Reasonably Available Control Technology (RACT 2) Post-Compliance Deadline Happenings
Posted: July 21st, 2017Authors: Nick L.
Major sources of NOx and/or VOC (i.e., potential to emit greater than or equal to 100 tons per year of NOx and/or 50 tons per year of VOC) subject to the Pennsylvania Reasonably Available Control Technology (RACT 2) rule had to demonstrate compliance with the applicable RACT 2 requirement or emission limitations by January 1, 2017. There are few exceptions to this deadline, such as when a facility must install an air pollution control device to meet the applicable presumptive RACT 2 requirement or emission limitation. In this case, the RACT 2 rule includes a process for proposing and petitioning for an alternative compliance schedule to allow facilities time to engineer, permit, and construct necessary equipment. Several key post-RACT 2 compliance deadline observations are provided below.
- It can be estimated that there are more than 75 case-by-case analyses submitted by facilities across six Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) regions that require review. This is a substantial workload for PADEP and has created a RACT 2 backlog.
- PADEP often issues technical deficiency letters to allow facilities to address deficiencies that PADEP has identified during their review of application documents. Such letters stop the review clock allowing the source time to respond. Indirectly, this relieves PADEP of timing obligations. PADEP has indicated in guidance that when a deficiency letter is issued, the Permit Decision Guarantee no longer applies. If your facility is issued a technical deficiency letter, the company is obligated to respond to PADEP. The applicant would respond to the deficiency letter within the timeframe specified by PADEP for that permit application and the review would proceed forward; however, with no guaranteed timeframe.
- Facilities using continuous emissions monitoring systems (CEMS) to demonstrate compliance with a RACT 2 emission limitation will be required to submit data from January 1, 2017. Ultimately, facilities will be required to submit the data electronically through the PADEP continuous emissions monitoring data processing system (CEMDPS) platform. However, the CEMDPS system is not yet completely programmed to accept RACT 2 CEMS compliance data from facilities. The PADEP Continuous Source Monitoring Division is working to develop and implement the necessary upgrades to CEMDPS, so facilities can submit electronic compliance data. CEMDPS is currently able to be configured for boilers and it is anticipated that programming to accommodate turbines will be completed soon.
Using a CEMS to demonstrate compliance with a RACT 2 emissions limitation is a component of RACT 2 compliance that is somewhat hidden in the shadows and could emerge at any time and cause concern for affected facilities. Looking ahead, here is what facilities will need to do if using CEMS to comply with RACT 2:
- Prepare and submit a Phase I monitoring plan through CEMDPS to PADEP for review and approval. This includes technical specifications on the CEMS, identification of production parameters if applicable.
- Complete, prepare, and submit additional activities through CEMDPS for PADEP review and approval. This could include generation of a sample report. In some cases, a data acquisition and handling system (DAHS) verification may be required.
- Generate and submit quarterly reports to PADEP through CEMDPS. This will be required back to the initial compliance date (e.g., January 1, 2017).
Reach out to discuss how your facility will comply with RACT 2 or how to prepare a Phase I monitoring plan. I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 610-422-1121.