2022 Look Ahead – Part 3
Posted: January 18th, 2022Authors: Amy M. Jenny B. Daryl W. Dan D. Lindsey K.
The 2022 Look Ahead is a multi-part series consisting of 20 articles to celebrate ALL4’s 20th anniversary.
Air Toxics Look Ahead // Amy Marshall
There are many things going on in the world of air toxics. In 2022, we will see activity to address concerns about specific air toxics like ethylene oxide, more work reviewing and revising various National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP), regulatory activity around new hazardous air pollutants (HAPs), proposed revisions to the rule that did away with the “once in, always in” policy, and a national air toxics assessment (NATA) from U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that will be linked to their long-awaited updated Environmental Justice (EJ) data and mapping tool. What specifically might we see?
U.S. EPA updated its risk value for ethylene oxide in 2016 and has determined that small quantities of ethylene oxide can present significant cancer risks to surrounding communities. In addition to actions that states have taken specific to a few ethylene oxide sources in the past few years, U.S. EPA has been working to better characterize air concentrations of ethylene oxide and has been working to review and revise regulations that cover facilities that emit ethylene oxide. Specifically, U.S. EPA has:
- been conducting ambient monitoring of ethylene oxide at various locations,
- collected information from ethylene oxide commercial sterilization operations to support revisions to the NESHAP for Ethylene Oxide Commercial Sterilization and Fumigation Operations,
- collected information from facilities covered by the Miscellaneous Organic NESHAP (MON) and revised that rule with more stringent requirements for equipment in ethylene oxide service, and
- extended Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) reporting to 29 facilities.
In 2022, we expect U.S. EPA to reconsider the revised MON provisions related to ethylene oxide, continue its review of the commercial sterilizer NESHAP, and gather new data to review other NESHAP with sources that emit ethylene oxide, such as the Hazardous Organic NESHAP and the Polyether Polyols NESHAP. We can expect to see additional ambient monitoring for ethylene oxide in communities that are concerned about certain emission sources as well.
Aside from the regulatory activity around NESHAP with sources emitting ethylene oxide, U.S. EPA is also reconsidering several rules for which they finalized risk and technology reviews (RTRs) during the previous administration. We will see information collection requests (ICRs) for some of these rules, including the Plywood and Composite Wood Products (PCWP) rule, as U.S. EPA looks to revise these rules to fill regulatory gaps (e.g., HAPs or process units in the source category that are not currently subject to standards). Look for proposed revisions (or decisions not to revise) the PCWP, organic liquids distribution (OLD), stationary combustion turbines, site remediation, lime manufacturing, rubber tire manufacturing, taconite ore processing, and miscellaneous coating manufacturing NESHAP. We should also see a final Industrial Boiler NESHAP remand rule, a final polyvinyl chloride (PVC) reconsideration rule, and a proposed reconsideration of the Mercury and Air Toxics Standard (MATS). We are still waiting on RTR rules for boilers and engines but are not likely to see those proposals in 2022 given the rest of U.S. EPA’s workload.
U.S. EPA added a new HAP (1-bromopropane) to its list for the first time on January 5, 2022. The addition of this HAP has raised a lot of questions and U.S. EPA is expected to issue guidance followed by an “infrastructure” rule in 2022 to answer questions around timing of new requirements for facilities that become subject to new requirements upon a change to the HAP list. Although use of 1-bromopropane is not widespread, industry should review and provide input on the proposed rule because U.S. EPA could add a more widely-emitted pollutant to the HAP list in the future.
Once In, Always In
U.S. EPA reversed its previous “Once In, Always In” policy and promulgated regulatory revisions in 2020 that would allow facilities to reclassify from major to area sources (and back again). The rulemaking was fairly controversial, with those in opposition claiming it would result in HAP emissions increases at sources that were allowed to reclassify as area sources and avoid applicability of major source NESHAP. U.S. EPA is reviewing the rule and is likely to propose changes in 2022. At a minimum, the changes will address how rigorous a facility’s emissions inventory must be to reclassify as an area source and federal enforceability of HAP emissions limits. Hopefully the current administration will not determine that it should revoke the rule and return to the old policy, which did not allow major sources of HAPs to reclassify as area sources after the first substantive compliance date of a NESHAP.
