicly available compliance information on Enforcement and Compliance History Online (ECHO), widespread violations of the air emission requirements under RCRA are a significant contributor of air toxics emissions. U.S. EPA’s concern that facilities are not properly managing (which can include emissions controls, monitoring, recordkeeping and reporting) hazardous waste air emissions is the reason for the inclusion in the proposed NEIs for FY 2017-2019.
The assorted maze of the applicability criteria in Subparts AA, BB, and CC can be tricky, but ALL4 is here to help. So what should you do now? First, if you know you are an LQG of hazardous waste or a TSDF (if you do not know, we can help with that too) and you have evaluated the applicability of these subparts, pat yourself on the back, but then review your current facility operations. Has anything changed since you last conducted an applicability evaluation: a new tank; a change in service of valves and flanges? Have you documented your evaluation, particularly if these subparts do not apply? If they do apply, are you complying with the emissions control, monitoring, and related recordkeeping and reporting requirements? Essentially, your first course of action if these subparts apply is to conduct an audit of your operations and address the gaps now before you hear a knock on your door. If you never have looked at these subparts, now is the time to review the applicability criteria and make plans to address the gaps that are identified posthaste.
The proposed NEI for RCRA air emissions is ideally suited for U.S. EPA’s Next Generation enforcement model (there was a reason I wrote about it in our 2015 Look Ahead series!). The fugitive emissions from tanks and equipment leaks are tailor made for the advanced monitoring techniques of the Next Generation model (“making the invisible visible” to coin a phrase I just heard on a recent webinar). These advanced monitoring techniques are not just coming; they are here and already being used. That fact, and this potential NEI should move “identify RCRA air emissions standards applicability” near the top of your to do list in 2016.
Again, these subparts only apply to LQGs of hazardous waste and TSDFs, so if you are neither of these, you are in the clear for now. For those that are subject, don’t forget that FY 2017 begins October 1, 2016, so you do not have as much time as you might think to get started.
1As always, be mindful of potential state regulations that may differ from the Federal regulations
The Eight (8) “Ws” of RACT 2 – Who, What, When, Why, Where, In What Way, and By What Means | Ron Harding
The revised Final-Form Reasonably Available Control Technology (RACT) 2 Rule was approved by the Pennsylvania Environmental Quality Board (EQB) on November 17, 2015. It’s now in the last administrative stages on its way to being finalized and published in the Pennsylvania Bulletin. As an air quality rule that applies to major sources located within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, RACT 2 could potentially have a significant impact on a facility’s nitrogen oxides (NOX) and volatile organic compound (VOC) emitting operations; not to mention their operating budgets, and the already full plates of their environmental compliance staff. Below we address the eight (8) “Ws” of RACT 2 as a primer for our readers.
WHO – The players…
- Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP):
- Information presented by PADEP during the November 17, 2015 EQB meeting pertaining to the revised Final-Form RACT 2 Rule can be found here. The presentation provides a nice background summary of the RACT 2 Rule.
- Major Sources within the Commonwealth:
- The revised Final-Form RACT 2 Rule applies statewide to facilities with potential emissions that exceed 100 tons per year (tpy) for NOX and 50 tpy for VOC.
WHAT – The revised rules…read them, know them, love them…
- Revised Final-Form RACT 2 Rules (25 PA Code §129.96-100)
- Want information? ALL4 has developed several blogposts delving into the “what” of the RACT 2 Rule in more detail which can be found in the RACT 2 Toolbox, here. Any and all RACT 2 related content developed by ALL4 will find its way to the RACT 2 Toolbox page. Check back regularly.
WHEN – Part of the when is something of an open question, another part is definitely not…
- During the December 10, 2015 Air Quality Technical Advisory Committee (AQTAC) meeting PADEP’s Director, Bureau of Air. Quality, Joyce Epps, communicated that the RACT 2 Rule would move to the Independent Regulatory Review Commission (IRRC) for review in late January 2016 or early February 2016.
- Ms. Epps also communicated that the RACT 2 Rule won’t be published in the Pennsylvania Bulletin until March 2016 or possibly as late as April 2016.
