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FACT SHEET

NOTICE OF PROPOSED RULEMAKING TO RECONSIDER ASPECTS OF THE MAXIMUM ACHIEVABLE CONTROL TECHNOLOGY (MACT) STANDARDS FOR THE PLYWOOD AND COMPOSITE WOOD PRODUCTS INDUSTRY

FACT SHEET

ACTION
BACKGROUND
MORE INFORMATION
and HOW TO COMMENT

ACTION

  • On July 18, 2005, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a proposed notice to reconsider certain aspects of the Agency's final air toxics rule for the plywood and composite wood products industry. This action is in response to a petition for reconsideration filed by the Natural Resources Defense Council and Environmental Integrity Project. The proposal is posted at http://www3.epa.gov/ttn/oarpg/t3pfpr.html

  • EPA published the final rule for the plywood and composite wood products industry on July 30, 2004. The industry manufactures plywood and veneer; particleboard; medium density fiberboard; hardboard; fiberboard; oriented strandboard; and engineered wood products.

  •  

    EPA has agreed to reconsider all nine aspects included in the petition for reconsideration, 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.

  • The petition also asked EPA to stay the risk-based provisions of the rule. EPA is not granting that request.

  • EPA will take public comment on the nine aspects of the rule for 45 days following publication of the reconsideration notice in the Federal Register, and will grant a hearing upon request.

 

BACKGROUND

  • Under the Clean Air Act, EPA is required to regulate 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.

  • EPA estimates that the July 2004 final rule will reduce air toxics emissions from the manufacturing of plywood and composite wood products by 11,000 tons per year, a 58 percent decrease from 1997 levels. The final rule also will reduce volatile organic compound emissions by 27,000 tons per year, a 52 percent decrease from 1997 levels.

  • The final rule also created a "low-risk" plywood and composite wood products subcategeory. Sources that show they meet the final rule's low-risk criteria will be added to the subcategory and exempted from the PCWP emission standards.

FOR MORE INFORMATION

  • To download the reconsideration notice from EPA's website, go to "Recent Actions" at the following address: http://www.epa.gov/ttn/oarpg.

  •  

    Today's reconsideration notice and other background information are also available either electronically in EDOCKET, EPA's electronic public docket and comment system, or in hardcopy at EPA's Air and Radiation Docket and Information Center, Environmental Protection Agency, Room B102, 1301 Constitution Avenue, NW, Washington, DC. The docket ID No. is OAR-2002-0048 (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. The number for the Air and Radiation Docket and Information Center is (202) 566-1742.

  •  

    Comments should be identified by Docket ID No. OAR-2002-0048 (Legacy Docket ID No. A-98-44) and submitted by one of the following methods:
    • online through the Federal eRulemaking Portal ( http://www.regulations.gov );

    • EDOCKET ( http://www.epa.gov/edocket );

    • by e-mail ( a-and-r-docket@epa.gov );

    • Facsimile ((202) 566-1741);
    • 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 reconsideration notice, 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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