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Clarification – Pennsylvania Contemplating “RACT 2” Regulation

Posted: November 7th, 2012

Author: All4 Staff 

On September 12, 2012, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) presented a draft proposed rulemaking, “Additional RACT Requirements for Major Sources of NOX and VOC” (referred to as “RACT 2”), to the Air Quality Technical Advisory Committee (AQTAC), a copy of which can be viewed here.  ALL4 initially blogged about RACT 2 on October 23, 2012. The draft proposed rulemaking includes the addition of several new definitions to §121.1 and several new sections to Chapter 129 (i.e., §129.96 through §129.100).  The original blog stated that the RACT 2 requirements would apply to a major NOX or VOC emitting facility that was in existence on or before July 20, 2012 and would affect emissions units at such facilities for which no RACT requirement has been established.  For clarification, the term “has been established” pertains to specific limits as defined in §§129.51-129.52c, 129.54-129.69, 129.71-129.73, 129.77, 129.101-129.107, and 129.301-129.310 (i.e., Standards for Sources).

Conspicuously absent from this list are the “case-by-case” RACT requirements defined in §§129.91-129.95.  The draft proposed RACT 2 requirements would supersede the requirements of a RACT permit issued under §§129.91-129.95 (i.e., case-by-case RACT), except in cases where the RACT permit specifies more stringent requirements. Conversely, the draft proposed RACT 2 requirements would not supersede the requirements of §§129.201-129.205 or §§145.111-145.113, except where the draft proposed RACT 2 requirements are more stringent.   As mentioned previously, the draft proposed RACT 2 rule differs significantly from the §§129.91-129.95 case-by-case RACT rule as it includes “defined” unit specific RACT limits for most units. This is an important distinction because many existing units that were subject to a case-by-case RACT evaluation under §§129.91-129.95 may now be subject to a defined unit-specific NOX limit (e.g., combustion units – lb/MMBtu, combustion turbines – ppmvd, internal combustion engines – grams/bhp-hr) under the draft proposed RACT 2.

Please note that the November 13, 2012 AQTAC meeting has been cancelled and the draft proposed RACT 2 rule will now be on the agenda for the December 13, 2012 AQTAC meeting.  This is a rule that will affect numerous facilities in Pennsylvania and all potentially affected facilities should fully understand the rule upon proposal and be prepared to submit comments during the public comment period.


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