Emissions testing amendments issued
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March 03, 2014
Emissions testing amendments issued

In a final rule, the EPA has issued about 90 technical and editorial corrections, additions, deletions, and other changes affecting testing of air emissions and operations under 40 CFR parts 51, 60, 61, and 63.  The amendments affect procedures applicable to specific industries and also apply to EPA test methods that can apply to emissions and processes across multiple industries. 

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Many of the amendments are based on requests to the EPA by industry to use alternative methods (e.g., for monitoring emissions) that the Agency compiles in its Applicability Determination Index (ADI). The ADI mainly addresses compliance with testing required under the federal NSPS (Part 60) and the National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (parts 61 and 63).

Parts 60 and 63

The list of industries affected by the Part 60 amendments include industrial-commercial-institutional steam-generating units (Subpart Db); sewage treatment plants (Subpart O); kraft pulp mills (Subpart BB); stationary gas turbines (Subpart GG); lead-acid battery manufacturing plants (Subpart KK); asphalt processing and asphalt roofing manufacture (Subpart UU); and volatile organic chemical emissions from synthetic organic compound manufacturing industry distillation operations (Subpart NNN).

The list of industries affected by the Part 63 amendments include the synthetic organic chemical manufacturing industry (Subpart G); chromium emissions from hard and decorative chromium electroplating and chromium anodizing tanks (Subpart N); ethylene oxide emissions standards for sterilization facilities (Subpart O); pharmaceutical production (Subpart CCCC); and petroleum refineries: catalytic cracking units, catalytic reforming units, and sulfur recovery units (Subpart UUUU).

Three changes

The amendments include the addition of many alternative test methods that may ease compliance burdens.  For example:

  • For metallic mineral processing plants (Subpart LL), Part 60, a single visible emissions observer may conduct visible emissions observations for up to three fugitive, stack, or vent emissions points within a 15-second interval.
  • For ethylene oxide emissions standards for sterilization facilities, California Air Resources Board (CARB) Method 431 may be used as an alternative to the procedures in Section 63.365(b) for determining the efficiency at the sterilization chamber vent.
  • For pharmaceuticals production, Method 320 may be used as an alternative to Method 18 for demonstrating that a vent is not a process vent.

Many methods and industry-specific testing requirements have also been amended to allow replacement of mercury-containing measuring devices with mercury-free alternatives. 

“These revisions will improve the quality of data and will give testers additional flexibility to use the newly approved alternative procedures,” states the EPA.

The final amendments were published in the February 27, 2014, FR.

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