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California Environmental News

Cap-and-Trade August 2014 Auction Results Released

Thursday, September 25, 2014

On August 21, 2014, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) released the results of its eighth auction for greenhouse gas (GHG) allowances, which was held on August 18, 2014. The results detail the number of allowances sold, the settlement price, and other market statistics in the auctions for the 2014 and 2017 vintage allowances. All 22,473,043 metric tons of 2014 allowances that were available for sale were sold. The settlement price was $11.50 per metric ton which remained the same from the May 2014 auction. 6,470,000 of the 9,260,000 vintage 2017 allowances that were available for sale were sold. Similarly, the settlement price remained the same as the May 2014 auction at $11.34 per metric ton, which was also the reserve price. The next auction is planned for November 2014.

For any additional questions, please contact Steve Walters at (949) 567-9880.

USEPA Issues Approval for SJVAPCD’s New Source Review Rules

Thursday, September 25, 2014

On September 17, 2014, USEPA finalized its approval of two rules involving New Source Review (NSR) within San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District (SJVAPCD). Specifically, USEPA approved Rule 2020 "Exemptions" (amended August 18, 2011), and Rule 2201 "New and Modified Stationary Source Review Rule" (amended April 21, 2011) as revisions to the California State Implementation Plan (SIP). Previously, USEPA had only issued a partial ("limited") approval of these rules. SJVAPCD amended the rules in 2011 to address certain deficiencies identified by USEPA.

Rule 2020 provides exemptions for certain emission units that are not required to obtain a construction or operating permit. One notable change with the 2011 version of this rule was inclusion of a new exemption for wind machines used to protect agricultural crops from frost damage. Rule 2201 provides provisions for preconstruction review and permitting of new and/or modified stationary sources within SJVAPCD's jurisdiction (e.g., permitting thresholds, best available control technology (BACT) requirements, emission offset requirements, etc.). The version of Rule 2201 approved by USEPA includes the stipulations related to PM2.5 standards.

Once effective, the approval issued by USEPA on September 17, 2014 supersedes the previous limited approval and limited disapproval action affecting these rules. Although these rules have already been adopted by SJVAPCD, the inclusion of these rules in the SIP in their entirety makes them fully federally enforceable. The action taken by USEPA with this final rule will become effective on October 17, 2014.

Further information regarding this action can be found in the Federal Register publication of the final rule and also within the docket associated with this action (Docket ID Number: EPA-R09-OAR-2011-0881).

MBUAPCD Proposed Revisions to Rule 201

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Monterey Bay Unified Air Pollution Control District's (MBUAPCD) Rule 201 (Sources Not Requiring Permits) lists source and equipment categories which are exempt from the requirements of District Rule 200 (Permits Required) to obtain an Authority to Construct (ATC) or Permit to Operate (PTO).

The proposed revisions clarify MBUAPCD's permit exemption list based upon existing MBUAPCD practices, to eliminate permit requirements on insignificant emission sources, and require permits for all landfills that are subject to the State's Regulation to Reduce Methane Emissions from Municipal landfills. The corresponding CEQA Initial Study and Negative Declaration for these revisions are available for distribution. The copies can be obtained from the MBUAPCD by calling (831) 647-9411.

The specific proposed rule revisions primarily consist of updates (generally, an addition of exemptions) to the categories of: Abrasive Blasting; Contaminated Soil or Water Aeration; External Combustion Equipment; Wood; Miscellaneous Equipment; Portable Equipment; and Surface Coating, Cleaning, and Adhesive Operations. Two new categories have also been proposed: Equipment Rendered Inoperable and Low Emitting Unit. The former describes that a permit is not required for non-operating equipment or equipment removed from service. The latter describes processes not identified in any other Rule 201 category and that have emissions of less than two pounds per day of any affected pollutant. However, these processes do not fall into this category if the affected pollutant is defined as a Toxic Contaminant in District Rule 1000.

Comments on the proposed rule revision must be submitted to Mr. Mike Sewell at MBUAPCD by October 1, 2014. A Board Adoption Meeting is scheduled for October 15, 2014 and is open to the public. For more information regarding these revisions click here.

