4 The record articles

Update: More “Clarifying” Proposed Amendments to Refinery Sector Rule

Posted: July 13th, 2016

Authors: Meghan R. 

UPDATE (7/13/16): The proposed amendments to the Refinery Sector Rule was published in the Federal Register on July 13, 2016. The amendments are effective on the date of publication in the Federal Register.

On February 9, 2016, U.S. EPA issued proposed amendments to the December 1, 2015 published Refinery Sector Rule [i.e., 40 CFR Part 63, Subparts CC (Refinery MACT 1 ) and UUU (Refinery MACT 2) and, 40 CFR Part 60, Subparts J and Ja]. I know what you’re thinking…more proposed amendments?! But I just finished reading the 700+ pages of the December 1, 2015 published rule! I promise, these amendments are much less daunting.

The proposed amendments can be broken down into the following two (2) sub-categories:

  1. Extension of Compliance Dates:

    U.S. EPA is proposing to extend the compliance dates for standards applicable during periods of startup, shutdown, maintenance or inspection for maintenance vents, the operation of sulfur recovery units (SRU) during startup and shutdown, and fluid catalytic cracking units (FCCU) during startup, shutdown and hot standby.  The compliance dates would be extended for those units which were constructed or reconstructed on or before June 30, 2014.  Please note that the proposal does not affect normal operations.

    Upon further review of the December 1, 2015 Refinery Sector Rule (RSR), U.S. EPA determined that in order to comply with the maintenance venting and startup, shutdown and hot standby standards, refineries will be required to follow the management of change (MOC) procedures specified in the Risk Management Program (40 CFR §68.75) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Process Safety Management (PSM) [29 CFR §1910.119(l) and Appendix C of 29 CFR §1910.119].  MOC procedures assess the following for any proposed changes to a process: what new equipment is required; how will this affect health and safety; what new training will be required for staff; and has a pre-startup safety review been conducted?  To ease the burden in completing the proper MOC procedures that will be required to comply with the standards for maintenance venting and operation during startup and shutdown for SRUs and during startup, shutdown and hot standby for FCCUs, U.S. EPA is proposing a new compliance date of 18 months after the effective rule date of February 1, 2016 (i.e., August 1, 2017).

    So what does this proposed amendment mean for your refinery? Continue planning! Now is the time to take action and move forward with the MOC procedures. Those 18 months will be over before you know it.

  2. Clarifications and Technical Corrections:

    In addition to proposing an extension for the compliance dates detailed above, U.S. EPA is proposing several points of clarity and technical corrections to the December 1, 2015 rule.  The most notable proposed amendment would update Table 11 of Refinery MACT 1 to clearly outline the compliance dates for each of the standards. All other proposed corrections are minor and are meant to provide technical clarity to existing requirements.

U.S. EPA is accepting comments for 45 days (due March 25, 2016) and will hold a public hearing later in February if a request is made by February 16, 2016.

See, that wasn’t so bad! Have any questions or concerns? Need help with developing your MACT 1 and MACT 2 compliance strategies or evaluating your benzene fenceline monitoring options? If so, please contact me, Meghan Barber, at mbarber@all4inc.com. And stay tuned to ALL4’s blog to see how these proposed amendments fair in the review process.


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