EPA Adds Additional Public Sessions to Address Repeal of the Clean Power Plan

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will hold three additional public listening sessions on the proposed repeal of the Clean Power Plan in San Francisco, Calif., Gillette, Wyo. and Kansas City, Mo.

“Due to the overwhelming response to our West Virginia hearing, we are announcing additional opportunities for the public to voice their views to the Agency,” said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt.

Public listening sessions will be on EPA’s proposed repeal of the Carbon Pollution Emission Guidelines for Existing Stationary Sources: Electric Utility Generating Units (commonly known as the Clean Power Plan). Dates and specific locations will be released in coming weeks; please see the website for details. All persons wanting to speak are encouraged to register in advance.

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EPA Advances Cooperative Federalism Through Designation Process for Sulfur Dioxide and Ozone Standards

WASHINGTON (December 22, 2017) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is taking the next steps in the Clean Air Act process to determine which areas of the country meet national air quality standards for ground-level ozone and sulfur dioxide. In November 2017, the Agency designated the vast majority of U.S. counties as meeting the air quality standards set by EPA’s 2015 National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for ozone. EPA is responding to state and tribal recommendations for ozone designations for the remaining areas and providing additional opportunities for state, tribal, and public input on those areas’ designations. The Agency is also finalizing designations for certain areas for the 2010 sulfur dioxide NAAQS.

“Cooperative federalism is key to maintaining clean air,” said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. “Largely due to work by the states and new technological advances by the private sector, monitored levels of SO2 have dropped 85 percent and levels of ozone have decreased 22 percent nationwide since 1990. I am encouraged by the progress we’ve made and will continue working alongside states, tribes, and localities to determine the best methods to meet air quality standards.”

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Delaware Plans to Sue EPA for Upwind Air Pollution Relief

Delaware state authorities said Tuesday that they intend to sue the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for failing to curb the upwind air pollution generated by power plants in neighboring Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

“The Clean Air Act entitles Delaware to relief from upwind pollution and the remedy we are seeking is reasonable and within EPA’s authority and responsibility to grant,” said Delaware Governor John Carney.  The governor’s statements come after four petitions to the EPA in 2016 were unsuccessful in bringing relief from the pollution.

Delaware authorities claim that about 90 percent of the smog in Delaware is caused from uncontrolled emissions in upwind states.  The carriage of air pollution from other states is cited by Delaware’s Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Controls as the reason Delaware struggles to meet federal air quality standards.

“It is now time for EPA to hold upwind sources accountable for ozone emissions that are impacting downwind states,” the department’s secretary, Shawn Garvin, said.

 

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EPA to Propose Repealing Clean Power Plan

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will propose repealing the Clean Power Plan – the Obama administration’s centerpiece regulation to fight climate change – and plans to solicit input on a rule to replace it, according to an EPA document seen by Reuters.

The decision marks the agency’s first formal step to sweep away the rule intended to cut carbon emissions from power plants, after President Donald Trump signed an executive order in March launching the EPA’s review.

The Republican president has expressed doubts about the science of climate change and has blamed former Democratic President Barack Obama’s efforts to cut carbon emissions for hurting the coal mining and oil drilling industries.

The Clean Power Plan, or CPP, was challenged in court by 27 states after Obama’s administration launched it in 2015. It is currently suspended by the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, which set a deadline of Friday for a status report from the EPA on how it plans to proceed.

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EPA Announces Intent to Revisit Provisions of Phase 2 Heavy-Duty Rules

 

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced today its intent to revisit provisions of the Phase 2 Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Fuel Efficiency Standards for Medium- and Heavy-Duty Engines following concerns raised by stakeholders in the trailer and glider industry.

“In light of the significant issues raised, the agency has decided to revisit the Phase 2 trailer and glider provisions,” said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. “We intend to initiate a rulemaking process that incorporates the latest technical data and is wholly consistent with our authority under the Clean Air Act.”

Background: 

In September 2011, EPA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) issued greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and fuel efficiency standards for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles for model year 2014-2018 (“Phase 1”). These standards applied to newly manufactured engines, tractors, vocational vehicles, large pickups, and vans. In October 2016, EPA and NHTSA updated the standards for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles MY 2021-2027 (“Phase 2”), and regulated trailers and gliders – for the first time under the GHG program – with compliance deadlines beginning in 2018.

