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UPDATE: PA Ozone Season Cement Kilns and Glass Melting Furnace NOx Rules

Posted: September 26th, 2008

Author: All4 Staff 

Do you CAIR about the status of the proposed Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) rulemaking for reducing NOx emissions from cement kilns and glass melting furnaces? Yes, it is a pun, but a most appropriate play on words.  It is all about the Clean Air Interstate Rule (CAIR) when it comes to these two (2) proposed regulations by PADEP.  With the recent vacatur of the Federal CAIR rule, there may be a delay in the finalization of both of these proposed regulations. 

The cement kiln and glass melting furnace ozone season NOx control regulations, as proposed, depended on the availability of NOx CAIR allowances as one of several compliance options for owners and operators of affected sources.  While preparing the Comment and Response documents for each of these proposed regulations, PADEP was still hoping that the CAIR vacatur might get fixed by Congress.  Joyce Epps, Director of the Bureau of Air Quality for PADEP, delivered word on September 18, 2008 to the Air Quality Technical Advisory Committee (AQTAC) that Congress has given up any hope of addressing CAIR before its September recess. PADEP must now make late stage revisions to the proposed regulations to address the fact that CAIR allowances will not likely be a compliance option.

What does all of this mean?  First, a decision must be made to determine whether the rulemakings will need to be re-proposed, thereby causing a significant delay in their promulgation.  Second, even if PADEP were able to move quickly to finalize the regulations, how would the delays impact a source’s ability to meet the May 1 through September 30, 2009 initial compliance period presently specified in the rulemakings.  Third, PADEP will likely receive a notice of “Failure to Submit an Adequate State Implementation Plan (SIP)” from U.S. EPA for not achieving sufficient NOx and SOx emission reductions due to reliance on the vacated CAIR rule.  Promulgation of these regulations (which are part of Pennsylvania’s SIP package) will not stop the likely deficiency notice from U.S. EPA.

All indicators are hinting at a delayed startup for the cement kiln and glass melting furnace ozone season NOx control regulations rules until May 1, 2010.  PADEP should make a final decision and issue a statement within the next few weeks after all the senior PADEP decision makers have reviewed the status of finalizing these rules. 


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