- RACT 2 proposals, operating permit modification applications, and related Plan Approval Applications (PAAs) are due to the PADEP within six (6) months of final issuance of the RACT 2 Rule in the Pennsylvania Bulletin; best case = September 2016, worst case = October 2016.
- The compliance date for the RACT 2 Rule is January 1, 2017. This compliance date is mandated by U.S. EPA, is firm, and will not change, meaning that all information necessary to demonstrate compliance with applicable RACT 2 Rule requirements needs to be generated between now and January 1, 2017 and submitted to PADEP by January 1, 2017.
- An extension of the compliance date is only possible for facilities that submit a PAA to install a control device, make a physical change, or change in the method of operation to comply with applicable RACT 2 requirements. In such cases, the compliance date is extended to three (3) years from the date of issuance of a resulting Plan Approval, meaning the maximum time period this process could be extended is 4.5 years [18 month maximum for PADEP to review a PAA plus a three (3) year extension from the date of final Plan Approval issuance = 4.5 years, give or take].
WHY – Is the why everything? I guess, it is the why after all…also because…
- You operate a facility that has the potential to emit NOX and VOC at levels above the applicability threshold within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and you have a regulatory obligation to analyze, address, and comply with RACT 2 requirements; and because at this point you only have a year to do so.
WHERE – This one seems relatively obvious…
- “Birthplace of a mighty nation, Keystone of the land.” Yup, Pennsylvania and Pennsylvania only.
In What Way – This is what you’ll need to evaluate and potentially develop…not to worry, we can help…
- RACT 2 Applicability Analyses.
- RACT 2 Compliance Proposals:
- Including compliance strategies:
- Compliance with presumptive RACT 2 Rule requirements.
- Compliance via NOX Averaging Plans and development of such plans.
- Compliance via alternative case-by-case RACT 2 proposal including 5-step, top-down, “BACT-like” RACT 2 control technology feasibility and cost analyses.
- Operating Permit Modification Applications to incorporate the applicable RACT 2 requirements into a facility’s operating permit or to roll in the RACT 2 requirements resulting from Plan Approval issuance.
- PAAs proposing to install a control device, make a physical change, or change in the method of operation to comply with applicable RACT 2 requirements.
- Including compliance strategies:
By What Means – Need to learn more about how to comply? Join us on March 1, 2016 and get trained…
With a compliance date of January 1, 2017, affected facilities operating within the Commonwealth will need to evaluate the applicability and impact of RACT 2 on their operations, assess the need to develop a RACT 2 proposal, and submit said proposal to the PADEP within six (6) months from issuance of the final rule in the Pennsylvania Bulletin (potentially anytime between January 1, 2016 and April 30, 2016).
To assist facilities with this process, ALL4 and PADEP will be jointly presenting a training and Q&A session on the revised Final-Form RACT 2 Rule, RACT 2 Review, on Tuesday, March 1, 2016. The RACT 2 Review will take place at the Harrisburg University of Science and Technology’s Academic Center and will provide details about how to comply with the revised Final-Form RACT 2 Rule, as well as answer questions specific to your facility. Please register for the event in advance here or below.
Yes, More Toxic Release Inventory Revisions | ALL4 Staff
Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) submittals are due to both U.S. EPA and a facility’s respective state agency by July 1 of each year pursuant to Section 313 of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA). On November 23, 2016, U.S. EPA added 1-bromopropane to the list of toxic chemicals subject to reporting under this program. 1-bromopropane may be used at your facility as a liquid or gaseous solvent. As indicated in U.S. EPA’s November 23, 2016 Federal Register Notice, you may be potentially affected by this action if your manufacture, process, or otherwise use 1-bromopropane. If you are responsible for reporting to the TRI program, we encourage you to review this new reporting requirement and understand the likelihood of your manufacturing, processing, or otherwise use of 1-bromopropane. The first TRI report for releases of 1-bromopropane is due July 1, 2017, covering calendar year 2016. So the new year means beginning to actively monitor 1-bromopropane to document if you exceed a manufacturing, processing, or otherwise use threshold in preparation of your July 1, 2017 TRI report.