The NATA uses data reported to the national emissions inventory and the TRI to calculate air toxics concentrations and estimate risks at the census tract level. U.S. EPA, as part of its efforts to provide additional data around EJ communities, has committed to provide more timely (e.g., annual) updates to its air toxics analysis that it has previously conducted at three-year intervals (the latest NATA available covers 2014 emissions). The latest available air toxics data and analyses will be included in U.S. EPA’s updated EJ data and mapping tool that should be released in 2022. The NATA results help state and local agencies (and the public) identify which pollutants and emission sources they may wish to study further to better understand any risks to public health from air toxics. As we have mentioned before, facilities will want to carefully review air toxics emissions data being submitted to agencies to make sure that it is representative of their operations.
We also note that in advance of U.S. EPA’s updated analysis, ProPublica published its own assessment of cancer risks, identified air toxics “hot spots” around several EJ communities, and criticized U.S. EPA for not penalizing facilities that (alone or in combination) raise the cancer risk in an area above 1 in 1 million. It will be interesting to see if U.S. EPA incorporates any changes in their air toxics assessment methodology with the 2022 data release or whether the ProPublica study prompts additional data gathering and analyses.
You can see that we expect a lot of activity around air toxics in 2022, both regulatory action and an updated national air toxics assessment. The expected activity is likely to change how facilities are required to comply with certain rules and could necessitate additional data gathering in the form of testing, monitoring, or modeling to address regulatory or community concerns. ALL4 will keep on top of the federal air toxics activity and update you throughout the year. If you have questions or need assistance at your facility, please reach out to Amy Marshall.
Electronic Reporting Look Ahead // Jenny Brown
Electronic reporting is transforming the landscape of environmental compliance. Electronic data reporting offers consistent formats, easier data transferability, and, predictably, increased visibility to stakeholders. The days are disappearing when it was sufficient and advantageous to mimic a paper form in excel and print to PDF for final hardcopy submittal.
The United States Environmental Protection Agency’s (U.S. EPA’s) electronic reporting process begins with the Central Data Exchange (CDX). From here, greenhouse gas emissions, discharge monitoring reports, risk management plans, toxics release inventories, as well as New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) and National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) periodic reports, notification of compliance status reports, and performance test reports are submitted through various web-based platforms. Data are then reviewed and subsequently utilized for numerous purposes such as enforcement, regulation development, and population in WebFIRE (an online, searchable database for air emissions factors).
U.S. EPA Electronic Data Workflow
Air Compliance Reporting
In May 2020, electronic reports, notifications, and applications for Part 49 (federal tribal minor NSR), 70 (tribal/state/local Title V) and 71 (U.S. EPA-issued Title V) were made available for electronic submittal in U.S. EPA’s Compliance and Emissions Data Reporting Interface (CEDRI). In 2021, 109 Title V reports were submitted in CEDRI. In 2022, if submitting a Title V Annual Compliance Certification (ACC) directly to U.S. EPA, the preferred method is now through CEDRI. If submitting to a tribal, state, or local regulatory body with delegated authority, the delegated authority will continue to specify the preferred method. U.S. EPA Region 4 has requested submittal via the CEDRI platform in some states (e.g., Georgia). Georgia is still requiring a hardcopy submittal. In other regions, such as U.S. EPA Region 6, state-specific electronic platforms are used for submittal of Title V reports and U.S. EPA is not expected to require use of the CEDRI platform for Part 70 submittals. States that are not currently using an electronic platform for submittal of Title V reports may utilize CEDRI in future reporting years. As demonstrated by the Title V annual compliance report example, compliance data reporting format varies by state, and states often require hardcopies of the data electronically reported to U.S. EPA.
