PADEP is Finalizing its Reasonably Available Control Technology Requirements

January 14, 2022
Jessica D. Hunt, Esq. and Michael C. Nines, P.E., LEED AP, Technical Consultant
MGKF Special Alert - Pennsylvania Forecast 2022

PADEP has developed three separate pending regulatory packages to meet EPA’s Reasonably Available Control Technology (RACT) requirements.  First, PADEP is finalizing additional RACT requirements for major sources of nitrogen oxides (NOx) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) to meet the RACT requirements for the 2015 8-hour ozone NAAQS (RACT III).  The RACT III rulemaking will amend Chapter 129 of PADEP’s air quality regulations to establish additional presumptive RACT requirements and emission limitations for certain major stationary sources that were in existence on or before August 3, 2018, and that emit or have the potential to emit 100 tons per year of NOx or 50 tons per year of VOC.  The RACT III rule establishes presumptive RACT requirements and emission limits for combustion units, municipal solid waste landfills, municipal waste combustors, process heaters, turbines, stationary internal combustion engines, cement kilns, glass melting furnaces, lime kilns, and direct-fired heaters, furnaces or ovens.  For all other sources, PADEP will require the submittal of case-by-case RACT determinations.  The proposed rulemaking would require facilities to submit their RACT proposals within six months and demonstrate compliance no later than January 1, 2023.  The comment period for the proposed rule closed on October 12, 2021.  Three public hearings were held on September 7, 8, and 9, and no public commentators participated. The Department anticipates presenting the draft final-form rulemaking in the second quarter of 2022.  Additional information regarding PADEP’s RACT III proposal can be found here.

PADEP is separately proposing presumptive RACT requirements and emission limits for the following control technique guideline (CTG) sources: shipbuilding and ship repair surface coating; synthetic organic chemical manufacturing industry (SOCMI) air oxidation distillation, and reactor processes; and dry cleaners that consume 32,493 gallons or more of petroleum solvent annually.  PADEP is proposing to amend its regulations applying to surface coatings, 25 Pa. Code § 129.52, to add an additional category for shipbuilding and ship repair surface coating.  The proposed rule will apply to owners and operators of shipbuilding and repair coatings who use or apply more than 264 gallons of coatings annually and will impose specific recordkeeping requirements and VOC-content limits.  The proposed rule will incorporate EPA’s New Source Performance Standards and CTG requirements for SOCMI facilities, and the CTG requirements for large petroleum dry cleaners.  The EQB adopted the proposed rule on September 21, 2021.  The EQB is expected to publish the proposed rule in the Pennsylvania Bulletin in early 2022, which will be subject to a 60-day public comment period.  

PADEP is also proposing emission limitations and other requirements consistent with the RACT recommendations in the CTG for the Oil and Gas Industry that were finalized by EPA on October 27, 2016.  The proposed rulemaking would establish RACT requirements for VOCs and other pollutants (along with co-benefits of methane reductions) from existing oil and natural gas production facilities, compressor stations, processing plants, and transmission stations.  The proposed rule, approved by the EQB on December 17, 2019, received extensive public comments.  PADEP has made certain revisions to the proposed rule based on public comments, which were presented to the Air Quality Technical Advisory Council on December 9, 2021.  Notable revisions include applying a 95 percent VOC control requirements for all storage vessels, regardless of location, with the potential to emit more than 2.7 tons per year, and amending its LDAR requirements to require quarterly or annual LDAR inspections depending upon the average barrels of oil equivalent produced per day.  PADEP is planning to submit the final-draft rulemaking to the EQB in first quarter 2022 and finalize the rulemaking by second quarter 2022.