EPA Finalizes Chemical Manufacturing Area Sources Rule


Source: SOCMA
Related Topics: NESHAPs US Environmental Protection Agency

On October 16, EPA met its legal deadline and issued a pre-published version of its final rule for national emissions standards for hazardous air pollutants (NESHAP) for chemical manufacturing area [i.e. non-major] sources.

This rule has been one of SOCMA's top environmental regulatory priorities since 2007, and will potentially have a significant economic impact on SOCMA members.  The rule becomes effective upon publication in the Federal Register, which should occur within the next 2-3 weeks. 

The final rule does not establish a de minimis threshold for applicability of the rule, as SOCMA had urged.  But the agency did include changes in the final rule which met SOCMA's second priority -- EPA will apply the rule only to those chemical manufacturing process units that emit urban air toxics (rather than all CMPUs within an affected facility.)  Existing sources will have three years to comply with the rule; new sources (defined as those that commenced construction or reconstruction after October 6, 2008) must comply immediately after the rule becomes effective or upon startup, whichever is later.

SOCMA has been actively engaged on the issue for much of the past two years.  Most recently, SOCMA met with the Office of Management and Budget on October 14 to reiterate our top concerns with original proposal.   In January, SOCMA submitted extensive comments to EPA, arguing that the proposed rule’s costs would be substantial – far more so than EPA estimates – and would have serious adverse economic effects on SOCMA members.   SOCMA also met with EPA in North Carolina in early March, and in Washington, D.C. at the end of July, and reached out to the Small Business Administration's Office of Advocacy in further attempts to advocate for SOCMA priorities.

SOCMA is also considering organizing a workshop to assist members in understanding the new rule and with compliance

For questions, please contact Dan Moss at (202) 721-4143.

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