4 The record articles

NESHAPs: Not Just For Major Sources Anymore

Posted: January 16th, 2012

Author: All4 Staff 


Let’s talk U.S. EPA’s Integrated Urban Air Toxics Strategy.  As with many of the rules written by U.S. EPA, the courts and environmental groups have become involved and have intervened in the regulatory process.  U.S. EPA’s Integrated Urban Air Toxics Strategy is no exception.  With an upcoming court-ordered deadline of October 15, 2009 (more details on that later) fast approaching, facilities should understand the status of U.S. EPA’s Integrated Urban Air Toxics Strategy.

Why is this important?

For years, the focus of the National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) promulgated at 40 CFR Part 63 (also referred to as Maximum Achievable Control Technology or MACT standards) has only been on major sources (i.e., the sources with the potential to emit 10 tons per year or more of a single hazardous air pollutant (HAP) or 25 tons per year or more of total HAPs).  But Section 112(c) of the Clean Air Act (CAA) tasks U.S. EPA with identifying and listing area source categories that represent 90 percent of the emissions of the 30 “urban air toxics” (which equates to 70 area source categories), and with promulgating regulations for these area source categories pursuant to Section 112(d).

Who qualifies as an area source?

Area sources are those sources that have the potential to emit less than 10 tons per year of a single HAP or less than 25 tons per year of total HAPs.

Do you know if your facility is one of the 70 source categories that could be regulated under the new area source standards?  Even if your facility has committed to federally enforceable limits to avoid being subject to the major source MACT standards, your facility may still fall into one of the following categories regulated under the new area source standards:

Table 1.  List of 70 Source Categories Regulated Under Area Source Standards



Acrylic and Modacrylic Fibers Production Ag Chemicals & Pesticides Manufacturing
Aluminum Foundries Asphalt Processing & Asphalt Roofing Manufacturing
Autobody Refinishing Brick & Structural Clay
Carbon Black Production Chemical Manufacturing: Chromium Compounds
Chemical Preparations Chromic Acid Anodizing
Clay Ceramics Commercial Sterilization Facilities
Copper Foundries Cyclic Crude & Intermediate Production
Decorative Chromium Electroplating Dry Cleaning Facilities
Fabricated Metal Products, Electrical and Electronic Equipment Finishing Operations

Fabricated Metal Products, Fabricated Metal Products, not elsewhere classified Fabricated Metal Products, Fabricated Structural Metal
Fabricated Metal Products, Fabricated Plate Work (Boiler Shops) Fabricated Metal Products, Heating Equipment, Except Electric
Manufacturing Finishing Operations
Fabricated Metal Products, Industrial Machinery and Equipment Fabricated Metal Products, Primary Metal Products Manufacturing
Fabricated Metal Products, Iron and Steel Forging Ferroalloys Production: Ferromanganese & Silicomanganese
Fabricated Metal Products, Valves and Pipe Fittings Flexible Polyurethane Foam Fabrication
Flexible Polyurethane Foam Production Halogenated Solvent Cleaners
Gasoline Distribution Stage I Hazardous Waste Incineration
Hard Chromium Electroplating Industrial Boilers
Hospital Sterilizers Industrial Organic Chemical Manufacturing
Industrial Inorganic Chemical Manufacturing Institutional/Commercial Boilers
Inorganic Pigments Manufacturing Lead Acid Battery Manufacturing
Iron Foundries Mercury Cell Chlor-Alkali Plants
Medical Waste Incinerators Misc. Organic Chemical Manufacturing (MON)
Miscellaneous Coatings Municipal Waste Combustors
Municipal Landfills Oil and Natural Gas Production
Nonferrous Foundries Paint Stripping
Other Solid Waste Incineration Pharmaceutical Production
Paints & Allied Products Manufacturing Plating & Polishing
Plastic Materials and Resins Manufacturing Portland Cement Manufacturing
Polyvinyl Chloride and Copolymers Production Pressed & Blown Glass & Glassware Manufacturing
Prepared Feeds Manufacturing Primary Nonferrous Metals– Zinc, Cadmium, and Beryllium
Primary Copper Smelting Secondary Copper Smelting
Publicly Owned Treatment Works Secondary Nonferrous Metals
Secondary Lead Smelting Stainless & Non-stainless Steel Manufacturing: Electric Arc Furnaces (EAF)
Sewage Sludge Incineration Stationary Internal Combustion Engines
Steel Foundries Synthetic Rubber Manufacturing
Wood Preserving

