On March 26, 2020, the EPA issued the COVID-19 Implications for EPA’s Enforcement and Compliance Assurance Program memorandum. This temporary policy allows for enforcement discretion for noncompliance resulting from the pandemic. The memorandum requires regulated entities to take specific steps, then document how COVID-19 caused the noncompliance and efforts to return to compliance. Noncompliance issues may include but are not limited to, routine monitoring, reporting, and testing.
EPA is the implementing authority for programs where the consequences of the pandemic may affect reporting obligations and milestones set forth in settlements and consent decrees. These consequences may affect the ability of an operation to meet enforceable limitations on air emissions and water discharges, requirements for the management of hazardous waste, or requirements to ensure and provide safe drinking water.
These are very distinct situations that the EPA plans to manage differently, as described on the EPA website page https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2020-03/documents/oecamemooncovid19implications.pdf
Not all states and commonwealths have adopted a temporary discretionary enforcement policy. As an example, the Illinois EPA has not adopted a discretionary enforcement policy, and all state statutes and regulations remain in effect. Should your organization face a situation where regulatory compliance may be at risk due to COVID-19, this special circumstance may still be a mitigating factor in the event of an enforcement action by Illinois EPA.
If you are uncertain if you will be able to meet your compliance obligations due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and you need assistance please visit our locations to find the office nearest you or contact an SCS professional at .
SCS periodically prepares Technical Bulletins to highlight items of interest to our clients and friends who have signed up to receive them. We also publish these on our website at https://www.scsengineers.com/publications/technical-bulletins/.
Our most recent Bulletin summarizes the 2020 National Emission Standards For Hazardous Air Pollutants: Solid Waste Landfills. SCS Engineers will continue to post timely information, resources, and presentations to keep you well informed. These include additional guidance, industry reaction, and a webinar with Pat Sullivan on our website and social media accounts.
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SCS will continually update coverage of this Rule on our website blog and social media channels on SCS Engineers LinkedIn and SCS Engineers Facebook. If you have any questions regarding this Technical Bulletin, feel free to contact your local SCS Engineers representative.
EPA has issued a revised NESHAP standard for municipal solid waste landfills. The new rule reflects EPA’s conclusions regarding the residual risk and technology rule, resolves confusion created when the previous rule was not updated at the same time as the landfill NSPS and updates landfill gas well head criteria for temperature. EPA is also clarifying that the standards are applicable during periods of startup, shutdown and malfunction, and requiring electronic reporting of performance test results.
This action finalizes the residual risk and technology review (RTR) conducted for the Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) Landfills source category regulated under National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) contained within 40 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 63, Subpart AAAA. Additionally, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is taking final action to:
The EPA is also finalizing minor changes to the MSW Landfills NSPS and Emission Guidelines (EG) and Compliance Times for MSW Landfills contained within 40 CFR Part 60, Subparts XXX and Cf. Specifically, the EPA is finalizing provisions to the most recent MSW Landfills NSPS and EG that would allow affected sources to demonstrate compliance with landfill gas control, operating, monitoring, recordkeeping, and reporting requirements by following the corresponding requirements in the MSW Landfills NESHAP. According to EPA, these final amendments will result in improved compliance and implementation of the rule and eliminate some of the confusion created by the previous version of the EPA rule.
We’ve pulled this information from the Final Amendments to Air Toxics Standards for Municipal Solid Waste Landfills and SCS will publish an SCS Technical Bulletin on our blog and social media sites. Please contact your Project Manager for details specific to your operation.
Approximately 738 MSW landfills are subject to the NESHAP.
On February 25, 2020, EPA finalized amendments to the 2003 NESHAP for MSW Landfills. EPA issued air toxics standards for the MSW Landfills source category in 2003 that established emission limitations based on maximum achievable control technology (MACT) standards for hazardous air pollutants (HAP) from major and area sources.
