EPA Sets Stricter NESHAP Standards for Off-Site Waste and Recovery Operations

Effective immediately, a new EPA rule (RIN 2060-AR47) updates the National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) for off-site waste and recovery operations. This rule implements more stringent toxic air pollutant requirements for process vents and tanks at facilities which treat, recover and/or dispose waste, used solvents, or used oil. The EPA rule will also enforce more stringent leak detection and repair requirements for valves and pumps. The rule requires new and existing affected sources to comply with 40 C.F.R. Part 63, Subpart H rather than 40 C.F.R. Part 61, Subpart V, including Subpart H requirements for connectors in gas and vapor service and in light liquid service. Subpart H (1) lowers the leak definition for valves from 10,000 ppm to 500 ppm, (2) lowers the leak definition for pump seals from 10,000 ppm to 1,000 ppm, and (iii) requires periodic instrument monitoring of connectors with a leak definition of 500 ppm (as opposed to instrument monitoring only being required if a potential leak is detected by visual, audible, olfactory, or other detection method). It also removes language that previously exempted facilities from complying with the air toxic emissions standards during equipment startup, shutdown, or malfunction.

As part of its justification for the new rule, the EPA identified new pollution control technologies that are available to off-site waste management and recovery operations. The EPA anticipates that the new rule will cost the industry $4.1 million in capital costs and $1.1 million in annualized costs. The EPA also expects the new rule to reduce emissions of hazardous air pollutants by 211 tons per year. The new requirements go into effect immediately, and facility operators are required to submit compliance reports electronically.

For more information, contact Phillip Hoover.

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