4 The record articles

RACT 2 Compliance Reporting… No Reason to Wait

Posted: March 21st, 2019

Authors: Matt C.  Megan S. 
Carideo Stroup

January 1, 2017 feels like forever ago, but for most of us at ALL4, that date sticks with us.  Why?  January 1, 2017 was the final compliance deadline for Pennsylvania facilities subject to the Reasonably Available Control Technology (RACT) 2 Rule, and since that date (and for some time before it), we have worked with facilities from various industries to develop compliance strategies and compliance demonstrations for the RACT 2 Rule.  Many of our clients are using continuous emissions monitoring systems (CEMS) to demonstrate compliance with the RACT 2 Rule, and those clients are at different stages of the RACT 2 Monitoring Plan process with Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP or “the Department”).  ALL4’s CMS Practice Area has successfully helped our clients navigate the murkiness of numerous RACT 2 Monitoring Plan submittals.

This article will detail what we have learned from our experiences and will help guide you on the next steps you should be taking based your facility’s current RACT 2 Monitoring Plan status.  So, what’s the status of your facility’s RACT 2 Monitoring Plan?

You have not submitted a RACT 2 Monitoring Plan…

If your facility’s RACT 2 method of demonstrating compliance requires the use of CEMS and you have not yet submitted a RACT 2 Phase I Monitoring Plan, the time is now!  PADEP is accepting RACT 2 Phase I Monitoring Plans and will work with facilities to determine the correct Monitoring Plan configuration to be entered in PADEP’s Continuous Emission Monitoring Data Processing System (CEMDPS).  If you are waiting to hear from PADEP regarding when to submit your RACT 2 Monitoring Plan, don’t wait any longer! PADEP will not be actively requesting Monitoring Plans and expects that facilities required to submit a Monitoring Plan will do so on their own accord.

You have submitted a RACT 2 Monitoring Plan…

If your facility has submitted a RACT 2 Monitoring Plan and you’re not sure where it stands in the review process, do not be afraid to reach out PADEP to request a status update.  PADEP is processing RACT 2 Monitoring Plans that have been submitted, but the possibility exists that your facility’s Monitoring Plan has not been processed.  That is – the Department may have looked at parts of the RACT 2 Monitoring Plan but has not finalized.  The message here is we all get busy, so reach out to PADEP about your RACT 2 Monitoring Plan, they want to wrap these up too!

You have provided PADEP a summary of your proposed RACT 2 Monitoring Plan configuration…

Some facilities elect to provide a proposed RACT 2 Monitoring Plan configuration to PADEP for review and comment.  This optional step is an informal outline allowing a facility to receive preliminary technical feedback on their proposed monitoring plan (e.g., are the required technical elements included).  If you submitted a summary of your proposed RACT 2 Monitoring Plan configuration to PADEP but have not heard back, reach out to them!  Either go ahead and submit the Monitoring Plan as you proposed in your original summary, or alternatively, reach out to PADEP to get concurrence on your facility’s approach to the Monitoring Plan.

Okay – we’ve set the foundation for where your facility might be in this process.  What else has ALL4 learned during this process?

  • System-wide averaging (i.e., averaging emissions from sources across different facilities under common control of the same owner/operator) will NOT be handled within CEMDPS. Compliance will be demonstrated through reporting to the PADEP Regional Office assigned to your facility.
  • Facility-wide averaging (i.e., averaging emissions from sources at a single facility) programming in CEMDPS has been completed and PADEP is able to receive Monitoring Plans for this method of demonstrating compliance. PADEP is open to stepping the facility through how to set up this type of Monitoring Plan as needed.
  • Penalties for RACT 2 30-operating day average exceedances will be assessed in accordance with the current compliance assurance policies (CAPS). This means that the 30-operating day RACT 2 averages calculated by PADEP’s software will be used for compliance assessment and that the penalties assessed will be based on the ratio of the exceedance value in comparison to the RACT 2 emissions limit.  A few comments relative to penalties for RACT 2 30-operating day average exceedances:
    • PADEP is open to supplying a sample Continuous Source Monitoring Report (CSMR) as part of the sample report process to confirm that the compliance averages calculated by your facility’s data acquisition and handling system (DAHS) are consistent with the averages calculated by the Department. We recommend doing this comparison to ensure that there are no surprises when your facility starts to submit compliance reports, and to provide added confidence in your facility’s real-time compliance averages.  If desired, the sample CSMR should be requested by the facility during the sample report process.
    • Make sure that if your facility is required to use data substitution, the facility has put thought into what data substitution procedures are appropriate. PADEP is reviewing proposed data substitution procedures to ensure that the type of data substitution selected won’t result in potentially biased emissions results (e.g., substituting high heat input values which results in biased, low NOX lb/MMBtu compliance averages).  In addition, keep in mind that if you choose a data substitution procedure that would result in overly conservative compliance averages, it could result in additional exceedances or more penalty assessed by the applicable CAP.

If you have questions about where your facility is in the RACT 2 Monitoring Plan process, how to set up a RACT 2 Monitoring Plan in CEMDPS,  or any other components of RACT 2 compliance, please reach out to Megan Stroup (610.933.5246 x140 or mstroup@all4inc.com) or Matt Carideo (610.933.5246 x139 or mcarideo@all4inc.com).  Additionally, to ensure that you do not miss out on future articles, signup for our 4 The Record here for timely updates of current hot issues, plus an in-depth article each month that highlights a regulatory topic.


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