Under a court-ordered deadline, on 06/14/2012, EPA proposed revised particulate matter National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS):
- Lower the annual PM2.5 standard to within the range of 12 micrograms per cubic meter (μg/m3) to 13 μg/m3. The current annual standard (from 1997) is 15 μg/m3.
- Retain the existing 24‐hour PM2.5 standard (from 2006) at 35 μg/m3.
- Set a separate 24-hr PM2.5 standard to improve visibility, primarily in urban areas: 30 deciviews or 28 deciviews. (A deciview is a measure of visibility.)
- Retain the existing secondary standards for PM2.5 and PM10.
- Retain the existing 24‐hr PM10 standard (from 2006)
Almost all counties in the U.S. are projected to meet the proposed NAAQS by 2020.
EPA is also proposing to grandfather pre-construction air permitting activities that have made substantial progress through the review process at the time the final standards are issued. EPA is also proposing changes to the PM2.5 monitoring network and Air Quality Index (AQI).
EPA is expected to issue the final standards by December 14, 2012.
EPA will accept comments for nine weeks after the proposal is published in the Federal Register. Public hearings are expected to be scheduled for July 2012.
For more information: http://www.epa.gov/pm/actions.html
Georgia EPD issued extensive new guidance for Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) permit applications on 06/11/2012. EPD is issuing this guidance to address common issues found during the PSD application process. Topics include:
- PSD Applicability
- Elements of a PSD Application
- Ambient Air Quality Analysis
- Additional Impacts Analysis
- Application Submission and Review Procedures
Facilities that are in or could be in the PSD permitting process should review the guidance and determine if questions persist or if comments to EPD are warranted. Georgia EPD will accept comments on the guidance until July 13, 2012.
The draft guidance is available here: http://www.georgiaair.org/airpermit/html/sspp/psd_guidance_document.htm
The 2012 Georgia Industrial Storm Water NPDES General Permit was issued on April 16, 2012 and is effective June 1, 2012. Compliance deadlines approach for existing industrial permittees, including:
- July 1, 2012: Submit a Notice of Intent (NOI) for coverage under the new permit.
- August 30, 2012: Update the facility Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan (SWP3) to address the requirements of the new permit.
- November 28, 2012: Implement the revised SWP3.
Also, facilities that filed for a No Exposure Exclusion (NEE) under the previous general permit must do so by July 1, 2012.
The proposed permit and supporting documents are available here: http://georgiaepd.org/Documents/IndustrialStormwater.html
For questions, contact your EPS consultant at (404) 315-9113.
EPA has prepared a white paper to solicit feedback on the options to determine if an area is meeting the 1-hour sulfur dioxide (SO2) National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS), including modeling, monitoring, or a combination of the two methods:
EPA will accept written comments on the white paper through June 22, 2012.
EPA scheduled a series of stakeholder sessions to discuss implementation of the 1-hr SO2 NAAQS:
May 30, 2012: Environmental and Public Health Organization Representatives, Washington, DC
May 31, 2012: State and Tribal Representatives, Research Triangle Park, NC
June 1, 2012: Industry Representatives, Research Triangle Park, NC
EPA has stated that it would post significant comments received at these sessions.
The final Boiler MACT standard, NHSM Rule, CISWI NSPS, and Boiler Area Source NESHAP amendments are in OMB review, indicating that these rules could be released in the next few weeks. EPA stated that they planned to issue the rules by May 2012. However, it appears that the final rules will be released in June 2012 or later.
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On April 30, 2012, EPA issued the final nonattainment area designations for the 2008 ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS). In 2008, EPA set the NAAQS for ozone at 75 ppb (8-hour average). Of the 45 nonattainment areas, only 3 are new. The remaining areas are part of existing nonattainment areas for the 1997 ozone NAAQS. In the Southeast, nonattainment areas include:
- Georgia: Atlanta (Marginal): Bartow, Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, Coweta, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Forsyth, Fulton, Gwinnett, Henry, Newton, Paulding, Rockdale.
- Mississippi: Memphis, TN-MS-AR (Marginal): Desoto (partial)
- North Carolina: Charlotte-Rock Hill, NC-SC (Marginal): Cabarrus (partial), Gaston (partial), Iredell (partial), Lincoln (partial), Mecklenburg, Rowan (partial), Union (partial).
- South Carolina: Charlotte-Rock Hill, NC-SC (Marginal): York (partial).
- Kentucky: Cincinnati, OH-KY-IN (Marginal): Boone (partial), Campbell (partial), Kenton (partial).
- Tennessee: Knoxville (Marginal): Blount, Anderson (partial), Knox; Memphis, TN-MS-AR (Marginal): Shelby.
In addition to the final area designations, EPA issued a final rule for implementation of the 2008 ozone NAAQS. Provisions of the rule include setting air quality thresholds for each of the five CAA nonattainment classifications (marginal, moderate, serious, severe, and extreme), as well as attainment dates for each classification. For example, the attainment date for marginal areas is December 31, 2015.
A subsequent EPA rulemaking is expected to address anti-backsliding provisions, State Implementation Plan (SIP) deadlines, and control measures.
List of Nonattainment Areas: http://www.epa.gov/ozonedesignations/2008standards/final/finaldes.htm
Map of Nonattainment Areas: http://www.epa.gov/ozonedesignations/2008standards/final/finalmap.htm
In August 2011, EPA issued the Chemical Data Reporting (CDR) Rule which requires that by June 30, 2012, chemical manufacturers and companies that import chemicals report their 2011 calendar year use or production of all chemicals in excess of 25,000 pounds that are on the Toxic Substance Control Act (TSCA) Inventory. EPA is using the CDR to gather information on the manufacture, process and imports of chemicals on the TSCA Inventory. Non-chemical manufacturing facilities should determine if they imported chemicals in quantities exceeding the 25,000 pound threshold.
Final Rule: http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=EPA-HQ-OPPT-2009-0187-0393
On April 16, 2012, Georgia EPD issued the final 2012 Industrial Storm Water NPDES General Permit. The new permit will be effective June 1, 2012. Facilities subject to the general permit are required to submit a Notice of Intent (NOI) for coverage under the new permit by July 1, 2012. The existing general permit remains in effect until June 1, 2012. Storm water pollution prevention plans (SWP3) must be updated by August 30, 2012. The permit includes several new sector-specific requirements, including additional benchmark monitoring.
On March 27, 2012, EPA issued proposed greenhouse gas (carbon emissions) standards for future power plants. Subject electric generating units (EGUs) include fossil‐fuel‐fired boilers, integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) units and stationary combined cycle turbine units that generate electricity for sale and are larger than 25 megawatts.
Fact Sheet: http://epa.gov/carbonpollutionstandard/pdfs/20120327factsheet.pdf
Proposed Rule: https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2012/04/13/2012-7820/standards-of-performance-for-greenhouse-gas-emissions-for-new-stationary-sources-electric-utility