If you have questions regarding your facility’s status with regard to TRI reporting, please contact ALL4.
The Window is Closing: A Case for Plantwide Applicability Limits Now | John Egan
PAL is the acronym for Plantwide Applicability Limit. A PAL based on past actual emissions establishes a single, facility-wide emission limit for designated regulated new source review (NSR) pollutants. The PAL provisions that exist in the Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) and Nonattainment New Source Review (NNSR) regulations are part of the NSR Reform package that also brought us the “actual-to-projected-actual” test and the “excludable emissions” concepts, which were finalized in December 2002. Provisions for PALs are cooudified in the Federal regulations at 40 CFR §52.21(aa), §51.165(f), and Appendix S to Part 51 – Emission Offset Interpretative Ruling. Most SIP approved state NSR programs also include PAL provisions. PAL based permits represent a legitimate means for facilities to avoid the difficulties that are now a routine part of major NSR permitting. Several key PAL benefits include:
- As long as the facility demonstrates compliance with the PAL, physical changes and changes in the method of operation are not major modifications and projects do not require approval under applicable PSD (or NNSR) programs.
- A PAL will let you preserve your baseline actual emission rate for at least 10 years and possible longer.
- Historical NSR avoidance limits (e.g., emissions, production, and hours of operation) are eliminated by a PAL.
- The facility manages emissions, operations, and projects to allow growth while maintaining emissions below the PAL levels.
- Regulatory agency review times for modifications are compressed and even eliminated in many instances.
PALs can be established for one (1) or more regulated NSR pollutant at an existing major stationary source. Each PAL level is based on a 12-month rolling total, expressed in tons of pollutant per year. Compliance with PALs must be demonstrated monthly during the term of the PAL permit. Each limit is generally established based on the average annual (e.g., baseline) emission rate for a 24-month consecutive period during the prior 10 years of facility operation. In most states, different baselines can be established for different regulated NSR pollutants. The PSD (or NNSR) significant increase threshold for the regulated NSR pollutant that is specified in the rule is then added to the baseline actual emission rate to set the PAL level [eg., 40 tons for sulfur dioxide (SO2)]. As mentioned above, a primary advantage of a PAL permit is that as long as the facility demonstrates compliance with the PAL, physical changes and changes in the method of operation are not major modifications and projects do not require approval under applicable PSD (or NNSR) programs. Facilities with PALs may still be required to obtain state minor construction permits to initiate facility changes, but the typical NSR applicability analyses associated with every project at an existing major stationary source and the complications associated with PSD/NNSR for major modifications go away.
Because the PAL level represents an NSR “bright-line,” facilities with PALs can evaluate projects and determine how they will comply with the PALs, rather than being required to consider PSD (or NNSR), best available control technology (BACT) or lowest achievable emission rate (LAER) technology, purchase emission offsets, and demonstrate NAAQS compliance. Under a PAL permit, decisions regarding process and air pollution control technology remain with the source, and the facility baseline emissions are preserved for at least ten (10) years. Most importantly, if a PAL permit makes sense for a facility, the facility can potentially have an economic advantage over competitors that make similar modifications and must go through the time consuming and costly major NSR permitting process.
As mentioned, one key benefit of a PAL based permit is to preserve one or more beneficial baseline periods that may have occurred at your facility prior to the “great recession”. Why is this important now? Because the PAL rules, like the PSD rules for non-electric generating units (EGUs), allow facilities to “look back” ten (10) years to establish 24-month periods for regulated NSR pollutants. As we enter into 2016, the ten (10) year window that includes pre-recession baseline actual emissions is rapidly closing. Based on simple math, a higher BAE will result in a higher PAL level. In order to lock in beneficial historical (2006) baseline periods before they disappear, facilities contemplating PALs should be in action now. Please contact John Egan at (610) 933-5246, extension 114 or at email@example.com with any PAL related questions that you may have.
