4 The record articles

Refinery Sector Rule Update: Have You, You, You Been Keeping up with The Refinery Sector Rule Amendments?

Posted: November 7th, 2016

Authors: Frank D. 

Have you, you, you been paying attention to the revisions to 40 CFR Part 63, Subpart UUU (National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants for Petroleum Refineries: Catalytic Cracking Units, Catalytic Reforming Units, and Sulfur Recovery Units), also generically referred to as the Refinery MACT 2 standards?  ALL4 has been providing updates regarding the Petroleum Refinery Sector Rule (RSR) that was published in the Federal Register on December 1, 2015, with subsequent amendments published on February 9, 2016 and July 13, 2016.  In case you have forgotten, Kristin’s blog, and Amanda’s blog have provided updates to the RSR.

Back on February 9, 2016, U.S. EPA proposed amendments to the December 1, 2015 published RSR.  Meghan’s blog has clarified proposed amendments by summarizing the details.  The amendments included requirements extending the compliance date for standards applicable during periods of startup, shutdown, maintenance, or inspection for maintenance vents.  Refiners would be required to follow management of change (MOC) procedures for the startup, shutdown and maintenance events.  The amendments also include descriptions and technical corrections to provide additional clarity on existing requirements.  In a blog update, Meghan informed us that additional proposed amendments were published in the Federal Register on July 13, 2016 can be found here.

Now let’s get back to the Subpart UUU compliance requirements.  The first wave of compliance activities came and went on February 1, 2016.  Below, we’ll take a closer look at the upcoming compliance dates and what your refinery needs to be doing now to prepare.  As a refresher, Subpart UUU regulates process vents on catalytic cracking units (CCUs) (including the fluid catalytic cracking unit [FCCU]), catalytic recovery units (CRUs) and sulfur recovery units (SRUs) located at a major stationary source of hazardous air pollutants (HAPs).

What Are the Compliance Dates?

Here we are, and the first major Subpart UUU compliance milestone date of February 1, 2016 has passed.  On this compliance date, certain electronic reporting, additional recordkeeping and alternative startup and shutdown requirements for existing FCCUs and SRUs came into effect.  Hopefully your refinery is complying with these obligations.  If you still have questions on some of your reporting requirements, especially if you’re still navigating through CEDRI or electronic reporting, Kayla is our resident expert.

August 1, 2017 is the second compliance milestone date.  On or before this date, your refinery’s first metal HAP (MHAP) performance emissions test is required.  In addition, a 1-time hydrogen cyanide (HCN) performance emissions test is also required on or before August 1, 2017.  Another rule revision that becomes effective on August 1, 2017 includes the phasing out of the allowable incremental rate of particulate matter (PM) for the catalyst regenerator when firing solid or liquid fuels.  After August 1, 2017, allowable PM emissions for the catalyst regenerator will be reduced to 1 kg coke/1,000 kg  regardless of firing solid or liquid fuel in accordance with Equation 3 of §63.1564(b)(4).

Another revision that takes effect on August 1, 2017 impacts the operating limit averaging periods for the CCU MHAP emissions limits.  For units with a control device that is equipped with more than one continuous parameter monitoring system (CPMS), §63.1564(a)(2) allows a facility to select which operating limit parameter it will use to comply, within the applicable operating limit parameters from Table 2 of the rule.  The operating limits in Table 2 are specific for the control device (i.e., electrostatic precipitator, wet scrubber, etc.) being used and include parameters such as opacity, gas flow rate, total power (voltage and current), liquid-to-gas ratio, or pressure drop.  The revision was made to replace daily operating limit parameter averaging periods with 3-hour rolling averages.  Facilities that elect to comply with the applicable Table 2 3-hour rolling average operating limit parameters will establish the value of the operating limit parameter during the performance test, which will be used to demonstrate continuous compliance with the MHAP emissions limits.  Below, we’ll take a closer look at how your refinery can best be prepared for these changes.

January 30, 2019 is the third compliance milestone date.  As Amanda’s blog highlighted, new flare compliance options take effect on January 30, 2019.  For CRUs the exemption for active depressuring and purging at less than 5 pounds per square inch gauge (psig) will be removed.

For purposes of this blog, let’s focus on the actions surrounding the August 1, 2017 compliance date, since it is less than a year away.

So, What Do I Need to Do Before the August 1, 2017 Compliance Date?

In accordance with §63.1571(a)(5), periodic performance tests for both filterable PM or Ni are required at least once every 5 years for each affected CCU.  There are two exceptions to this per §63.1571(a)(5)(i) and (ii).  First, per §63.1571(a)(5)(i) the periodic performance testing requirement does not apply if the CCU monitors PM concentration using a PM CEMs.  Second, per §63.1571(a)(5)(ii) in circumstances where your PM performance test results are greater than 0.8 g/kg of coke burn-off, annual PM testing is required instead of performing one test every 5 years.  A facility must conduct the first periodic performance test for PM or nickel (Ni) no later than August 1, 2017.  So, if your facility is required to perform the PM or Ni performance tests, be sure to start planning for those additional stack test programs (e.g., budgeting, contacting your stack testing company and your state regulatory agency, timing of stack test to correspond with the maximum representative operating capacity, preparation of site-specific performance test plans, performance evaluation, and parametric monitoring plans).  Specifically, as it applies to your PM testing requirement, be sure to review any historic testing and consider additional pre-compliance engineering testing so that you can understand how your current PM emissions compare to the PM limit.  This information will indicate if your facility needs to prepare for the annual testing requirement or if testing for PM every 5 years will suffice.

§63.1571(a)(6) requires a 1-time HCN performance test for each CCU to be conducted no later than August 1, 2017.  However, if your facility conducted an HCN test between March 31, 2011 and February 1, 2016, a request may be submitted to use the results of that test program to fulfill this requirements.  The deadline for submitting this request was March 30, 2016.  Be sure to know if you facility can utilize this compliance option to avoid additional HCN performance testing.  Now is the time to start talking to your stack testing company and start budgeting funds and resources if this HCN performance test is required.

In accordance with Table 7 of Subpart UUU, depending on the control device being used, facilities are required to use 3-hour rolling averages to demonstrate continuous compliance with operating limits for MHAP emissions from affected CCUs established during the performance test.  Because these changes to the operating limit averaging periods will take effect before August 1, 2017, be sure to begin conversations with your continuous emissions monitoring (CEMS) provider so that your systems are configured to measure the required operating parameters on a 3-hour rolling average basis.  Also, be sure to start thinking about updating your compliance tracking tools to reflect the averaging period change.

Give ALL4 a call and we’d be happy to discuss some of the nuances of the RSR, and how we can help make your lives easier when it comes to compliance.  Meghan Barber (mbarber@all4inc.com, 610-933-5246 x130), Kristin Gordon (kgordon@all4inc.com, 281-937-7553 x301), or myself (fdougherty@all4inc.com 281-937-7553 x302) would be happy to help!


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