EKAPCD Proposed Amendments to Rules 301, 302, 303, and 402, and Proposed New Rule 402.2

Friday, August 22, 2014

Eastern Kern Air Pollution Control District (EKAPCD) has announced proposed amendments to Rule 301: Permit Fees, Rule 302: Permit Fee Schedules, Rule 303: Miscellaneous Fees, and Rule 402: Fugitive Dust. Additionally, EKAPCD is proposing to adopt Draft Rule 402.2: Agricultural Operations.

The proposed amendment to Rule 301 involves the nonrefundable filing fee of $120, which is currently credited towards the total application processing fee. The proposed changes to Rule 302 include clarification that Power Generation, Cogeneration and Resource Recovery fees apply to solar facilities, and an additional fee schedule for Agricultural Engine Registration. Rule 303 proposed changes include removal of Section VII (Stationary Agricultural Engine Registration), and increase in the 2015 engineering analysis fees from $88 to $100 per hour.

Rule 402 proposed amendments involve extensive revisions to the definitions, exemptions, and requirements for fugitive dust. In order to enhance clarity and enforcement, several existing definitions have been revised, and new definitions have been added. Proposed changes to the Exemptions section include revision of exemptions for On-field agricultural and Emergency activities, addition of provisions for bulk materials, and deletion of two exemptions pertaining to contractors. Proposed updates to the Requirements section include addition of Bulk Material Control Measures (BMCM), addition of specific requirements for Earthmoving Activities and Carryout/Trackout, and modification of the Fugitive Dust Emission Control Plan requirements for large operations. Requirements for PM10 air monitoring have been revised and moved to a separate section. Additionally, a separate Prohibitions section has been added to prohibit certain types/uses of soil stabilizers and dust suppressants.

Proposed Draft Rule 402.2 applies to agricultural operations. The purpose of this proposed rule is to reduce PM and dust emissions by implementing Best Available Control Measures (BACM). Owners and operators will be required to submit and implement a Conservation Management Practice (CMP) plan.

A public workshop to discuss proposed Rules 301, 302, 303, 402, and 402.2 will be held Tuesday September 16, 2014. All written comments must be submitted to EKAPCD by October 16, 2014.

More information about the proposed updates and workshop can be found on the EKAPCD website here.

Please contact Trinity at (661) 282-2200 with any questions.

Ventura County APCD Proposed Rule 74.33 - Liquefied Petroleum Gas Transfer or Dispensing

Friday, August 22, 2014

The Ventura County Air Pollution Control District (VCAPCD) is proposing new Rule 74.33, Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) Transfer or Dispensing, in order to reduce emissions of reactive organic compounds (ROC) from the transfer and dispensing of LPG. This rule applies to any transfer of LPG to or from cargo tanks, stationary and portable storage tanks, and cylinders, excluding those on recreational vehicles. Containers with a water capacity below four gallons are also excluded.

ROC emissions from fugitive sources will be reduced through the implementation of Low-Emission Fixed Liquid Level Gauges, also known as bleeder valves, and Low Emission Connectors. This proposed rule also establishes a Leak, Detection, and Repair (LDAR) program for LPG Bulk Plants and Storage and Transfer Facilities, which will involve daily and monthly inspections using approved methods.

Some examples of operations affected by Rule 74.33 include forklift filling, retail sales, residential heating, vehicle filling, commercial operations, industrial operations, LPG combustion associated with tank degassing operations and portable asphalt plants, LPG bulk plants and LPG storage and dispensing facilities. Oilfield LPG loading facilities would be exempt from this rule due to their requirements from Rule 71.3 and 74.10.

For more information regarding future compliance with this rule, please contact us at (949) 567-9880 or click here for more information.

August 2014 California-Quebec Practice Auction

Friday, July 25, 2014

On January 1, 2014, California’s Cap-and-Trade Program and Quebec’s Cap-and-Trade System officially linked, allowing Quebec-issued and California-issued offsets and allowances to be completely interchangeable. As a part of the linked programs, the California Air Resources Board (ARB) and Québec’s ministère du Développement durable, de l’Environnement et de la Lutte contre les changements climatiques (Ministry of Sustainable Development, the Environment and the Fight against Climate Change) (MDDELCC) will hold joint GHG allowance auctions to allow market participants to acquire GHG allowances. On June 3, California and Quebec announced a practice auction to be held on August 7. The Auction Notice will be posted on July 29. A successful practice auction will pave the way to the two agencies holding the first joint auction of allowances in November 2014.

All information on the joint auctions can be found on the ARB Cap-and-Trade website.