ALL4 recommends staying connected with your state regulators as U.S. EPA pushes for more electronic data submittals, which is further expanding U.S. EPA’s efforts to make data publicly available. We have seen non-governmental organizations taking a deep dive into historic compliance records during the Title V renewal process. The increased visibility of compliance and reporting data makes it important to ensure accuracy and consistency across various reporting obligations. As your data become more publicly available, you may also want to re-evaluate use of conservative emissions estimation methodologies and gather site-specific data to refine your emissions reports.
Annual Air Emissions Reporting
States have been transitioning to electronic reporting platforms for annual air emissions inventories. More than 35 states and local regulatory bodies offer a web-based or other type of electronic reporting platform for submittal of annual air emissions inventories. U.S. EPA’s development of the Combined Air Emissions Reporting System (CAERS) is intended to streamline the reporting of annual air emissions data to U.S. EPA and provide better continuity of reporting to industry users. The CAERS also enables pre-population of toxics air pollutants (TAPs) and hazardous air pollutants (HAPs) reported to CAERS for Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) reporting in TRI-MEweb. The CAERS was piloted in 2020 in Georgia and the District of Columbia and in 2022 is expected to be expanded to include additional state partnerships.
U.S. EPA does not expect that all states will replace their current systems with CAERS, which may come as good or bad news depending on the agility and footprint of your business. U.S. EPA expects some states, similar to Georgia, will completely replace their system with CAERS, but other states may interact with CAERS on the backend and maintain their current frontend, industry facing, platforms. In 2022, we anticipate the expansion of CAERS partnerships to include Arizona, Minnesota, Montana, and Rhode Island as well as development of shared data workflows between CAERS and CEDRI and CAERS and U.S. EPA’s greenhouse gas reporting program. Additionally, the CAERS development team plans to include a JSON file extension bulk upload feature in February 2022 when CAERS goes live in Georgia. This feature will allow upload of a JSON file containing emissions data. The JSON file is a common format associated with exchange of data between servers and web application and would streamline reporting for those with a centralized database for emissions calculations. Stay tuned!
It is challenging for companies, especially those with large footprints, to keep up with the various reporting requirements by state. We find that EHS software solutions developers may provide automated report generation for federal reports, while automated state level reporting is less available due to the resources necessary to stay current. Nonetheless, forward-thinking companies are looking for ways streamline environmental reporting processes by capitalizing on the benefits of electronic data and electronic reporting platforms. Final data entry and quality assurance is arguably the “the last mile problem” equivalent for electronically reporting environmental data. State reporting criteria can be complex and vary significantly from state to state. Even if the underlying data and associated calculations are verified, data entry by inexperienced staff can result in inconsistencies and administrative errors as the same dataset is entered into multiple reporting systems. These challenges will remain in 2022 and beyond. ALL4 recommends considering some of the following as electronic reporting and even e-permitting continue to transform how we interact with our environmental data and regulatory bodies.
- Take action as a stakeholder. Consider partnering with U.S. EPA, state, and local regulatory bodies when electronic reporting or electronic permitting pilot opportunities are available.
- Advocate for allowance of electronic signatures to expedite certification and submittal processes for your facility when reports or applications are submitted.
- Look for opportunities to streamline reporting (e.g., CAER/TRI option). Keep in mind that taking advantage of these options will require development and submittal of reports earlier than in the past. For example, in Georgia the annual emissions inventory is due June 30, one day before the TRI report due date of July 1.
- Consider the following when evaluating efficiency tools: Does the tool improve data integrity? What happens if agencies modify their reporting platforms? Is there a time savings? Will there be continuity with staff turnovers and retirement? ALL4 is tackling this problem head on with the development of ALL4’s Automated State-Specific Emissions Reporting Tool (ASSERT) subscription service. The tool automatically validates and uploads emissions data into state reporting systems. Check out our blog or contact us for a demonstration.
