Friday, July 15, 2011

EPA Proposes Combining NESHAP and NSPS For Several Chemical Sectors

EPA is proposing to combine regulatory requirements under several chemical sectors into a single sector. The chemical sector is focused on the production of synthetic organic chemicals and their intermediates, which consists of many of the North American Industry Classification System codes beginning with "325".

This sector emits hazardous air pollutants such as methanol, butadiene, and benzene, and criteria air pollutants, such as sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, and volatile organic compounds. The sector is subject to 14 different National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) and six different New Source Performance Standards (NSPS). Under this proposed action, EPA will consolidate these rules into a single chemical sector NESHAP that will address air toxics and a single chemical sector NSPS that will address criteria pollutants. Uniform standards (for heat exchangers, equipment leaks, storage vessels and transfer operations, control devices and closed-vent systems, and wastewater) are being developed in separate actions and will specify the work practices, equipment standards, and proper monitoring, recordkeeping, and reporting requirements. The regulatory text for the chemical sector NESHAP and NSPS are expected to reference the uniform standards, which will ensure that requirements are consistent across the chemical sector.

In the chemical sector NESHAP, EPA proposes to consolidate the NESHAP for Hazardous Organic Chemicals (HON, subparts F-I), Miscellaneous Organic Chemicals (MON, subpart FFFF), Ethylene (subparts XX and YY), Organic Liquids Distribution (OLD, subpart EEEE), Pesticide Active Ingredients (PAI, subpart MMM), Polyether Polyols (PEPOs, subpart PPP), Group IV Polymers and Resins (P&R IV, subpart JJJ), and Vinyl Chloride (part 61 subpart F) and revise these rules to address unregulated and under-regulated emission points under Maximum Achievable Technology (MACT) or technology review for these categories. At the same time, EPA will also perform a residual risk review for the MON, Ethylene, OLD, PAI, PEPOs, and P&R IV.

EPA is currently evaluating emissions from Vinyl Chloride facilities (currently covered by the HON and the Vinyl Chloride NESHAP) to see if additional emissions limitations are needed for combustion of chlorinated organic compounds. Similarly, the agency plans to review the six chemical sector NSPS and consolidate these requirements into a single sector NSPS and expand the scope of the rule, as necessary, to include additional emissions sources and limitations.

At the present time, EPA anticipates publishing a Notification of Proposed Rule Making in the Federal Register in December 2011.

Caltha LLP provides specialized expertise to clients nationwide in the evaluation environmental rules, developing EH&S compliance procedures, and preparing cost-effective EH&S management programs.

For further information contact Caltha LLP at


Caltha LLP Website

No comments: