Newly Proposed NESHAP for Brick and Structural Clay Products Manufacturing and Clay Ceramics Manufacturing



On November 20, 2014, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) proposed National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) for the Brick and Structural Clay Products (BSCP) Manufacturing (i.e., 40 CFR 63, Subpart JJJJJ, commonly referred to as the Brick MACT)and Clay Ceramics Manufacturing industries (i.e., 40 CFR 63, Subpart KKKKK). The EPA first issued standards for these industries on May 16, 2003. The rule was subsequently challenged, and the D.C. Circuit Court vacated the standards on March 13, 2007. This recent proposal addresses the vacatur and remand of the original NESHAP.

The newly proposed Brick MACT is considerably different from the originally promulgated version. One of the most significant differences is that the newly proposed rule has a numerical emission limit for mercury (Hg) while the former rule did not. Furthermore, the proposed mercury standard (2.2 e-5 lb/ton for large tunnel kilns and 2.0e-4 lb/ton for small tunnel kilns) has received much scrutiny from industry for being too stringent. As a result, some manufacturers are considering taking federally enforceable limit to become synthetic minor sources of HAP to avoid the rule. The EPA states in the preamble that there are 92 BSCP facilities that are currently major sources of HAP and that an estimated 25 facilities are projected to become synthetic area sources rather than comply with the new rule.

For the Clay Ceramics Manufacturing NESHAP, the preamble indicates that there are currently no major sources producing ceramic tile and that the existing five (5) facilities that were major have since become synthetic minor. Therefore, there are no known existing tile facilities that would be subject to the provisions of the proposed Clay Ceramics.

A short summary of the elements of each of the proposed rules are provided below.

Brick MACT

  • Maximum achievable control technology (MACT) emission limits for mercury (Hg) and non-mercury (Hg) metal HAP (or PM surrogate) and a health-based emission limit for acid gases (hydrogen fluoride [HF], hydrogen chloride [HCl] and chlorine [Cl 2]) for tunnel kilns.
  • Work practice standards for periodic kilns including using a designed firing time and temperature cycle for each product, labeling maximum loads and keeping a log of each load, and developing and implementing inspection and maintenance procedures.
  • Work practice standards for dioxins/furans from tunnel kilns including maintaining and inspecting burners and combustion controls, tuning burner to optimize combustion, and keeping records of burner tune-up activities.
  • Work practice standards for periods of startup and shutdown for tunnel kilns including temperature requirements for controlling emissions during startup and shutdown, and temperature requirements for loading the kiln with bricks or other products.
  • Initial and repeat 5-year performance testing for the regulated pollutants, continuous parameter monitoring, and daily visible emissions (VE) checks or bag leak detection (BLD) system requirements.

Clay Ceramics Manufacturing NESHAP: 

  • MACT emission limits for Hg, PM (surrogate for non-Hg metal HAP), and dioxins/furans, and a health-based emission limits for acid gases (HF and HCl) for sanitaryware tunnel kilns and ceramic tile roller kilns.
  • MACT emission limits for dioxins/furans for ceramic tile spray dryers and floor tile press dryers, MACT emission limits for Hg and PM (surrogate for non-Hg metal HAP) for ceramic tile glaze lines.
  • MACT emission limits for PM (surrogate for non-Hg metal HAP) for sanitaryware glaze spray booths.
  • Work practice standards for shuttle kilns including combusting only natural gas (except during curtailment), using a designed firing time and temperature cycle for each product, labeling maximum loads and keeping a log of each load, and developing and implementing inspection and maintenance procedures.
  • Work practice standards for periods of startup and shutdown including temperature requirements for controlling emissions during startup and shutdown, and temperature requirements for loading the kiln with ceramics or other product.
  • Initial and repeat 5-year performance testing for the regulated pollutants, continuous parameter monitoring, and daily VE checks or BLD system requirements.

The proposed rule can be found here. The EPA is accepting comments on the proposed rule through February 17, 2015. Please contact the Columbus Office at 614-433-0733 if you have any questions on this article.