Contact Information: (press@epa.gov)

Air Quality Continues to Improve While U.S. Economy Continues to Grow

WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its annual report on air quality, showing the significant progress the United States has made to improve air quality across the country. “Our Nation’s Air: Status and Trends Through 2016” documents the steady and significant progress made in improving air quality across America, over more than 45 years under the Clean Air Act.

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EPA Proposes Longer Stay of Portions of Oil and Gas Standards

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is taking steps to ensure portions of the agency’s 2016 New Source Performance Standards for the oil and natural gas industry do not take effect while the agency works through the reconsideration process.

The agency is proposing a two-year stay of the fugitive emissions, pneumatic pump and professional engineer certification requirements in the rule while the agency reconsiders issues associated with these requirements. Under the proposal, sources would not need to comply with these requirements while the stay is in effect. Since issuing the final rule, EPA has received several petitions to reconsider certain aspects of the rule.

Earlier this month, EPA used its Clean Air Act authority to issue a 90-day administrative stay of these requirements. To ensure there is no gap in the stay between the 90-day stay and the proposed two-year stay if finalized, EPA also is proposing a three-month stay.

EPA will take comment on both of the proposed stays for 30 days after they are published in the Federal Register.

Contact Information: 

EPA Stays Landfill Methane Rules

WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a 90-day administrative stay for the August 2016 New Source Performance Standards and Emissions Guidelines for municipal solid waste landfills. In a May 5th letter, EPA notified industry petitioners that the agency was granting their reconsideration request. This stay will allow EPA to reconsider certain aspects of the new source standards and emission guidelines for existing landfills. Consistent with President Trump’s Energy Independence Executive Order Energy Independence Executive Order, EPA will continue to review these actions to ensure that they protect the environment and enable a growing economy.

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NESHAP for Area Source Boilers (40 CFR 63, Subpart JJJJJJ)

2017-04-20 NESHAP for Area Source Boilers (40 CFR, Subpart JJJJJJ)

The national emission standards for hazardous air pollutants (NESHAP) for area source boilers (40 CFR part 63, Subpart JJJJJJ) was published in the Federal Register on March 21, 2011 and EPA finalized changes to the rule in the Federal Register on February 1, 2013 and on September 14, 2016. The September 14, 2016, action announced EPA’s final decisions on five issues regarding the February 1, 2013, amendments for which reconsideration was granted.

ESS provides comprehensive emissions testing services to meet the federal and state requirements for industrial boilers, including Subpart JJJJJJ, Subpart DDDDD, Title V, and more.  See our list of capabilities for more information or call 910.799.1055 for more information.

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EPA Answers 63 Questions About the Boiler MACT (40 CFR 63 Subpart DDDDD)

2017-04-04 EPA Q&A DDDDD

GENERAL

Q1. Can a boiler that combusts both gas and oil average its emissions when firing gas with those when firing oil?

A: As stated in 63.7522, emission averaging is only allowed between units in the same subcategory. Averaging emissions of a dual fuel unit burning oil with the emissions of the same unit when burning gas is not permitted. Under 63.7520(c), the unit’s compliance would be based on the emissions when firing oil.

 

Q2. Can a facility that is currently a major source of HAP become an area source before the first substantive date of the Major Source Boiler MACT (i.e., 2016), and comply with the Area Source Boiler MACT/GACT (NESHAP JJJJJJ) provisions? The EPA’s memorandum that was published in 1995 specifically noted the first substantive compliance date of a MACT rule as the last day to switch to an area source, before Once In, Always In takes effect.  Does this memorandum still represents EPA’s policy?

A: The “Once In Always In” Policy does represent the Agency’s policy. You are correct that a source must reduce their emissions below major source thresholds prior to the compliance date of the rule.

 

Q3. Can a facility that is a major source boiler become an area source boiler? If so, what is the latest date by which it may do so, and what has to happen by then?

A: A facility would need to become an area source before the first applicable compliance date, which would be January 31, 2016 for existing sources. The facility would need to show that their potential to emit HAP is less than 10/25 TPY, and a federally enforceable permit restriction would be one way to show emissions are below major source levels.

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