Facilities, Start Your Engines! | Sally Atkins and Sharon Sadler
In 2015, ALL4 opened the Washington, D.C. office, further expanding its services in the mid-Atlantic region with an added focus on healthcare, property management, data centers, and higher education. The primary air quality-regulated sources for such facilities include engines, boilers, and refrigerant-containing equipment. [These sources can trigger environmental regulations in addition to air quality so let’s not forget about those! For more information, attend Sally Atkins’ presentation at the (free) National Facilities Management & Technology Conference/Exposition in Baltimore on March 24, 2016.]
Looking ahead to 2016, we foresee the most relevant regulatory activity involving engines…
Prior to May 2015, there hasn’t been much chatter around Federal stationary internal combustion engine regulations…and then Delaware took the U.S. EPA to court over the use of emergency generators during emergency demand response events! The U.S. EPA proposes to issue revised regulations in accordance with the D.C. Circuit’s ruling and the U.S. EPA’s voluntary remand within the next year but those engines participating in emergency demand response programs may be impacted in 2016. In the meantime, U.S. EPA has issued proposed changes to 40 CFR Part 60, Subpart IIII to allow the deactivation of emissions controls (such as what you’d find with Tier 4-certified diesel engines) when generators are called into service for a qualifying emergency situation; these engines would only have to meet Tier 1 standards during such times. Where continued generator operation is required to serve a mission-critical or life safety purpose, this relief will be very impactful. Let’s also not forget about the March 31, 2016 reporting requirement for engines operated for certain purposes specified in the three (3) Federal engine regulations…if you haven’t experienced U.S. EPA’s web-based portal CEDRI, now may be your chance!
Several alternative options will continue to be available as you evaluate your emergency back-up power needs. For those looking to minimize on-site fuel storage, or who have trouble receiving diesel fuel when needed, bi-fuel (i.e., the concurrent firing of natural gas and diesel) may be an option. In a July 2013 decision, EPA officially established their position that the conversion of a diesel engine to bi-fuel was not considered tampering under the Clean Air Act (differing from previous informal correspondence). However, the installation of control technology and performance testing may be required, particularly if the diesel engine was a certified unit. Where you also use large boilers, a combined heat-power (CHP) option can be considered to increase energy efficiency. Economic incentives are available through many states and natural gas proponents but there are also downsides to consider. These alternatives, among others, require advance consideration of the impact to your air permit or where Federal and state engine regulations may apply, so involve your environmental support early.
In 2016, let’s explore how the nuances of Federal and state engine regulations affect your facilities and where alternative technologies can maximize your resources.
Refinery Sector Rule – Where Do I Start? | Meghan Barber
By now, chances are you have heard about the recently finalized revisions to what is referred to as the Refinery Sector Rule. The Refinery Sector Rule encompasses final revisions to refinery specific New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) and Maximum Achievable Control Technology (MACT) regulations [i.e., 40 CFR Part 60 Subparts J and Ja, and 40 CFR Part 63 Subparts CC and UUU (Refinery MACT 1 and Refinery MACT 2), respectively]. After all of the initial panic has died down, you may find yourself thinking, where do I start?
First and foremost, the official effective date of the finalized Refinery Sector Rule is February 1, 2016. Any applicable new sources installed after February 1, 2016 must meet the requirements (as appropriate) of the Refinery Sector Rule upon startup. A source is considered new if it was constructed on or after June 30, 2014. Existing equipment has a variety of different deadlines by which compliance must be demonstrated, ranging from the effective date of the final rule (i.e., February 1, 2016) to three (3) years after the effective date (i.e., February 1, 2019). Here’s a breakdown of the regulations for existing equipment which could have an impact on your facility in 2016.
Alternative Provisions for Periods of Startup and Shutdown:
On February 1, 2016 your facility must comply with the revisions to the SSM provisions of the Refinery MACT 1 and 2. Specifically, new work practice standards for process venting, a minimum oxygen operating limit for fluid catalytic cracking units (FCCU), minimum cyclone face velocity limits, and alternative monitoring for incinerator temperature and excess oxygen limits for sulfur recovery units (SRU), have been finalized for startup and shutdown events.
