On Dec. 21, 2012, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published final amendments to the Chemical Manufacturing Area Source (CMAS) rulemaking in response to a petition for reconsideration from chemical industry trade associations regarding EPA’s 2009 air toxics standards for area sources in the chemical manufacturing sector. These regulations may require certain resin manufacturing operations to install add-on pollution controls and work-practice standards to reduce hazardous air pollutants (HAP). “Area Sources,” also known as "minor sources," are those facilities with the potential to emit less than 10 tons per year of any HAP or less than 25 tons per year of aggregate HAPs. This includes facilities permitted as "synthetic minor sources."
These rules are only applicable if the facilities utilized raw materials containing the representative “HAPs of concern” as specified in each of the rules above the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) thresholds of 0.1 percent for carcinogens or 1.0 percent for noncarcinogens.
Affected sources are those facilities that generate or produce the following HAPs of concern above the OSHA thresholds: 1,3-butadiene, 1,3-dichloropropene, acetaldehyde, chloroform, ethylene dichloride, hexachlorobenzene, methylene chloride, quinoline, hydrazine and compounds of arsenic, cadmium, chromium, lead, manganese, and nickel.
ACA submitted comments on the proposed amendments on March 30, 2012. ACA generally supported the petition for reconsideration and the changes to the 2009 rule.
The following provides a summary of the significant changes to the rule.
1. Compliance Date
EPA extended the compliance deadline for existing sources until March 21, 2013.
2. Synthetic area sources that installed a control device after November 15, 1990, must obtain a title V permit
In the original proposed CMAS rule, all sources were exempted from the requirement to obtain a title V permit. However, in the 2009 final rule, obtaining a title V permit was required for synthetic area sources that had installed a control device after 1990 to become an area source. The title V requirement applied only to a chemical manufacturing process unit (CMPU) that used one of 15 urban HAP, but the permit was required if a control device is installed on any CMPU at the area source. EPA revised the title V requirement to apply only when the control device is installed on an affected CMPU.
3. Conduct “direct and proximal (thorough)” inspections of all equipment in a CMPU
In the final CMAS rule, EPA stated that inspections must be “direct and proximal (thorough),” but did not specify proximity of inspected equipment. EPA revised the standards so that inspections are not specified as “direct and proximal (thorough),” and changed the language to read that “inspections can use detection methods incorporating sight, sound, or smell.”
4. Process vessels in HAP service must have a cover in the closed position, except for material addition or sampling
In the final CMAS rule, EPA required covers in use to be closed when operator access is necessary. EPA revised the standards so that opening of vessels is allowed if manual cleaning is necessary, and that a cleaned vessel would represent the end of an “in organic HAP service” period.
5. Conduct inspection of equipment in HAP service
In the final CMAS rule, EPA specified that equipment must be “in HAP service” when inspected. EPA revised the standards to allow sources to conduct inspections when a process is not in HAP service (i.e., when the process is in volatile organic compound service).
6. Final rule incorporates concept of family of materials
In the final CMAS rule, applicability was limited to processes that produce materials emitting one of 15 HAP, as well as a family of materials that are similar products (processes that produce variations of the same product and similar emission profiles are considered one CMPU). EPA revised the definition of “family of materials,” and provided several applicability determination examples involving family of materials.
The final CMAS rule is available at: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2012-12-21/pdf/2012-30698.pdf. A summary of the final rule may be found at: http://www.epa.gov/ttn/oarpg/t3/fact_sheets/cmas_recon_fs_121412.pdf.