As discussed in ALL4’s September 2008 issue of 4 The Record, U.S. EPA was required to promulgate all of the area source regulations by November 15, 2000.  That deadline came and went without the complete promulgation of all of the regulations. As a result, the Sierra Club sued U.S. EPA to kick start the process, and settlements were reached in May 2003 and March 2006.  In the latter settlement, U.S. EPA agreed to promulgate standards for the 50 remaining area source categories (of the 70 total) according to the following schedule:

  • 4 source categories by December 15, 2006.
  • 6 source categories by June 15, 2007.
  • 10 source categories by December 15, 2007.
  • 10 source categories by June 15, 2008.
  • 10 source categories by December 15, 2008.
  • 10 source categories by June 15, 2009.

The last time we checked in on U.S. EPA’s progress, U.S. EPA had generally met the first four (4) deadlines identified above, promulgating standards for 29 of the 40 area source categories that were part of the court order.  For those keeping track, 49 of the 70 total area source standard regulations have been promulgated to date (September 8, 2009).

So where are we now?

According to the schedule, the 21 remaining area source standards should have been promulgated.  So what ended up happening?  Did U.S. EPA hit the mark?

Status of December 15, 2008 Deadline

By December 15, 2008, U.S. EPA had intended to promulgate 11 more area source standards.  Currently, U.S. EPA has only finalized one (1) of those 11 area source standards that they intended to finalize by December 15, 2008.  The Ferroalloys Production: Ferromanganese and Silicomanganese Area Source Standard was proposed on September 9, 2008 and became final on December 23, 2008.

But weren’t there 10 other standards supposed to be finalized by December 15, 2008?

Yes, and on December 19, 2008, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit vacated 40 CFR 63.6(f)(1) and (h)(1) of 40 CFR Part 63, Subpart A (General Provisions) (i.e., startup, shutdown, and malfunction (SSM) provisions) which U. S. EPA claims impacted their schedule and therefore required additional time to finalize many of the remaining area source standards.  Additional time was allotted and a court-ordered deadline of October 15, 2009 was established.  This deadline is nearing and U.S. EPA has been making steady progress toward finalizing the rules.  Let’s take a closer look:

U.S. EPA is grouping the following nine (9) area source categories under one (1) rule entitled Chemical Manufacturing:

  1. Agricultural Chemicals and Pesticides Manufacturing
  2. Cyclic Crude and Intermediate Production
  3. Industrial Inorganic Chemical Manufacturing
  4. Industrial Organic Chemical Manufacturing
  5. Inorganic Pigment Manufacturing
  6. Miscellaneous Organic Chemical Manufacturing (MON)
  7. Pharmaceutical Production
  8. Plastic Materials and Resins Manufacturing
  9. Synthetic Rubber

U.S. EPA proposed area source standards for the Chemical Manufacturing source category on October 6, 2008.

Following a public hearing held October 21, 2008, an extension of the deadline for signature of the final rulemaking was granted until May 15, 2009.  On November 20, 2008, U.S. EPA extended the public comment period through January 5, 2009.  However, due to the December 19, 2008 vacatur of the SSM portions of the General Provisions, U.S. EPA received a new court-ordered deadline of October 15, 2009 to allow the Agency additional time to promulgate the rule.   U.S. EPA is expected to finalize the standards for the Chemical Manufacturing (i.e., the nine (9) area source categories) by October 15, 2009.

