Area Source Boiler MACT – Have I really met my obligations given the regulatory confusion?
Posted on June 4, 2012
Have I really met my obligations given the regulatory confusion?
The boiler source area rule was finalized on March 21, 2011 with following compliance date triggers:
Initial notification was due July 19, 2011 – Be aware that a “new” notification was due even if you submitted an initial notification previous to the finalization of the rule. The reason is that the previous rule was vacated, so the final rule is effectively a new rule with its own compliance dates.
Initial boiler tune-up was due March 21, 2012.
First notice of compliance status (NOCS) is due July 19, 2012 – This notice requires that you certify compliance with the boiler tune-up requirement.
Energy assessment is due March 21, 2014.
Second notice of compliance status is due July 19, 2014 – This notice requires that you certify compliance with the energy assessment requirement.
The EPA published a notice on May 18, 2011 delaying the effective date of the boiler major source rule until the completion of the reconsideration or the completion of litigation on the rule, whichever is earlier. The effective date of the boiler area source rule was not delayed. Then on December 23, 2011 the EPA proposed amendments to the boiler area source rule.
This caused area sources to ask whether or not they needed to complete the tune-up. The EPA answered on March 13, 2012 with a no action assurance letter delaying the tune-up requirement until March 21, 2013 but the letter said nothing about the first NOCS and the no action assurance ends October 1, 2012 or if the boiler area source rule finalized earlier.
Currently, the boiler source area rule is in the Office of Management and Budget which is the last step before it gets published in the federal register. This process can take up to 90 days so expectations are that the rule will be published sometime between the end of June and August.
So the first NOCS may be due before the rule is published and the initial boiler tune-up will be due prior to October 1 if the final rule is not published before then.
Do I have a once in always in problem?
A facility that has the potential-to-emit (PTE) more than 10 ton per year of any single hazardous air pollutant (HAP) or 25 ton per year combined HAPs is a major source. However, many facilities are in a situation where their PTE may be changing or has changed to below the major source threshold. What some do not realize is that your PTE must be below the major source threshold before the first compliance date or you are subject to the major source rule forever. Meaning if you make a change that decreases emissions below the major source threshold after the first compliance date you are still subject to the major source rule.
So the question to ask in this situation is what is the first compliance date for the boiler area source rule? Is it March 21, 2012 for the initial boiler tune-up or July 19, 2012 for the first NOCS? The confusion is that EPA delayed the tune-up requirement which may mean that the first compliance date is July 19, 2012.
Source: E360 Old Site
Back to News