If you have any questions concerning your electronic reporting obligations or how we are seeing transformation of processes in this space, please reach out to Chuck Doyno at 678.293.9424 or firstname.lastname@example.org or myself at 678-293-9432 or email@example.com. Thanks for reading!
Climate Impacts and Expanding CDP Reporting for 2022 // Daryl Whitt
Climate Change and Disclosures
In August 2021, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) issued the first part of the Sixth Assessment Report, Climate Change 2021: The Physical Science Basis. This report repeats the warning that the world needs to limit global warming to less than 1.5°C to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. Based on the analyses presented in the report, the Earth has already warmed by between 1.1°C and 1.2°C since the beginning of the industrial revolution. This report emphasizes that the world needs to halve its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and eliminate deforestation by 2030 to have any chance of staying below 1.5°C and preventing catastrophic changes to our climate and restoring the natural systems on which we rely.
Improvement Through Disclosure
Businesses are moving to make changes that will reduce GHG emissions and aid in preventing global warming of more than 1.5°C. These actions can be seen through public climate-related disclosure, which significantly increased in 2021. In 2021, more than one third of Fortune 500 companies have established climate change targets. Also in 2021, 92 percent of the S&P 500 and 70 percent of Russell 1000 companies issued sustainability reports. Climate related disclosure will continue to increase due to voluntary or mandated climate related disclosure requirements in coming years. The UK, New Zealand, Singapore and Japan mandated carbon-related financial disclosure for publicly traded companies in 2021. Canada and the U.S. are also working on figuring out climate-related disclosure requirements and further developments should be expected in 2022.
Disclosure through the CDP is one of the leading strategies businesses use to inform investors, customers and the public about their climate risks and actions and has significant backing from investors. The CDP reports that in 2020, 590 investors with $110 trillion in assets and more than 200 large purchasers with $4 trillion in buying power supported CDP’s request for disclosure. The data collected and published by CDP is used to develop global investment indices and ratings by Bloomberg, STOXX, S&P Global, Trucost, FTSE/Russell, MSCI ESG, ISS ESG, and Goldman Sachs, among others. However, the CDP recognizes that reporting companies are not doing enough to manage climate risk and mitigate impacts with 75 percent of reporting companies scoring a “C” or “D” on their reporting. Further, more than 3,700 companies did not report when requested to do so by investors or customers.
CDP’s 5-Year Plan
In late 2021, the CDP published a 5-Year Plan focused on accelerating the rate of change through increased disclosure, insight into performance, and driving action through accountability1. The 5-Year Plan lays out a strategy for broadening the scope and deepening the reach of the CDP system. The Plan identifies 8 key focus areas for increased disclosure over the next 5 years:
- Expanding the scope to cover planetary boundaries. The scope of reporting will be expanded to include:
- Climate Change
- Forests and
- Tracking and scoring progress along the science-based transition journey, including:
- Impact metrics and disclosure (through CDP)
- Climate Risk and Governance disclosure (through TCFD/ISSB)
- Target Setting (through SBTi)
- Transition Plans and 5-year Action Performance
- Disclosure and Audit of Plan Performance
- Increasing the influence of CDP’s system by expanding requests to include investors (equity), big buyers (procurement), banks (lending), private equity, stock exchanges, hedge funds, regulators, central banks, cities, and civil society; leveraging demand for environmental action to promote disclosure.
- Enabling increased policy ambition through increased disclosure. CDP can provide data to inform policy development and a mechanism for meeting future disclosure requirements.
- Using CDP’s platform to implement standards at scale. CDP data already supports the TCFD recommendations and is referenced across numerous regulatory requirements and stock exchange guidelines globally. CDP will now seek to enable the speedy implementation of the ISSB globally and at scale, to ensure a structured, complete and consistent dataset is provided to decision makers.
