- WEB EXCLUSIVE
- PE COFFEEHAUS
The restructuring of the Stationary Source Audit Program was proposed in the Federal Register on June 16, 2009, with a public comment period that was subsequently extended to Aug. 5, 2009.
The agency moved all requirements pertaining to the audit samples to the General Provisions, rather than test methods, because the current language in the test methods regarding audit samples was inconsistent from method to method. The agency said that deleting all references to audit samples in the test methods eliminates any possible confusion and inconsistencies.
The rule goes into effect on Oct. 13, 2010. Until then, the requirement to use an audit sample during a compliance test will continue to apply to all test methods for which a commercially available audit exists.
The rule applies to any operator of a stationary source that is subject to applicable requirements to conduct compliance testing under 40 CFR parts 60, 61 and 63, as well as some enterprises covered under specific actions by regulatory bodies. Surface coating, steam-generation, electric generation units, gas turbines, petroleum refineries, municipal waste combustors, and pulp and paper mills will likely be affected.
Among the more onerous requirements, test samples must be analyzed by the same analyst using the same analytical reagents and analytical system as the compliance samples, i.e. the same guy has to use the same exact chromatograph.
This action finalizes revisions to the General Provisions of Parts 51, 60, 61, and 63 to allow accredited audit sample providers to supply stationary source audit samples, and to require sources to obtain and use these samples from the accredited providers instead of from the EPA, as was the practice.
It also revises test methods 5I, 6, 6A-C, 7, 7A-D, 8, 15A, 16A, 18, 23, 25, 25C, 25D, 26, 26A, 104, 106, 108, 108A-C, 204A-F, 306, 306A, and 308 to delete any language pertaining to audit samples.
By adding language to the General Provisions of Parts 51, 60, 61 and 63, the requirement to obtain and use audits for stationary source compliance testing using agency stationary source test methods is expanded and clarified. The previous General Provisions and EPA test methods were not consistent in their language concerning the use or availability of audit samples.
The agency hopes this action will increase the number of test methods required to use audit samples, and clarify how the samples are to be obtained and used. By clarifying the requirement for audit samples and expanding their availability through multiple providers, the agency believes audit samples will be used during more compliance tests and, therefore, the overall quality of the data used for determining compliance will improve.
This action finalizes the regulatory criteria which list the minimum requirements for the audit samples, the accredited audit sample providers (AASP), and the audit sample provider accreditor (ASPA). The AASP is the company that prepares and distributes the audit samples and the ASPA is a third-party organization that will accredit and monitor the performance of the AASPs. Both the AASP and the ASPA must work with a voluntary consensus standard body (VCSB) using the consensus process to develop criteria documents that describe how they will function and meet EPA regulatory criteria listed in this rule. AASPs must be accredited by an ASPA according to a technical criteria document developed by a VCSB.
This action finalizes language that outlines the responsibilities of the regulated source owner or operator to acquire and use an audit sample for all testing conducted to determine compliance with an air emission limit. The requirement applies only if there are commercially available audit samples for the test method used during the compliance testing. The source owner, operator or representative shall report the results for the audit sample along with a summary of the emission test results for the audited pollutant to the appropriate compliance authority.
In addition to allowing private AASPs to provide audit samples for the stationary source audit program, this action shifts the burden of obtaining an audit sample from the compliance authority to the source. In the past, the EPA provided the samples to the compliance authorities at no cost, but this action requires the source to purchase the samples from an accredited provider. The samples will vary in cost depending on the type of audit sample required. However, the cost will be a very small portion of the cost of a compliance test (approximately 1 percent, according to the EPA). Based on historical data, the EPA estimates that the total cost to industry to purchase audit samples will be between $150,000 to $200,000 per year at the current usage rate.
SOURCE: Federal Register: http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2010/2010-21820.htm