The rule required MSW landfills greater than 2.5 million megagrams (Mg) and 2.5 million cubic meters with uncontrolled emissions greater than 50 Mg/year of non-methane organic compounds (NMOC) to install and operate a gas collection and control system (GCCS). Most emissions from MSW landfills come from the continuous biodegredation of the MSW. Landfill gas contains methane, carbon dioxide and more than 100 different NMOC, including, but not limited to, vinyl chloride, ethyl benzene, benzene and toluene.
Based on the RTR, EPA is finalizing no changes to the existing standards because the agency determined the risks to be acceptable with an ample margin of safety to protect public health and the environment. In addition, EPA did not identify any new cost-effective emission controls for MSW landfills. However, EPA is finalizing several minor amendments to reorganize and streamline requirements for MSW landfills that will improve the clarity, compliance and implementation of the rule. These include:
The Clean Air Act (CAA) requires EPA to regulate toxic air pollutants, also known as air toxics, from categories of industrial facilities in two phases. The first phase is “technology-based,” where EPA develops standards for controlling the emissions of air toxics from sources in an industry group or “source category.” EPA bases these MACT standards on emission levels that are already being achieved by the best-controlled and lower-emitting sources in an industry. Within 8 years of setting the MACT standards, the CAA directs EPA to assess the remaining health risks from each source category to determine whether the MACT standards protect public health with an ample margin of safety and protect against adverse environmental effects. This second phase is a “risk-based” approach called residual risk. Here, EPA must determine whether more health-protective standards are necessary.
Every 8 years after setting MACT standards, the CAA requires EPA to review and revise the standards, if necessary, to account for improvements in air pollution controls and/or prevention and to address any residual risks that still remain after the MACT is implemented.
The CAA requires EPA to assess the risk remaining after application of the final air toxics emission standards; known as a residual risk assessment. Based on the completed risk assessment, available health information, and associated uncertainties, EPA determined risks from the MSW Landfills source category are acceptable and provide an ample margin of safety to protect public health. EPA estimates the maximum individual lifetime cancer risk for inhalation for the source category to be less than 10-in-1 million.
The CAA requires EPA to assess, review and revise air toxics standards, as necessary, taking into account developments in practices, processes and control technologies. The technology review of the standards for MSW Landfills did not identify any developments that would further reduce HAP emissions beyond the original NESHAP.
Download a copy of the final rule notice from EPA’s website at the following address: https://www.epa.gov/stationary-sources-air-pollution/municipal-solid-waste-landfills-national-emission-standards.
SCS will publish an SCS Technical Bulletin on our blog and social media sites. Please contact your Project Manager for details specific to your operation.
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National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants: Stationary Combustion Turbines Residual Risk and Technology Review 40 CFR Part 63
This action finalizes the residual risk and technology review (RTR) conducted for the Stationary Combustion Turbines source category regulated under national emission standards for hazardous air pollutants (NESHAP). In addition, EPA is taking final action addressing requirements during periods of startup, shutdown, and malfunction (SSM)
and to add electronic reporting requirements.
The EPA is finalizing its proposed determination that the risks from this source category due to emissions of air toxics are acceptable and that the existing NESHAP provides an ample margin of safety to protect public health. The EPA is also finalizing its proposed determination that EPA identified no new cost-effective controls under the technology review that would achieve further emissions reductions from the source category.
This final rule is effective on March 9, 2020. The incorporation by reference (IBR) of certain publications listed in the rule is approved by the Director of the Federal Register as of March 9, 2020.
For questions about this final action and electronic reporting requirements, contact:
For specific information regarding the risk modeling methodology, contact Mark Morris, Health and Environmental Impacts Division (C539-02), Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, email address: .
For information about the applicability of the Stationary Combustion Turbines NESHAP to a particular entity, contact Sara Ayres, Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, email address: .
The Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs announced the release of the Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions. The Agenda reports on the actions administrative agencies plan to issue in the near and long term. Of note:
The EPA published an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) regarding possible revisions to the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) Subtitle D part 258 regulations for municipal solid waste (MSW) landfills that may provide regulatory flexibility to encourage accelerated waste decomposition in the presence of water. In light of advances in landfill technology, the EPA is considering whether to revise part 258 to create new national standards for the management of liquids in “wet” landfills and bioreactor landfills, including the possibility of removing the prohibition on the addition of bulk liquids, to foster accelerated waste decomposition. Through the ANPRM, the EPA requested information and data on the performance of bioreactor landfills and wet landfills, including information on appropriate liquids management. In addition, the EPA requested comments on whether new national standards for bioreactor landfills and wet landfills are appropriate, and if so, what regulatory changes the EPA should consider in developing any proposal.
This proposal address the agency’s residual risk and technology review (RTR) of the National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) for Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) Landfills. The MSW Landfills NESHAP, subpart AAAA, was promulgated pursuant to section 112(d) of the Clean Air Act (CAA) on January 16, 2003. The NESHAP established emission limitations based on maximum achievable control technology (MACT) for controlling emissions of hazardous air pollutants (HAP) and helped implement the Urban Air Toxics Strategy developed under section 112(k) of the CAA. The HAP emitted by MSW landfills includes, but are not limited to, vinyl chloride, ethylbenzene, toluene, and benzene. This action implements the residual risk review requirements of CAA section 112(f)(2) and the technology review requirements of CAA section 112(d)(6). The statute directs the EPA to promulgate emission standards under CAA 112(f)(2) if such standards are required to provide an ample margin of safety to protect public health or to prevent, taking relevant factors into account, an adverse environmental effect. Any such standards are to be promulgated within 8 years after the promulgation of MACT standards under CAA section 112(d). CAA section 112(d)(6) requires the EPA to review and revise the MACT standards as necessary, taking into account developments in practices, processes and control technologies, no less often than every 8 years. Pursuant to a court order, the EPA is obligated to complete the final action by March 13, 2020. In consideration of this deadline, which also applies to 19 other RTR source categories, we established an internal schedule for this RTR to be proposed and finalized prior to the consent decree deadline. The EPA currently plans to complete this action by July 2019.
The EPA finalized the Emission Guidelines and Compliance Times for Municipal Solid Waste Landfills on August 29, 2016 (81 FR 59276). The requirements for state and federal plans implementing the Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) Landfills Emission Guidelines are specified in subpart B – 40 CFR 60.20-60 (referred to as the implementing regulations), which is cross-referenced in the emission guidelines issued by the Agency.
In August 2018, the EPA proposed changes to the implementing regulations governing emission guidelines under a new 40 CFR part 60, subpart Ba. This action aligns the regulatory text in the MSW Landfills Emission Guidelines with a cross-reference to the new subpart Ba for the timing requirements of state and federal plans.
SCS Engineers provides a free guide to the most common environmental reports due at the federal and state levels. Each guide includes an overview of the reporting due along with the date each state requires submission.
When SCS says free, we mean it. No need to submit your company name, no endless email trail will follow; these are free guides to download and share with others from the compliance experts – SCS Engineers.
Click to download or share each state guide:
If your state is not listed, contact the nearest SCS office to speak with a compliance professional in your area and in your business sector; SCS is nationwide.
If you have questions or need help sorting out details such as which reports apply to your business or step-by-step support on how to prepare your reports in the states listed above, contact our regional professionals.
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Ann O’Brien 1-773-775-6362
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Cheryl Moran 1-608-216-7325
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a final rule on September 29, 2015, seeking to further control emissions of hazardous air pollutants (HAPs) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from petroleum refineries.
This action finalizes the residual risk and technology review conducted for the petroleum refinery source category regulated under the National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP; 40 CFR Part 63, Subpart UUU), including the refinery Maximum Achievable Control Technology Standard (MACT) 1 and Refinery MACT 2.