4 The record articles

ALL4 at the Virtual Air Seminar Hosted by the Environmental Federation of Oklahoma (EFO)

Posted: July 12th, 2020

Authors: Frank D. 

On June 17, 2020 ALL4 attended the Environmental Federation of Oklahoma (EFO) Virtual Air Seminar.  There were approximately 140 people that attended the webinar.  Listed below are the important topics discussed:



  • Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality (ODEQ) Air Quality Division Updates
  • Tank Air Emissions Updates in United States Environmental Protection Agency’s (U.S. EPA) Compilation of Air Pollutant Emissions Factors (AP-42)
  • Accidental Air Release Reporting Rule

ODEQ Air Quality Division Updates

During the seminar, Madison Miller, Supervising Attorney for the Air Quality Division took the virtual stage and discussed relevant matters at ODEQ.  These matters included the following:

  • Penalty Guidance Document
  • COVID-19 Enforcement Discretion
  • Oklahoma Permitting, Rules and Planning

Effective January 2020, ODEQ issued a revision to its Air Quality Division Penalty Guidance Document.  The current guidance document is located here.  The revisions to the guidance document focus on high priority violation (HPV) criteria and HPV calculations.  Specifically, HPV 4 and 5 criteria has been updated to include recordkeeping requirements that were previously omitted, and HPV 1, 2, 3 and 4 penalty calculations have been updated.  In addition, State Criteria Level 1 violations have been updated along with state calculations.

On March 30, 2020, ODEQ issued a guidance document detailing the enforcement discretion policy related to COVID-19.  The policy document is located here.  In summary, ODEQ will work with Facilities on a case-by-case basis to determine the most effective approach to determine compliance.  Most enforcement requests have been related to the postponement of sampling and training programs.  Currently there is no published guidance indicating the end of this policy.  It is important to be in communication with ODEQ if your facility may experience a noncompliance event as a result of COVID-19.

ODEQ is proposing to amend the air quality portions of Chapter 4 to better align the with the public participation procedures for Part 70 source construction, New Source Review (NSR) permit requirements and Title V operating permit requirements issued by U.S. EPA.  The proposed rulemaking, with strikethroughs and text additions, is located here.  ODEQ will now post most Tier II and Tier III application public notices on their website.  Written public comment were accepted until June 17, 2020 and oral comments can be made at a September 17, 2020 Environmental Quality Board Meeting.  ODEQ intends to finalize updates later in 2020.

Tank Air Emissions Updates in AP-42

The U.S. EPA has updated Chapter 7.1 (Organic Liquid Storage Tanks) of its AP-42.  The updates were published in November 2019 and March 2020.  As a result, TANKS 4.09D emissions estimation software contains incorrect assumptions.  TANKS 4.09D has not been a supported software for quite some time and is not an acceptable method to quantify tank emissions.  Therefore, ODEQ requires tanks emissions calculations in permit applications and compliance demonstrations to use this most recent estimation approach as issued by U.S. EPA, starting April 9, 2020.  Software packages, process simulators, Microsoft Excel-based solutions and direct measurements are acceptable ways to quantify emissions in permitting and compliance contexts.  ODEQ is currently working on their own calculation tool to calculate tanks emissions.  The tool is not yet complete and is anticipated to be finished by the end of the year.

Based on the Chapter 7.1 updates, the questions a Facility needs to consider are:

  • Do the AP-42 updates impact my existing tank permitted emissions rates?
  • Will I have to update the air emissions inventory (EI) information or toxic release inventory (TRI) air release calculations for next year’s reports?

Accidental Air Release Reporting Rule

Starting on March 23, 2020, facilities are required to report extra chemical releases information associated with stationary sources.  Each Facility must report information to the Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB) regarding any accidental release of regulated substance or extremely hazardous substance that resulted in a fatality, serious injury, or substantial property damage within eight hours of the release.  The rule is codified in 40 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 1604 and was published in 85 Federal Register (FR) 10074, pages 10074-10095, located here.  Under the Accidental Release Reporting Rule, reports can be sent via email to report@csb.gov or can be called in using the phone number of 202-261-7600.  Information included in the initial report can be updated within 30 days of the original report.  The CSB will refer suspected violations to U.S. EPA, for those Facilities that fail to report properly.  U.S. EPA may then take enforcement action.  Be sure your Facility employees are aware of this new rule and are equipped with the training needed to report releases properly to the CSB.

Reminder: Environmental, Health, And Safety

Audit Privilege Act

As a reminder, Oklahoma’s Environmental, Health, And Safety Audit Privilege Act (Act) became effective November 1, 2019.  Now is a good time to consider a compliance audit under the Act to identify any potential compliance gaps at your Facility.  The Act is a good resource for you to evaluate your facility’s environmental compliance to uncover potential unknown environmental liabilities without the concern for enforcement actions.

Upcoming EFO Fall Conference

The 29th EFO Annual Meeting and Trade Show is tentatively scheduled for October 12-14 in Tulsa, OK.  My most recent blog for last year’s event is located here.  ALL4 plans to attend the conference whether that be virtually or in-person.  In the meantime be sure to reach out to me if you have any additional questions or comments about our work within Oklahoma at fdougherty@all4inc.com or 281-937-7553 x302.


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