4 The record articles

Recap of the Georgia A&WMA Spring 2016 Regulatory Update Conference

Posted: April 13th, 2016

Author: All4 Staff 

If you were not able to attend the Air & Waste Management Association (A&WMA) Georgia Chapter Spring Regulatory Update Conference on March 29, 2016, you are in luck because ALL4 was there! The conference consisted of U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) and Georgia Environmental Protection Division (GEPD) staff presenting the latest news on a variety of air quality and waste management regulatory topics. A summary of the key air quality portions of the conference is provided below.

  • Promulgation of the electronic reporting rule for New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) is expected in September 2016.
  • U.S. EPA’s air quality enforcement initiatives:
    • The air toxics enforcement initiative will focus on excess emissions from refineries, chemical  plants, and terminals.
    • The New Source Review (NSR) enforcement initiative will focus on coal-fired utilities, cement, glass, and acid manufacturing industries.
  • Georgia is not expected to have an approved state plan in place that implements emissions guidelines for sewage sludge incinerators.
  • GEPD will be discontinuing its free smoke school in 2017.
  • GEPD is evaluating alternative funding approaches  based on an expected revenue shortfall related to its emissions fees program, largely because of the retirement of coal-fired utilities and natural gas conversion projects.
  • National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS):
    • The entire state of Georgia is designated as attainment for the 1997 annual PM2.5 NAAQS. Attainment was achieved in February 2016.
    • The Metro Atlanta area is expected to be designated as attainment for the 2012 annual PM2.5 NAAQS in spring 2016, which means the entire state would be in attainment.
    • For the 2008 ozone NAAQS, a maintenance plan is under development for the Atlanta metro area, and a redesignation to attainment is expected in 2016, which means the entire state would be in attainment.
    • For the 2015 ozone NAAQS, the Atlanta metro area is expected to be a marginal nonattainment area. No additional emissions controls are anticipated to be required.
  • GEPD plans to release its statewide Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) emissions inventory to the public in mid-2016.
  • GEPD’s current approach (subject to change) to address the Startup, Shutdown, and Malfunction (SSM) SIP Call (November 22, 2016 SIP submittal deadline to U.S. EPA):
    • GEPD proposes to create alternative work practice standards for periods of startup and shutdown that would subsume numerical limits.
    • Affected facilities would either comply with the emissions limits at all times OR they would have the following compliance options:
      • Implement GEPD-developed general standards for air pollution control devices
      • Follow a work practice standard contained in an applicable NSPS or National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP)
      • Case-by-case basis enforceable work practice standards for startups and shutdowns (e.g., as part of PSD permit or Title V permit)
    • GEPD provided some preliminary information on some other U.S. EPA Region 4 states with varying approaches.

The only thing constant about air quality regulations is change, and attending these types of conferences is one (1) way for ALL4 to stay ahead of the curve. If you have questions about the topics discussed during the conference or would like to learn more details regarding the discussions, please contact reach out to us. 


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