EPA Proposes Rule to Address MACT “Hammer;” Comments Due April 29


Source: SOCMA
Related Topics: US Environmental Protection Agency

On March 30, EPA issued a proposed rule which would affect facilities which have boilers.  Specifically, the agency is proposing amendments “to clarify and streamline the process for sources and permitting authorities to follow in establishing case-by-case emissions limitations [for major sources of hazardous air pollutants] under section 112(j) [of the Clean Air Act]  in the case of complete vacatur of a section 112(d) MACT [Maximum Achievable Control Technology] standard.”

EPA notes that Section 112(j) “provides generally that major sources in a listed category or subcategory for which EPA fails to promulgate” MACT standards by certain deadlines established under the Clean Air Act “must submit permit applications beginning 18 months after such deadlines, and that federal or state permit writers must then determine on a case-by-case basis an emission limitation equivalent  to the limitation that would apply if an emission standard had been issued in a timely manner…”

The Boiler MACT standard was vacated on July 30, 2007.

In its proposal, EPA noted that there has been “confusion and uncertainty among some permitting authorities and sources as to how section 112(j) (“the hammer”) and EPA’s regulations implementing section 112(j) apply in the case of a complete vacatur of a section 112(d) rule establishing MACT standards, especially with respect to the timing of the application process.”  The proposed amendments are intended to address that confusion.  EPA emphasizes that the amendments “are limited primarily to revisions that will clarify and streamline the application process” when 112(j) is triggered by a vacatur, and stresses that the agency “is not revising or seeking comment on any other provision of the section 112(j) regulations.”

Comments are due April 29.  (By court order, EPA is required to propose new Boiler MACT and Boiler Area Source rules  by April 15, 2010.) 

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