4 The record articles

RACT 2 Methods of Compliance

Posted: February 27th, 2016

Authors: All4 Staff 

The revised Final-Form Reasonably Available Control Technology (RACT) 2 Rule was approved by the Pennsylvania Environmental Quality Board (EQB) on November 17, 2015.  Although the final form of the RACT 2 rule has not yet been published in the Pennsylvania Bulletin, it is already certain that January 1, 2017 is the final compliance deadline if you are a Pennsylvania facility subject to this rule.  Given this very short timeline, a facility subject to the RACT 2 rule needs to be engaged right now in making decisions concerning how compliance with RACT 2 will be demonstrated by January 1, 2017.  Before a facility can do that, it needs to know what actually constitutes RACT for each of its RACT 2 affected sources.  If you have not yet determined this, please refer to our previous blog post, register for ALL4 and PADEP’s March 1 training and Q&A session, and contact your ALL4 Project Manager so that we can support you in determining what limits and requirements apply and what types of submittals may need to be prepared for Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) in order to obtain their concurrence on what constitutes RACT at your facility.

Once RACT is determined for each of your affected sources, the methods by which you will actually comply with RACT must also be determined.  Sources that are able to meet applicable presumptive RACT limits of the rule and sources that have identified alternative RACT limits that do not require add-on controls will need to demonstrate compliance with their respective RACT limits by January 1, 2017.  If an affected source elects to install a control device to meet a presumptive RACT 2 limit or determines that a control device is required to meet an alternative RACT 2 limit determined through a case-by case review, the source may request and be granted a compliance extension of up to three (3) years.

In general, the methods by which a facility will demonstrate compliance with RACT limits are specified in 25 Pa. Code §129.100 of the proposed rule.  If an affected source is equipped with a nitrogen oxides (NOX) and/or volatile organic compound (VOC) Continuous Emissions Monitoring System (CEMS), that source would be required to monitor NOX and/or VOC (as applicable) using the respective CEMS in accordance with 25 Pa. Code Chapter 139, Subchapter C.  Municipal waste combustors will be required to monitor to a daily average, but all other sources would be required to calculate a 30-day rolling average in accordance with the provisions of 25 Pa. Code §129.100(a)(1).  Additionally, Portland cement kilns that intend to demonstrate compliance with presumptive RACT must also monitor clinker production.  For affected sources that are not equipped with CEMs, emission testing in accordance with 25 Pa. Code Chapter 139, Subchapter A must be conducted prior to January 1, 2017 and once every five (5) years thereafter.  Affected sources may request an initial test waiver if PADEP-approved test data are available in the period 12 months prior to the effective date of the RACT 2 rule.  In this scenario, the test waiver must be requested within six (6) months after the effective date of the final rule and it must demonstrate that a Department-approved emissions source test was already performed in accordance with the requirements of Chapter 139, Subpart A within 12 months prior to the effective adoption of the final-form rule or within 12 months prior to the date that the source becomes subject to RACT 2.  If approved, the waiver would essentially delay the requirement to perform testing for five (5) years.  If a waiver cannot, or is not submitted, the January 1, 2017 compliance deadline to perform testing would still apply.

If there is at least one (1) source that cannot meet a presumptive NOX emissions limit specified in §129.97, the facility may elect to develop a “facility-wide” or “system-wide” NOX Emissions Averaging Plan (Plan) in accordance with §129.98 as an alternative means to comply with presumptive NOX RACT limits.  The Plan should aggregate NOX emissions on a facility- or site-wide basis on a 30-day rolling basis.  Each source included in the Plan must be subject to a NOX emissions limit in §129.97, and the Plan must detail how aggregate 30-day rolling average actual and allowable NOX mass emissions are compiled and compared.  Actual NOX emissions from Plan sources cannot be greater than the NOX mass emissions by the Plan sources if each source complied with the source-specific NOX RACT emissions limit in §129.97.  Each Plan source may be included in only one (1) Plan.

25 Pa. Code §129.100 also includes recordkeeping requirements.  In general, all records must be retained for five (5) years and made available upon written request from either PADEP or your local air pollution control agency.  However, there are more specific recordkeeping requirements that vary depending on whether your sources can meet the presumptive RACT limits of the rule; cannot meet the presumptive RACT limits of the rule and will use the NOX averaging provisions; cannot comply with the presumptive RACT limits of the rule and will be complying through submission of an alternative RACT 2 proposal and associated case-by-case control cost analysis; or are located at major facilities but exempt from the requirements of RACT 2.

Sources that can meet either the presumptive RACT limits of the rule (including NOX averaging) or alternative case-by-case RACT limits must keep records that include sufficient data and calculations to demonstrate that the requirements of 25 Pa. Code §129.96 through .99 are met.  The data or information must be recorded and maintained in a timeframe consistent with the averaging period of the requirement.

Specific recordkeeping requirements exist for 25 Pa. Code §129.97(b) combustion sources performing adjustments.  These sources must record specific information as part of each required adjustment including the date of each tuning procedure, the names of those performing the tuning procedure, the final operating rate or load, the final NOX and carbon monoxide (CO) emission rates, the final excess oxygen rate, and other information required by the applicable operating permit).  Portland cement kilns also have unique recordkeeping requirements which are outlined at 25 Pa. Code §129.100(h).

Now, you may think that you are at least off the hook for your exempt sources.  However, sources located at major facilities that are exempt from the requirements of RACT 2 based upon the source’s potential to emit NOX and/or VOC must also keep records demonstrating that the source is not subject to RACT 2 as compared to the triggering emission rate thresholds identified in the rule.

As you can see there are numerous combinations of compliance methods that could apply to a particular facility.  We are here to help you weigh your options and put an appropriate plan into place so that you are in compliance with RACT 2 before the upcoming deadline of this fast-moving rule.  Contact Ron Harding, Project Manager, at 610.933.5246 extension 119.


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