- Catalyzing and scaling place-based action. CDP’s system is unique because it serves as a nexus point where corporate, city, state and regional information are reported together. By incorporating more location-based data into their platform and bringing new public authorities into the system CDP can catalyze the systematic scale-up of action and collaboration at a local level, including companies, cities, and states across all regions of the world.
- Enhancing transparency and reducing complexity with new technology. CDP will leverage technology including block-chain technologies, data scraping tools, satellite data, machine learning, artificial intelligence and smart buildings; among others to provide a flexible and evolving CDP system.
- Enhancing the social and governance metrics in the CDP platform. CDP will explore how to integrate social and governance metrics into its platform, focusing on where they overlap with environmental issues.
CDP Reporting for 2022
As a first step in the process of fulfilling its 5-year plan, CDP has just released documentation on the changes to the CDP Climate Change Questionnaire for 2022: Question Changes and Questionnaire Map: 2021 to 2022.
The changes that are being made in the 2022 questionnaire incorporate questions related to biodiversity and forests and water security. The revisions include changes to the Core and Supply Chain questions, Sector-Specific questions, and Financial Sector questions to streamline reporting in some areas and expand reporting in others.
In the Core and Supply Chain section, the changes include adding 25 new questions including six related to biodiversity and six that apply only to RE100 companies. A total of 12 questions have been removed, although seven of these are actually merged into other questions. The total number of Core and Supply Chain questions has increased by 15 to 130 with these changes.
In the Sector-Specific sections of the questionnaire, not including the Financial Services Sector, three questions have been removed and seven questions have been modified, reducing the total number of questions from 139 to 136. In these sections, the guidance for four questions has been modified to clarify and expand the requests.
The Financial Services Sector questions have seen the most significant changes for 2022. In this section, seven questions have been removed and eight new questions have been added to the existing framework. In addition, a new reporting section has been added for reporting on Forests and Water Security. This new section includes 33 new questions.
The changes that are occurring in the CDP reporting will require reporting companies to re-evaluate their data collection and reporting efforts, potentially expanding beyond current metrics. Companies should review these changes early, to ensure that they can meet the July 27, 2022 deadline for reporting.
ALL4’s ESG team can help your company plan for and execute a disclosure strategy including CDP engagement. In addition, we can help you consider and evaluate climate risk to your assets and operations and develop mitigation and adaptation plans. Please contact Daryl Whitt for assistance with any of these tasks.
What’s Next with the PM2.5 NAAQS in 2022 and Beyond // Dan Dix
As I discussed in my July 2021 4TR article, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is currently reconsidering the previous administration’s decision to retain the particulate matter with a diameter of less than 2.5 microns (PM2.5) National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS). U.S. EPA completed the first step in the reconsideration process when it published the draft “Supplement to the 2019 Integrated Science Assessment for Particulate Matter” (Draft Supplement) in the September 30, 2021, Federal Register. U.S. EPA took comments on the Draft Supplement and a public meeting was held in December 2021 where the Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee (CASAC) panel peer reviewed the Draft Supplement. The Draft Supplement includes similar recommendations as the original 2019 Integrated Science Assessment (ISA) for Particulate Matter (PM) indicating that there is evidence to support lowering the PM2.5 annual NAAQS from the current 12 micrograms per cubic meter (µg/m3) to 10 µg/m3, and possibly (based on certain studies included in the ISA) to as low as 8 µg/m3. In addition, the DRAFT Supplement supports retaining the current 24-hour PM2.5 NAAQS of 35 µg/m3 but suggests the possibility of lowering the 24-hour PM2.5 NAAQS to 30 µg/m3, primarily in the Western U.S. Were such an approach to be taken it would be the first time a NAAQS had differing values in different regions of the U.S.