Marine Vessel Loading:
On the effective date of the regulation, if your facility has a potential to emit less than 10 tons per year (year) of a single hazardous air pollutant (HAP) or 25 tpy of all combined HAPs or is located offshore, marine vessel loading operations will be required to use submerged filling based on the cargo filling line requirements found in 46 CFR §153.282.
Within 90 days of the effective date of the final rule (i.e., May 1, 2016), your facility will need to determine if existing storage vessels meet the new definition of a Group 1 storage vessel. The definition of a Group 1 storage vessel was revised to include smaller tanks with lower vapor pressures. An existing tank is classified as Group 1 if the tank has a capacity greater than or equal to 20,000 gallons but less than 40,000 gallons, with a maximum true vapor pressure greater than or equal to 1.9 pounds per square inch absolute (psia) and an annual average weight HAP content greater than 4%; or if the tank has a capacity greater than 40,000 gallons, with a maximum true vapor pressure greater than 0.75 psia and an annual average weight HAP content greater than 4%. It is critical for facilities to begin to determine which, if any existing tanks are newly defined as Group 1 storage vessels, as additional requirements will apply.
These new requirements have the potential to affect your facility’s current monitoring, recordkeeping and reporting requirements in 2016. Now is the time to take action and begin to dig into how the rules apply to your facility and what may need to be done to demonstrate compliance. In addition to what was mentioned above, there are finalized requirements which do not have compliance deadlines in 2016, but may require time intensive planning and implementation such that compliance may be demonstrated by the future deadlines. These requirements may include, but are not limited to, compliance testing, method of operation for flares and delayed coking units, flare work practice standards, atmospheric pressure relief device (PRD) work practice requirements, and benzene fenceline monitoring.
4 Rules: Beyond Boiler MACT | Lindsey Kroos
January 31, 2016 is practically here – one (1) week before Super Bowl Sunday, in fact. With reconsiderations to the rule just recently finalized, are you ahead of the Major Source Boiler MACT compliance curve, or behind? Or perhaps you have a 1-year extension of the compliance date to January 31, 2017. We’ve seen it all, and expect to see a lot more activity next year, as sources without extensions have until July 29, 2016 to conduct performance tests, followed by establishing operating parameter limits, submitting data using U.S. EPA’s Electronic Reporting Tool (ERT), and submitting the Notification of Compliance Status (NOCS), among other things. Energy assessments and initial tune-ups must be completed by the applicable compliance date. Those with extensions need to remember that extensions apply on a unit by unit basis, which further complicates the compliance deadlines.
We have found that there is more than meets the eye around the pre-performance testing requirements. Performance test plans, site-specific monitoring plans (SSMPs), and fuel analysis plans must be in place at least 60 days before the scheduled performance test. The SSMPs in particular play an important role in establishing your facility’s compliance strategy due to complexities in the rule and site-specific nuances that must be addressed. For example, certain continuous monitoring systems (CMS) have specific performance evaluation requirements that must be completed on an established frequency, including at or around the time of the initial performance test.
While Major Source Boiler MACT is certainly a hot topic, three (3) other related rules will see activity in 2016 as well. The initial compliance date for Area Source Boiler MACT was in March 2014, which means that it’s about time for the next round of biennial tune-ups if not completed already.
Reconsiderations to the Commercial and Industrial Solid Waste Incineration (CISWI) rules were finalized on February 1, 2013. Additional reconsiderations proposed in 2014 have not yet been finalized. Existing sources are expected to have until February 7, 2018 to comply with the rule, but the actual compliance date will be established in individual State Plans, and could be earlier. State Plans that establish a compliance date more than one (1) year after U.S. EPA approval of the State Plan must include enforceable increments of progress. Affected sources located in states without U.S. EPA approved State Plans will be subject to the Federal Plan, which has not yet been promulgated.
Last but not least, the Non-Hazardous Secondary Materials (NHSM) rule, which determines whether NHSM are wastes when used as fuels or ingredients in combustion units, is expected to see some changes in 2016 as well. Amendments were proposed in 2014 to add three materials to the list of categorical “non-waste” exemptions, including construction and demolition (C&D) wood, old corrugated cardboard (OCC) rejects, and creosote treated railroad ties. The amendments are expected to be finalized in early 2016.