PROPOSED REVISIONS TO THE GENERAL PROVISIONS FOR AIR TOXICS REGULATIONS - UNAVOIDABLE PERFORMANCE TEST DELAYS
- On August 4, 2006, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed to allow owners of certain facilities to request a time extension for conducting performance tests in response to major events that cause unavoidable performance test delays. These major events are called “force majeures”.
- EPA defines a “force majeure” as an event caused by circumstances beyond the control of an affected facility. The event prevents the owner from conducting required performance tests on time despite best efforts to do so.
- Examples of such events are acts of nature, acts of war or terrorism, equipment failure or safety hazard beyond the control of the affected facility.
- The proposal would revise EPA’s General Provisions rules that apply to facilities subject to air toxics regulations. The General Provisions establish a common set of requirements for developing rules or standards to regulate emissions of toxic air pollution.
- The proposal would require the facility owner to provide the following to the EPA Administrator as soon as possible after a force majeure:
- a written description of the force majeure,
- a rationale for the delay in performance testing
- measures taken or to be taken to minimize the delay, and
- an anticipated date by which the performance test will be conducted.
- The proposal would also require the owner to conduct the test as soon as possible after the force majeure occurs.
- The proposed amendments will not result in any change in emissions.
- Only minimal costs are associated with the amendments which would result from the time it would take to write a rationale for the delay.
- The EPA will accept public comment for 90 days after the proposal is published in the Federal Register.
- EPA originally promulgated General Provisions for air toxics rules in 1994. The General Provisions contain general requirements regarding applicability, compliance, testing, monitoring, reporting, recordkeeping that apply to most or all of the Maximum Achievable Control Technology (MACT) Standards.
- This action applies to source owners and operators who are currently required to conduct stack testing to demonstrate compliance with applicable standards under the General Provisions for EPA’s air toxics rules.
- To download a copy of the proposed amendments, please visit: http://www.epa.gov/ttn/oarpg/t3pfpr.html.
- Today’s proposed action and other background information are also available either electronically in EPA’s electronic public docket and comment system, or in hard copy at EPA’s Docket Center, Environmental Protection Agency, Room B-102, 1301 Constitution Avenue, NW, Washington, DC (Docket ID No. OAR-2006-0085). The Public Reading Room is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays. The telephone number for the Public Reading Room is (202) 566-1744, and the telephone number for the EPA Docket Center is (202) 566-1742.
- NOTE: The EPA Docket Center suffered damage due to flooding during the last week of June 2006. The Docket Center is continuing to operate. However, during the cleanup, there will be temporary changes to Docket Center telephone numbers, addresses, and hours of operation for people who wish to make hand deliveries or visit the Public Reading Room to view documents. Consult EPA's Federal Register notice at 71 FR 38147 (July 5, 2006) or the EPA website at http://www.epa.gov/epahome/dockets.htm for current information on docket operations, locations and telephone numbers. The Docket Center’s mailing address for U.S. mail and the procedure for submitting comments to www.regulations.gov are not affected by the flooding and will remain the same.
- HOW TO COMMENT: EPA will accept comments for 90 days beginning when this proposal is published in the Federal Register. All comments should be identified by Docket ID No. OAR-2006-0085 and submitted by one of the following methods:
- E-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org);
- Federal e-rulemaking portal; http://www.regulations.gov;
- Facsimile (202) 566-1741;
- U.S. Mail (EPA Docket Center, Environmental Protection Agency, Mail code: 6102T, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20460); or
- Hand delivery (EPA Docket Center, Environmental Protection Agency, Room B-102, 1301 Constitution Avenue, NW, Washington, DC).
- Please include a total of two copies. EPA requests a separate copy also be sent to the contact person identified below. In addition, please mail a copy of your comments on the information collection provisions to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, Attn: Desk Officer for EPA, 725 17th St., NW, Washington, DC 20503.
- For further information about the proposed amendments, contact Ms. Lula Melton of EPA's Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards at (919) 541-2910 or Melton.Lula@epa.gov.