U.S. EPA proposed the area source standard for the last of the 11 source categories, Asphalt Processing and Asphalt Roofing Manufacturing, on July 9, 2009. Comments were accepted through August 10, 2009.  Due to increased top-level review under the new Administration, U.S. EPA  had been granted several extensions through August 17, 2009 to finalize the rule.  However, the August 17, 2009 deadline was also extended to October 15, 2009 to allow U.S. EPA additional time to contemplate the impact of the SSM portions of the General Provisions vacatur.

Status of June 15, 2009 Deadline

By June 15, 2009, U.S. EPA had intended to promulgate the final 10 area source standards.

Area source standards for foundry operations were lumped together and standards for the following three (3) area source categories were proposed on February 9, 2009 and became final on June 25, 2009:

  • Aluminum Foundries
  • Copper Foundries
  • Nonferrous Foundries

However, standards for the seven (7) remaining source categories have not yet been promulgated.  Here’s why:

As was the case for the Asphalt Processing and Asphalt Roofing Manufacturing source category, U.S. EPA required increased top-level review with the new Administration and was granted several extensions through August 17, 2009 and then October 15, 2009 to promulgate the following three (3) area source categories:

  • Paint and Allied Products
  • Prepared Feed Materials
  • Chemical Preparation

U. S. EPA looks to be on track to promulgate these three (3) standards by October 15.  The area source standard for Paint and Allied Products was proposed on July 9, 2009; the standard for Prepared Feed Materials was proposed on July 27, 2009; and the standard for Chemical Preparation was proposed on August 5, 2009.

U.S. EPA is still in negotiation for various reasons regarding the promulgation of the four (4) remaining area source categories:

  • Brick and Structural Clay Products
  • Sewage Sludge Incineration
  • Industrial Boilers
  • Institutional/Commercial Boilers

The need to collect additional data has affected U.S. EPA’s finalization of the Brick and Structural Clay Products as well

as Sewage Sludge Incineration area source standards.  Although U.S. EPA aims to promulgate these two (2) area source standards by October 15, 2009, based on the fact that the rules have not been proposed to date, the likelihood of promulgation is slim in ALL4’s opinion.

As most air quality professionals are likely aware, 40 CFR Part 63, Subpart DDDDD – National Emission Standard for Hazardous Air Pollutants for Industrial, Commercial and Institutional Boilers and Process Heaters (Boilers Rule) was vacated and remanded by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on July 30, 2007.  40 CFR Part 63, Subpart DDDDD is the major source MACT standard.  It is likely that the vacatur and remand of the Boilers Rule  has affected U.S. EPA’s ability to promulgate the Industrial Boilers and Institutional/Commercial Boilers area source standards, and  U.S. EPA has been granted an extension until July 15, 2010 for promulgation of these area source standards.

What Can I Expect to Do Once the Rules are Final?

That answer depends on what area source category you may be part of.  But generally, as with other NESHAPs, expect to see various requirements related to reporting, recordkeeping, monitoring, and testing.  One of the first reporting requirements for a facility will be submitting an initial notification to U.S. EPA.

For rules that have already been made final, Table 2 illustrates initial notification and compliance dates:

Within the individual rules, specific reporting, recordkeeping, monitoring, and testing requirements will be identified.


Stay tuned and be aware of your compliance obligations!

  • If your facility qualifies as one of the 17 remaining area source categories with standards not yet promulgated, be sure to keep an eye on the Federal Register around October 15, 2009 or drop us an email to check on U.S. EPA’s progress. In the meantime, give some thought to your facility’s strategy for complying with the regulations as they are proposed, review the final rules, and develop a compliance strategy so that you can be confident that your facility is prepared to meet the initial notification and compliance deadlines.
  • If your facility is subject to one of the rules with an upcoming initial notification or compliance date (Table 2), be aware of the deadlines and plan accordingly.


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