Regulatory Alert - Dec 2020 Federal Register updates

Aegis extends this brief summary of Federal Register updates:

NESHAP AA Phosphoric Acid Manufacturing

Effective November 3, 2020, EPA has finalized amendments to NESHAP AA for Phosphoric Acid Manufacturing,  in response to petitions on Hg emissions limit MACT floor for existing phosphate rock calciners finalized on 8/19/2015.  All 6 calciners setting the MACT floor are located at one facility located in Aurora, NC.  Company data received since the rulemaking indicates that this MACT floor did not accurately reflect the average emission limitations by the units used to set the rule standards.  EPA is finalizing a revision to Hg MACT floor for the existing calciners.  For more information, please see the Federal Register Number 85, dated 11/3/2020, page 69508.

Chemical Recovery Combustion Sources

NESHAP: Chemical Recovery Combustion Sources @ Kraft, Soda, Sulfite, & Stand-alone Semichemical Pulp Mills; NSPS: Kraft Pulp Mill Affected Sources for Which Construction, Reconstruction, or Modification commenced after May 28, 2013.

The final rule, effective November 5, 2020 includes this amendment to NESHAP & NSPS Rules clarifying how to set operating limits for smelt dissolving tank (SDT) scrubbers used at these mills & corrects cross-reference errors in both rules. For more information, please see the Federal Register Number 85, dated 11/5/2020, page 70487.

NESHAP: Polyvinyl Chloride & Copolymers Production- Reconsideration

This update includes reconsideration of final rule at major and area sources based on EPA granting petitions for reconsideration of the 4/17/2012 Rule for process vents, process wastewater, and stripped resin for major & area sources.  As a result of additional information from PVC companies, EPA proposes revision to emission limits in the 2012 major source rule for process vents & process wastewater but is not proposing revision to emission limits for area sources.  EPA is also proposing other amendments to both, including technical corrections & clarifications related to standards for stripped resin storage vessels (including use of vapor balancing), equipment leaks, and closed vent systems.  Also, EPA is clarifying text and correcting typo errors in both rules and removing affirmative defense provisions.  EPA estimates a reduction of 34 tons/year of HAPs.  Comments are due by January 8, 2021.  For more information, please see the Federal Register Number 85, dated 11/9/2020, page 71490.

Hazardous & Solid Waste Management System: disposal of Coal Combustion Residuals

On 3/3/2020, EPA proposed a final rule for the two-step process for submittal of documentation for alternate liner demonstration.  Step 1 involves submittal of application showing that certain minimum standards can be met for operating safely while collecting data to show the likelihood of success of demonstration with no Part 257 constituents at statistically significant increases above background.  Step 2 is the final demonstration regarding potential releases to groundwater over the active life of the SI. Other provisions of the 3/3/2020 proposed rule will be addressed in the future. This final rule becomes effective December 14, 2020.  For more information, please see the Federal Register Number 85, dated 11/12/2020, page 72506.

Reclassification of Major Sources as Area Sources Under Section 112 of the Clean Air Act. 

This final rule, effective January 19, 2021, implements the “plain language” definitions of Major and Area sources under the CAA and provides that a major source can be reclassified to area source status at any time upon reducing its potential to emit HAPs to below major source thresholds of 10 tons/year (single) and 25 tons/year (aggregate).  Also finalizes amendments to clarify the compliance dates, notification and recordkeeping requirements that apply to sources choosing to reclassify to area source status and to sources that revert back to major source status, including a requirement for electronic notification.  For more information, please see the Federal Register Number 85, dated 11/19/2020, page 73854.

PSD & NSR Project Emissions Accounting

The final rule, effective December 24, 2020, codifies EPA’s March 2018 memorandum “Project Emissions Accounting Under the New Source Review Preconstruction Permitting Program.” This is a two-step process in which the source determines if the proposed physical change or change in the method of operation results in a significant emission increase of a regulated NSR pollutant.   Step 1 involves existing sources proposing a physical change or change in the method of operation must determine whether the modification is major resulting in significant emissions increase(s) of NSR pollutants.  Step 2 reviews the project and any other contemporaneous and creditable emission changes, generally within a 5-year period.  Significant increases would be equal to or greater than the emission rates listed in 40 CFR 52.21(a)(23).  EPA’s Project Emissions Accounting provides that with a significant emission increase determination in Step 1, the source “may deem the project to be major”.   EPA further notes that Step 2 “is voluntary and can add complexity to the NSR major modification applicability process…” For more information, please see the Federal Register Number 85, page 74890.


The final Risk TSCA Evaluation for Trichloroethylene (TCE) is now available – for more information please see the Federal Register Number 85, page 75010.