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FACT SHEET

PROPOSED AMENDMENTS TO EQUIPMENT LEAK REGULATIONS FOR SYNTHETIC ORGANIC CHEMICAL MANUFACTURING INDUSTRY AND PETROLEUM REFINERIES

FACT SHEET

ACTION
BACKGROUND
MORE INFORMATION

ACTION
  • On October 31, 2006, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed amendments to its October 1983 and May 2004 final new source performance standards (NSPS) for equipment leaks of volatile organic compounds (VOC) from synthetic organic chemical manufacturing industry (SOCMI) and petroleum refineries.
  • EPA is proposing amendments to the final NSPS rules for these industries to satisfy the statutory requirement to review and revise the standards of performance to reflect improvements in methods for reducing emissions.
  • These amendments would clarify:
    • the definition of “process unit”;
    • requirements for new equipment added to a process unit;
    • requirements for containers in closed-purge sampling systems;
    • monitoring requirements for pumps for which repair has been delayed; and
    • examples considered to be first attempts at repair of pumps.
  • These amendments would revise:
    • leak detection and repair (LDAR) standards for pumps and valves in these industries that commence construction, reconstruction, or modification as of the proposal date;
    • requirements for open-ended lines to ensure that expected emissions reductions under the existing standards are being achieved by adding LDAR requirements;
    • compliance requirements for pumps during weekly visual inspections; and
    • monitoring requirements for pumps and valves in process units that operate part-time during the year.
  • EPA will accept public comment on the proposed amendments to the final rule for 60 days following publication of the proposed amendments in the Federal Register

BACKGROUND
  • On October 18, 1983, EPA issued a final action that requires monitoring of specific types of equipment using EPA Method 21 or other equivalent monitoring techniques to detect and repair leaks at SOCMI sources. This action is the NSPS for equipment leaks of VOC from SOCMI.
  • The 1983 NSPS reduces emissions of VOC found leaking from pumps, valves, compressors, pressure relief devices, sampling connection systems, open-ended lines, and flanges or other connectors in VOC service.
  • On May 30, 1984, EPA issued a final action that requires petroleum refineries to comply with the 1983 SOCMI NSPS for leak detection and repair practices. This action is the NSPS for equipment leaks of VOC from petroleum refineries.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
  • To download the proposed amendments from EPAs website, go to Recent Actions at the following address: http://epa.gov/ttn/oarpg/t3/fr_notices/equip_leak_prop103106.pdf.
  • Today's proposed action and other background information are also available electronically at www.regulations.gov, EPA’s electronic public docket and comment system.
  • Today’s proposed action is also available at the EPA Docket Center (EPA/DC) Public Reading Room. However, due to recent flooding, the center is currently under construction, and public access will be limited until November 6, 2006. Please visit the following website frequently (http://www.epa.gov/epahome/dockets.htm) in order to receive the latest status concerning access to the Public Reading Room and access to docket materials during the construction period. Please call (202) 566–1744 between the hours of 8:30 A.M. and 4:30 P.M. Eastern Standard Time for more information.
  • HOW TO COMMENT: Comments will be accepted for 30 days beginning when this proposal is published in the Federal Register. All comments should be identified by Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2006-0699 and submitted by one of the following methods:
    • http://www.regulations.gov;
    • E-mail (a-and-r-docket@epa.gov);
    • Facsimile (202) 566-1741 (temporarily out of service);
    • Mail (Air and Radiation Docket and Information Center, Environmental Protection Agency, Mailcode: 6102T, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20460); or
    • Hand delivery (Air and Radiation Docket and Information Center, Environmental Protection Agency, Room B102, 1301 Constitution Avenue, NW, Washington, DC).
  • For more information about the proposed amendments, contact Karen Rackley at EPAs Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards at (919) 541-0634 or by e-mail at rackley.karen@epa.gov.

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