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Compliance deadlines imposed by area source boiler standards approach

08.01.2011

As reported in the last issue of the Greenebaum Air Quality Letter, in March of this year, EPA published controversial, national standards for emissions of hazardous air pollutants (NESHAP) from both new and existing boilers and process heaters.

As previously reported, EPA took the unusual step of announcing reconsideration of the final standards concurrent with the March publication. In connection with that move, EPA delayed the effective date of the standards applicable to affected sources located at major HAP sources pending reconsideration or resolution of legal challenges. Although the Sierra Club has challenged that decision by EPA, as of the date of this publication, the major source boiler standards remain delayed and are not presently in effect.

However, as reported in the last issue of the Greenebaum Air Quality Letter, the area source boiler standards contained in the March rule were not stayed by EPA’s action and are currently effective. An area source is any source that emits or has the potential to emit, considering controls, less than 10 tons per year (tpy) of any single HAP or less than 25 tpy of combined HAPs. Applicable area source deadlines include:

  • Initial notification of applicability: September 17, 2011 for existing affected sources; September 17, 2011 or within 120 days after startup, whichever is later, for new affected sources.
  • Initial notification of compliance status: (1) July 19, 2012 for existing sources subject to tune-up work practices and/or energy assessment requirements; (2) July 19, 2014 or within 60 days of completing the performance stack test for existing sources subject to emission limits; (3) September 17, 2011 or 120 days after startup, whichever is later, for new sources. (Note however, that if a performance stack test is required, the notification must be submitted within 60 days of test completion.)
  • Compliance dates: (1) March 21, 2012 for existing sources subject to a tune-up work practice or management practice standard; (2) March 21, 2014 for existing sources subject to an emission limit and/or energy assessment requirements; (3) May 20, 2011 or on start up, whichever is later, for new sources.

For purposes of these deadlines, an affected source (i.e., the boiler) is “existing” if construction or reconstruction was commenced on or before June 4, 2010. Conversely, an affected source is “new” if construction or reconstruction was commenced after June 4, 2010 and applicability criteria were met at the time construction was commenced. With only certain limited exceptions, the area source boiler NESHAP applies to any industrial, commercial, or institutional boiler that is located at, or is part of, a facility that is classified as an area source of hazardous air pollutants. Exceptions are: (1) gas fired boilers; (2) certain hot water heaters; (3) waste heat boilers; (4) boilers used as control devices for other NESHAP standards, where at least 50 percent of the heat input to the boiler is provided by the NESHAP regulated gas stream; (5) research and development boilers; (6) boilers subject to other NESHAP standards; (7) boilers subject to Clean Air Act Section 129 standards; and (8) hazardous waste boilers.

Compliance guidance for area sources as well as example initial notification forms are available on EPA’s website at www.epa.gov/ttn/atw/boiler/boilerpg.html.


To view a complete PDF of the Second Quarter 2011 issue of the Air Quality Letter, click HERE.

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