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FACT SHEET

FINAL AMENDMENTS TO AND FINAL ACTION ON RECONSIDERATION OF THE AIR TOXICS REGULATIONS FOR THE PLYWOOD AND COMPOSITE WOOD PRODUCTS INDUSTRY

FACT SHEET

ACTION
BACKGROUND
MORE INFORMATION

ACTION
  • On January 31, 2006, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalized amendments to its July 30, 2004, air toxics regulations for the plywood and composite wood products industry. EPA also finalized its reconsideration of certain aspects of the final rule in response to a petition filed by the Natural Resources Defense Council and Environmental Integrity Project. Air toxics are pollutants known, or suspected, to cause cancer and other adverse health effects.
  • The plywood and composite wood products industry manufactures plywood and veneer, particleboard, medium density fiberboard, hardboard, fiberboard, oriented strandboard and engineered wood products.
  • On July 29, 2005 EPA proposed amendments that would streamline requirements for demonstrating that an individual facility poses a low risk to public health. The proposal also requested comment on re-setting the rule's compliance date and clarified some definitions and applicability issues.
  • The final amendments will:
    • simplify the requirements for low-risk demonstrations by reducing the number of emissions tests required, while ensuring that emissions from all process units are considered when demonstrating eligibility for the low-risk subcategory,
    • allow facilities to become part of the low-risk subcategory at any time, either before or after the MACT compliance deadline,
    • change the compliance date from October 1, 2007 to October 1, 2008 for all facilities,
    • finalize the proposed changes to definitions and applicability issues.
  • In its July 29, 2005 reconsideration proposal, EPA agreed to reconsider the following nine aspects of the 2004 rule which are:
    1. risk assessment methodology;
    2. background pollution and co-located emission sources;
    3. the dose-response value used for formaldehyde;
    4. cost-benefits of the low-risk subcategory;
    5. ecological risk;
    6. legal basis for the risk-based approach;
    7. compliance date for affected sources previously qualifying for the low-risk subcategory;
    8. startup, shutdown, and malfunction provisions; and
    9. the title V implementation mechanism for the risk-based approach.
  • After carefully considering the comments that were submitted as a result of this reconsideration process, EPA has concluded that the reconsidered aspects of the final rule are properly supported and justified and that no changes to the final rule are warranted. Therefore, EPA is not amending any of the above nine aspects of the final air toxics rule for the plywood and composite wood products industry.

BACKGROUND
  • Under the Clean Air Act, EPA is required to regulate the emissions of 188 specific air toxics, also known as hazardous air pollutants. On July 16, 1992, EPA published a list of industry groups, known as source categories, that emit one or more of these air toxics.
  • For categories of "major" sources, the law requires EPA to develop standards that restrict emissions to levels consistent with the lowest-emitting facilities in the country. A major source has the potential to emit 10 or more tons per year of a single air toxic or 25 tons per year or more of a combination of air toxics. These standards for major sources are based on stringent air pollution reduction measures known as maximum achievable control technology (MACT).
  • The plywood and composite wood products industry is one of the categories of industry listed for regulation. EPA proposed MACT standards for the industry on January 19, 2003, and finalized them July 30, 2004.
  • The final rule also created a "low-risk" plywood and composite wood products subcategory. Sources that show they meet the final rule's low-risk criteria will be added to the subcategory and exempted from the plywood and composite wood products emission standards.
  • On July 30, 2004, EPA promulgated national emission standards for hazardous air pollutants for the plywood and composite wood products source category.
  • The Administrator subsequently received a petition for reconsideration of certain provisions in the final rule. In addition, stakeholders expressed concern with some of the final rule requirements, including definitions; the emissions testing procedures required for facilities demonstrating eligibility for the low-risk subcategory; stack height calculations to be used in low-risk subcategory eligibility demonstrations; and permitting and timing issues associated with the low-risk subcategory eligibility demonstrations.
  • Under the Clean Air Act, EPA is required to regulate emissions of 188 specific air toxics. On July 16, 1992, EPA published a list of industry groups, known as source categories, that emit one or more of these air toxics. For listed cat
  • In two separate Federal Register notices published on July 29, 2005, EPA announced its reconsideration of certain aspects of the final rule, and proposed amendments to the final rule.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
  • To download the notice containing the final amendments and the conclusions on the notice of reconsideration from EPA's website, go to "Recent Additions" at the following address: http://www.epa.gov/ttn/oarpg.
  • Today's notice containing the final amendments and the conclusions on the notice of reconsideration and other background information are also available either electronically through http://www.regulations.gov or in hard copy at EPA's Air and Radiation Docket and Information Center, Environmental Protection Agency, Room B102, 1301 Constitution Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C. (Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2003-0048 and Legacy Docket ID No. A-98-44). 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 Air and Radiation Docket and Information Center is (202) 566-1742.
  • For more information about the final amendments and the conclusions on the notice of reconsideration, contact Mary Tom Kissell at EPA's Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards at (919) 541-4516 or by e-mail at kissell.mary@epa.gov.

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