- WEB EXCLUSIVE
- PE COFFEEHAUS
The EPA said its standards will be significantly different than what EPA proposed in April 2010. It is expected that the agency will release something by Feb. 15 of this year, and continue to make changes afterward. The agency said its hope is that the rules will be practical to implement. According to an agency press release, the EPA isn't giving up, and plans to consider all other options for addressing these issues before the rules would become effective 60 days after publication in the Federal Register.
There was a perception that putting off the rule, which is unpopular among the regulated community and in the current political environment looks like a badly timed economic burden. Requested at the same time as a delay for the agency's ozone NAAQS, and right after a pro-Republican mid-term election, there is an appearance that the delay was more political than necessary. However, many in industry agree that more time is needed, and that a year (and change)'s delay is less important than fielding a regulation that makes sense. See PE's blog entry on the ozone NAAQs.
The EPA announced in the Jan. 20, 2011, Federal Register its proposal to amend the new source performance standards for electric utility steam generating units and industrial-commercial-institutional steam generating units. The action would amend the testing requirements for owners/operators of steam generating units that elect to install particulate matter continuous emission monitoring systems. It would also amend the opacity monitoring requirements for owners/operators of affected facilities subject to an opacity standard that are exempt from the requirement to install a continuous opacity monitoring system. In addition, this action would correct several editorial errors identified from previous rulemakings.
Fossil fuel-fired electric utilities, both private and government-owned, are the primary targets of the regulations. The oil industry, lumber industry, pulp & paper mills, chemical manufacturers, refineries, steel works, electroplating, and many other industries will be affected.
On Jan. 28, 2009, the EPA promulgated amendments to the performance standards for steam generating units to add compliance, recordkeeping, and reporting requirements for owners and operators of certain affected facilities. Subsequently, the agency received a petition for reconsideration, which it granted. The petitioner that submitted the petition for reconsideration also filed a petition for review with the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. In this action, the EPA is proposing to amend specific provisions in the performance standards for steam generating units to resolve specific issues and questions raised in the petition for review, but not in the petition for reconsideration, and to address one issue raised in the petition for reconsideration.
Written comments must be received on or before Feb. 22, 2011, unless a public hearing is requested by Jan. 31. Since it almost certainly will be, the hearing will be held on Feb. 4, 2011 and written comments would be due before March 7, 2011.
SOURCE: Federal Register