Reopenning of Comment Period For Start-up and Shutdown Requirement in MATS Rule and Utility NSPS

Written By: Caltha LLP | Published On: 25th June 2013 | Category: Air Quality | RSS Feed

On November 30, 2012, EPA published the proposed rule, “Reconsideration of Certain New Source and Startup/Shutdown Issues: National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants from Coal- and Oil-fired Electric Utility Steam Generating Units and Standards of Performance for Fossil-Fuel-Fired Electric Utility, Industrial-Commercial-Institutional, and Small Industrial-Commercial-Institutional Steam Generating Units.” That proposal opened for reconsideration several issues, including startup and shutdown. On April 24, 2013, EPA finalized reconsideration of all these issues, except those related to startup and shutdown. The EPA is now reopening the public comment period for the proposed reconsideration to solicit additional input on specific issues raised during the initial public comment period related to periods of startup and shutdown. Comments must be received on or before August 26, 2013.

As background, on February 16, 2012 EPA issued the final MATS and Utility NSPS. The final MATS rule included a work practice standard applicable during periods of startup and shutdown rather than establishing numerical limits during such periods. In the Utility NSPS, EPA included the same work practice for particulate matter (PM) emissions. The work practice standard was designed to minimize emissions of hazardous air pollutants (HAP) and PM during periods of startup and shutdown by requiring sources to maximize the use of clean fuels during such periods when electric utility steam generating unit (EGU) temperatures and air flow may not be sufficient to effectively engage certain air pollution control devices (APCD).

On November 30, 2012, EPA published the proposed rule, “Reconsideration of Certain New Source and Startup/Shutdown Issues: National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants from Coal- and Oil-fired Electric Utility Steam Generating Units and Standards of Performance for Fossil-Fuel-Fired Electric Utility, Industrial-Commercial-Institutional, and Small Industrial-Commercial-Institutional Steam Generating Units”. During the comment period, EPA received data and other information from industry about EGU startup, and the industry commenters recommended that the startup and shutdown provisions as proposed be further amended. The comments raised several significant issues regarding the definition of startup, the types of “clean fuels” that must be used during startup, the means by which non-mercury (Hg) emissions are calculated during periods of startup and shutdown and the manner in which EGUs that share a common stack demonstrate compliance during periods of startup and shutdown.

EPA believed it appropriate to request additional comment on these issues and to reopen the public comment period. EPA has only reopened for comment the startup and shutdown provisions in the MATS rule and the startup and shutdown provisions related to PM in the Utility NSPS.

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