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The Components of a RACT 2 Proposal

Posted: March 16th, 2016

Authors: Christine C. 

The proposed 25 Pa. Code §§129.96 – 129.100, Additional RACT Requirements for Major Sources of NOX and VOCs, also known as the RACT 2 Rule, is expected to be promulgated in Spring 2016.  If you are a follower of our blogs, you already know that facilities will only have six (6) months from the date that the final form of the RACT 2 Rule is finalized in the Pennsylvania Bulletin to submit Reasonably Available Control Technology (RACT) proposals to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) for the control of nitrogen oxide (NOX) and volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions.  This means that submittal of RACT 2 proposals could be required by October 2016.  You may be thinking, who might submit a RACT 2 proposal and what does a RACT 2 proposal look like?

To determine whether submittal of a RACT 2 proposal would make sense for your facility, you need to first understand what constitutes RACT for each of your affected sources.  Facilities may find that they have sources that:

  • can comply with the presumptive RACT provisions of the rule;
  • cannot comply with the presumptive RACT limits of the rule and will be complying with the rule’s NOX averaging provisions;
  • either cannot comply with the presumptive RACT provisions of the rule or for which presumptive RACT provisions do not exist, who will be complying through submission of an alternative RACT 2 proposal and associated case-by-case control cost analysis; or
  • are lucky enough to be exempt.

Those sources that cannot comply with the presumptive RACT provisions of the rule can elect to submit a case-by-case proposal and those sources for which presumptive RACT provisions do not exist must submit a case-by-case proposal.  For more information on determining what constitutes RACT for your affected sources, please refer to our previous blog, “RACT 2 – I have less than a year to comply!? What should I be doing now?“.

So what is involved with developing a case-by-case RACT 2 proposal once you realize you will be submitting one?

A RACT 2 proposal is developed in the form of either an Operating Permit Modification Application or a Plan Approval Application (PAA), depending on whether you are proposing to install a control device.  Pursuant to 25 Pa. Code §129.99(d), a case-by-case RACT 2 proposal must be developed in accordance with existing 25 Pa. Code §129.92(a)(1) – (5), (7) – (10), 25 Pa. Code §129.92(b), and 25 Pa. Code §129.99(d)(1) – (6) no later than six (6) months after the effective date of the rule.  That is, the following must be included in the RACT proposal:

  • A list of each air contamination source included in the RACT proposal.
  • The size or capacity of each affected source and the types of fuel combusted, or the types and quantities of materials processed or produced in each source.
  • A physical description of each source and its operating characteristics.
  • Estimates of the potential and actual NOX and VOC emissions from each affected source, and associated supporting documentation.
  • The actual proposed alternative NOX RACT requirement or NOX RACT emissions limitation, and/or the actual proposed VOC requirement or VOC RACT emissions limitation (as applicable).
  • A RACT analysis which meets the requirements of §129.92(b), including technical and economic support documentation for each affected source (discussed further below).
  • A schedule for completing implementation of the RACT requirement or RACT emissions limitation by January 1, 2017, including interim dates for issuance of purchase orders; start and completion of process, technology and control technology changes; and completion of compliance testing.
  • The intended testing, monitoring, recordkeeping, and reporting procedures proposed to demonstrate compliance with the proposed RACT requirement(s) and/or limitation(s).
  • Additional information requested by PADEP that is necessary for the evaluation of the RACT proposal.

As presented above, a component to the RACT proposal is a “RACT analysis.”  Pursuant to 25 Pa. Code §129.92(b), the “RACT analysis” consists of a five (5)-step, top-down, control technology feasibility analysis.  The five (5)-step process consists of (1) identifying all available control technologies for the source, (2) eliminating options that are technologically infeasible, (3) rank the remaining options in order of greatest control efficiency, (4) performing a cost analysis on the remaining options to determine if the control technology is economically feasible on a dollars per ton basis, and (5) selecting RACT for the source.

As detailed within, “RACT 2 Methods of Compliance“, facilities with affected sources that cannot comply with one (1) or more 25 Pa. Code §129.97 presumptive NOX RACT limits also have the option to combine multiple affected sources into a “facility-wide” or “system-wide” NOX Emissions Averaging Plan (Plan) pursuant to 25 Pa. Code §129.98, and demonstrate compliance with presumptive NOX emission limits “in aggregate” on a 30-day rolling total mass basis.  Such Plans must be submitted to the PADEP as part of a RACT proposal.

If you find that you do not need to develop any case-by-case RACT 2 proposals (i.e., all of the NOX and/or VOC emitting sources at your facility are either exempt from the RACT 2 Rule, or able to comply with presumptive RACT 2 requirements or emissions limitations), you are still required to roll the applicable RACT 2 provisions into your current operating permit, pursuant to 25 Pa. Code §127.463.  But as specified in §127.463 you will have at least 18 months, possibly much more, for making that change.

Because facilities will be required to demonstrate compliance with the published RACT 2 rule requirements by January 1, 2017, affected facilities should be actively working to develop their RACT 2 proposals now, as applicable.  For more information regarding RACT 2, check out our RACT 2 Toolbox – a one-stop-shop for all things RACT 2.  If you have any questions about developing a RACT 2 proposal, please reach out to me at (610) 933-5246, extension 155, or at cchinofsky@all4inc.com.


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