hazardous air pollutants

On January 5, EPA added 1-bromopropane (1-BP), which is also called n-propyl bromide, to the list of Hazardous Air Pollutants (HAP) under the federal Clean Air Act. 1-BP is used as a substitute for other HAPs in dry cleaning and other industries. This marks the first addition to the list since it was established as part of the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments. The addition was prompted by petitions to list 1-BP by the Halogenated Solvents Industry Alliance and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.

EPA is expected to issue additional guidance and regulation under the National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) that will further govern the emission of the 1-BP; in the interim, companies that emit 1-BP need to consider how the addition of 1-BP to the list of HAPs will affect their permitting, emissions reporting, and regulatory compliance.
Continue Reading EPA Expands the List of Clean Air Act Hazardous Air Pollutants

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a new guidance memorandum on Thursday, January 25, 2018 that addresses the question of when – and whether – a major source of hazardous air pollutants (HAPs, such as lead, mercury, and benzene) can be reclassified as an “area source” under Section 112 of the Clean Air Act, and thereafter avoid major source permitting requirements. The new guidance allows major sources to become area sources at any time, by agreeing to federally enforceable limits on their potential to emit HAPs. This replaces the EPA’s previous “once in, always in” policy, whereby any major source of HAPs remained a major source regardless of later reductions in its potential to emit HAPs.

Continue Reading EPA Revises Guidance Allowing Reclassification of Major Sources of Hazardous Air Pollutants as Area Sources Under the Clean Air Act

White Stallion Energy Center, LLC v. EPA, No. 12-1100 (D.C. Cir. Apr. 15, 2014).

The D.C. Circuit upheld the controversial Utility MACT Rule, also known as the Mercury and Air Toxics Standard or MATS, on April 15, 2014, with a 2-1 split, rejecting challenges from State, Industry, and Labor petitioners to the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s (USEPA) 2012 promulgation of emission standards for several listed hazardous air pollutants (HAPs) emitted by coal- and oil-fired electric utility steam generating units. White Stallion Energy Ctr., LLC v. EPA, No. 12-1100 (D.C. Cir. Apr. 15, 2014); see National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants from Coal- and Oil-Fired Electric Utility Steam Generating Units and Standards of Performance for Fossil-Fuel Fired Electric Utility, Industrial-Commercial-Institutional, and Small Industrial-Commercial- Institutional Steam Generating Units, Final Rule, 77 Fed. Reg. 9304 (Feb. 16, 2012)(to be codified at 40 C.F.R. parts 60 and 63) (“Final Rule”).  The court’s long and detailed decision hinged on whether USEPA’s interpretation of the term “appropriate and necessary” from Section 112 of the Clean Air Act in the development of the Final Rule was permissible.  White Stallion Energy Ctr., LLC, No. 12-1100, 16.
Continue Reading D.C. Circuit Upholds the Utility MACT Rule in 2-1 Split

Originally published as a Schiff Hardin Environmental Update newsletter

On Monday, January 9, 2012, a Washington, D.C. federal district court kept the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) in check on how it stays its own rules. The judge vacated and remanded USEPA’s decision to delay two long-awaited emissions rules, a rule regulating hazardous air pollutants (“HAP”) from industrial, commercial and institutional boilers and process heaters located at major sources of HAP (the Boiler Maximum Achievable Control Technology or “Boiler MACT” rule), and a related rule regulating emissions of certain air pollutants from commercial and industrial solid waste incineration units (the Commercial/Industrial Solid Waste Incinerators or “CISWI” rule).
Continue Reading Court Requires Reinstatement of Boiler and Incinerator MACT Rules

Originally published as a Schiff Hardin Environmental Update newsletter

On December 2, 2011, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) announced a proposal to revise its hazardous air pollution rules related to major source boilers, area source boilers and solid waste incinerators. These proposed revisions stem from a reconsideration of the boiler and incinerator standards promulgated by USEPA on March 21, 2011 (commonly referred to as the Boiler MACT). USEPA stated that it revised the rules based on new data it received during the reconsideration process, and that it seeks to improve the achievability of standards, better reflect real-world operating conditions, allow more flexibility to operators, and reduce the costs of compliance for affected sources. The rules apply to most boilers and incinerators, with some exceptions (for example, the major source boiler standards do not apply to electric steam generating units).
Continue Reading USEPA Proposes Revisions to Boiler and Incinerator MACT Rules