Based on the timing of the issuance of the Draft Supplement, U.S. EPA is still on track to propose retaining or lowering (with a much higher probability of lowering this time around) the PM2.5 NAAQS by Summer of 2022, following up with a final rule by Spring of 2023. This means that there is still time for facilities who are considering projects that would increase PM2.5 emissions and potentially trigger air quality modeling requirements to obtain a permit under the existing PM2.5 NAAQS. However, the door is closing fast. Another reason to act quickly is because of the recent “Revised Draft Guidance for Ozone Fine Particulate Matter Permit Modeling” (Revised Draft Guidance) issued in September 2021 that I discussed in an October 4TR article. The Revised Draft Guidance increases the possibility of triggering direct PM2.5 modeling requirements when as part of a project your facility triggers PSD review for nitrogen oxides (NOX) or sulfur dioxide (SO2), which are precursor pollutants for PM2.5. The Revised Draft Guidance requires that if any one precursor triggers PSD review, all precursors of secondary PM2.5 formation as well as direct PM2.5 must be evaluated, even if direct PM2.5 PSD review is not triggered.
How will these changes affect your facility in 2022 and beyond? Given the difficulty to demonstrate compliance with the existing PM2.5 NAAQS through air dispersion modeling as a result of the already existing “headroom” issues between the ambient air quality and the NAAQS, it will become even more important to identify both direct PM2.5 and precursor PM2.5 (SO2 and NOX) emissions reductions going forward. PM2.5 emissions reductions can help avoid PM2.5 air quality modeling requirements or help you model below the significant impact levels (SIL) to avoid cumulative PM2.5 NAAQS and PSD increment modeling requirements.
If you have any questions about a potential project that includes PM2.5 emissions or want to know how close your area’s ambient PM2.5 concentration is to the current PM2.5 NAAQS, please contact Dan Dix at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 610.422.1118.
Looking Ahead to Changes in State Programs // Lindsey Kroos
When it comes to complying with environmental requirements at your facility, it’s important to understand what applies at the Federal, state, and sometimes local levels. If you have facilities in multiple states, each facility may be (and most likely is) subject to different requirements. As a consulting firm that supports clients in every state, ALL4 is able to discern and communicate the many different approaches each agency takes for various regulations and policies. One way we do this is by tracking and disseminating state and local regulatory and policy updates to our staff. By understanding each agency’s activities, priorities, and initiatives, we also can see emerging trends. Many of these trends mirror Federal initiatives, such as those pertaining to Environmental Justice (EJ) and per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS); indeed, many of the other Lookahead articles describe how each state handles them differently. Other trends are dictated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA), such as how state regulations address excess emissions that occur during Startup, Shutdown, and Malfunction (SSM) events. Here are a few trends that we have been watching and expect to continue throughout 2022.
SSM SIP Call – I wrote about this topic more than once in 2021, and you can expect to hear from me again in 2022. The State Implementation Plan (SIP) Call pertaining to SSM stems back to U.S. EPA’s 2015 policy on that issue, that SIPs should not contain exemptions or affirmative defense provisions for excess emissions during periods of SSM. U.S. EPA reversed that policy in 2020, and then reversed the reversal in 2021. The 2015 SIP Call was issued to 45 state and local agencies, 36 of which responded by submitting SIP revisions. Three states (Iowa, North Carolina, and Texas) had pre-2020 approval for their SIPs to contain SSM provisions, and their SIP Calls were withdrawn (however, these actions are being litigated). On January 12, 2022, U.S. EPA issued findings of failure to submit SIP revisions for 12 agencies. This action begins an 18-month clock for mandatory sanctions of a Nonattainment New Source Review (NNSR) 2-to-1 emissions offset requirement and restrictions on highway funding, and a 2-year clock for U.S. EPA to promulgate a Federal Implementation Plan (FIP), unless the agencies submit SIP revisions and U.S. EPA approves those revisions. 2022 is likely to bring regulatory proposals for multiple states’ SSM provisions in their SIPs.
