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40 CFR Part 63, Subpart MM Amendments – What’s the Next Step for Pulp and Paper Mills?

Posted: March 5th, 2018

Authors: Stacy A. 

On October 11, 2017, U.S. EPA finalized revisions to 40 CFR Part 63, Subpart MM (National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants for Chemical Recovery Combustion Sources at Kraft, Soda, Sulfite, and Stand-Alone Semichemical Pulp Mills).  The revisions were previously summarized by one of my colleagues in a separate blog and were mentioned once again as part of ALL4’s 2018 Look Ahead article.

In the ALL4 2018 Look Ahead article, the Subpart MM Amendment discussion recommended that facilities subject to Subpart MM determine their state agency’s strategy for incorporating the revised rule requirements into their Title V Operating Permits (TVOP).  Lucky for you, ALL4 has already done some of the legwork around this and has spoken to several state agencies to get a gauge on these strategies.  We still recommend that facilities check in with their respective state agency for state or facility-specific guidance, but the following discussion serves as a general guide for how facilities can incorporate the revisions into their TVOP.
Regardless of how a facility incorporates the Subpart MM revisions, facilities must be in compliance with the standards of Subpart MM by the October 11, 2019 compliance date.  If a facility has less than three years remaining on their existing TVOP (i.e., permit expires on or before October 11, 2020), the facility is not required to incorporate the revisions separately and can incorporate the revisions during the next TVOP renewal.  If a facility has three or more years remaining on their existing TVOP (i.e., permit expires after October 11, 2020), there are a few options for incorporating the Subpart MM revisions into the permit.  The following flowchart summarizes these options, followed by a more detailed discussion below.

Option #1: Incorporate Revisions During Other Projects

The first option, and the option seemingly preferred by state agencies, is incorporating the Subpart MM revisions into a TVOP during other projects at the facility requiring construction air permitting or otherwise reopening the TVOP for amendment.  Because facilities complete projects that require permitting throughout the term of their TVOP, this is the easiest method for state agencies to incorporate the revisions as part of another amendment.  Facilities opting for this method will need to request that the revisions be incorporated into the TVOP as part of the permitting process.

Option #2: Reopen TVOP

Facilities that choose not to incorporate the revisions as part of another project may be required to amend their TVOP pursuant to the reopening for cause provisions of 40 CFR §70.7(f).  Facilities that have three or more years remaining on their TVOP term (i.e., permit expiration date after October 11, 2020) will be required to contact their state agency and reopen their permit within 18 months of the rule’s promulgation (i.e., by April 11, 2019).

If you need assistance with determining if and how your facility needs to incorporate the Subpart MM revisions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me at 678.460.0324 x213 or sarner@all4inc.com.


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