Regional Haze – As with the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS), Federal visibility standards for national parks and wilderness areas are also implemented through the SIP process. The second implementation period for U.S. EPA’s Regional Haze Program is underway. SIP revisions were due to U.S. EPA by July 31, 2021; however, state agencies continue to be in various stages of development (as of mid-December 2021, U.S. EPA had only received 10 Regional Haze SIPs). U.S. EPA released a memo in July 2021 outlining clarifications for SIP revisions based on questions they had received and on observations from SIP revisions they had seen. We will see multiple regulatory proposals on states’ Regional Haze SIPs in 2022 and we expect that not all of them will be approved as drafted.
Air Toxics – While SIPs pertain to the NAAQS and visibility (and therefore U.S. EPA has a say in what they contain), state agencies may define and regulate certain air toxics at their discretion. There are hazardous air pollutants (HAPs) defined by U.S. EPA, but states may define those and other pollutants as air toxics subject to additional permitting, air quality modeling, or other requirements. Cleaner Air Oregon (CAO) is one example of a relatively recent state air toxics program that has required affected facilities to conduct air quality modeling and risk assessments, among other requirements. New Jersey is in the process of adding several toxics to their current program, including hydrogen sulfide (H2S), which has been considered for, but never officially added to the HAP list by U.S. EPA. Ethylene oxide (ETO) is a HAP that has gained and will continue to receive national attention, as well as in certain states that contain ETO-emitting industries. We expect communities to ask states to do more to monitor and reduce air toxics emissions in 2022. Reference Amy Marshall’s article above for more information on what’s coming on air toxics.
PFAS – Like ETO, PFAS continues to be a hot topic at the Federal and state levels. While U.S. EPA has launched various initiatives to test, monitor, and reduce the presence of these compounds in air, water, and land, many states have been, and continue to be more proactive and stringent. Michigan, New Hampshire, and New York are particularly active with state-specific policies and requirements in place for air, water, and other media, while many more states have programs under development that we can expect to hear more about in 2022. More information on PFAS will be featured in our 2022 Look Ahead Part 4.
Electronic Permitting and Reporting – Data transparency continues to evolve as more Federal and state programs accept or require electronic reporting of emissions and compliance data. U.S. EPA’s Combined Air Emissions Reporting System (CAERS), intended to streamline various state and Federal emissions reporting systems, began as a pilot program in Georgia in 2020 and is expected to expand to other states (see Jenny Brown’s article above for more on CAERS). On the other hand, some state and local agencies continue to use their own programs, and even launch new programs, increasing the amount of reporting disparity across states. For example, the Allegheny County Health Department previously used the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection’s (PADEP) annual emissions reporting program, but recently launched their own program. Annual compliance reports also continue to shift to electronic methods. U.S. EPA recently began requesting that Title V facilities in certain states submit their annual compliance certifications via the Compliance and Emissions Data Reporting Interface (CEDRI); however, some states may still require hardcopy reports. Lastly, some states like South Carolina are piloting e-permitting programs in 2022, whereas states like Texas already require online submittal of permit applications. As mentioned above, we have experience across almost every state, so we can help you navigate the different systems and understand what is changing in your state.
Environmental Justice – All of the topics mentioned here relate to EJ, which continues to be a driving factor for all aspects of environmental permitting and compliance at the Federal and state levels. While U.S. EPA has announced various EJ initiatives, states are proceeding with existing or new policies of their own. Many state EJ initiatives are not formal regulations, although California and New Jersey have made significant steps towards establishing regulatory requirements. We are tracking EJ activity in all 50 states – see Rich Hamel’s EJ Lookahead article for more information.
This article highlights just some of the major environmental considerations that can vary by state, but by no means covers all of them. NAAQS attainment and redesignation, climate change, and permitting requirements and procedures are all topics that could also be discussed here. When no single state operates the same way on a multitude of topics across all environmental media, it is important to understand the differences. We’ll continue to stay up to date and share how states address these and other topics throughout the year. We can also help you look across different states to compare environmental requirements when you are in the process of siting a new facility or deciding where to do a project. Please contact Lindsey Kroos or your ALL4 Project Manager for more information on what’s going on in your state.
View Part 4