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On February 4, 2019, EPA proposed amendments to 40 CFR Part 63, Subpart NNNNN, National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) from the Hydrochloric Acid Production (referred to as HCl MACT). EPA anticipates that the proposed amendments will impact nineteen (19) HCl production facilities in the U.S. The proposed amendments are the result of the residual risk and technology review (RTR) required under the Clean Air Act. The proposed amendments include:

  1. Removing startup, shutdown, malfunction provisions (SSM provisions),
  2. Adding electronic reporting requirements through the EPA's Central Data Exchange (CDX) using the Compliance and Emissions Data Reporting Interface (CEDRI), and
  3. Updates to the recordkeeping and reporting requirements related to SSM provisions.

In performing the RTR analysis, EPA has compiled a list of potentially subject facilities through reviewing the Enforcement and Compliance History Online (ECHO) database and Title V operating permits. EPA used the 2014 National Emissions Inventory (NEI) and applied a factor of ten to actual emissions for process vents, material storage and loading, and storage tanks to get the allowable emissions for RTR modeling. EPA's review of the RBLC database did not identify any additional control technology applicable to HCl production and EPA did not identify any developments in processes, practices, or controls for HCl production facilities during the RTR.

Compliance Dates

All affected facilities would have to continue to meet the current requirements of HCl MACT, until the applicable compliance date of the amended rule, which is mandated by the Court to be signed by March 13, 2020. The EPA is proposing that existing affected sources and affected sources that commenced construction or reconstruction on or before February 4, 2019 must comply with all of the amendments no later than 180 days after the effective date of the final rule. Affected sources that commence construction or reconstruction after February 4, 2019 must comply with the revised rule no later than the effective date of the final rule or upon startup, whichever is later.

Comments on the proposed NESHAP must be submitted to EPA by March 21, 2019. Trinity highly recommends that you comment on the proposed amendments if your facility:

  1. Operates under an alternative monitoring plan (AMP),
  2. Has concerns with certain process vents that are currently not regulated under HCl MACT but will become regulated once the SSM exemption is removed (i.e., maintenance vents), or
  3. If the HCl MACT does not address a specific operating scenario at your facility.

Trinity is available to support your facility to make these high level decisions and solicit comments on this rule. You can read more about the proposed rule here.

Future RTR Activity

EPA's RTR homepage provides a schedule for reviews based on source category. There are more than 30 source categories that will go through RTR before the end of 2020. Trinity is closely following these rulemakings to assess the potential impact to industry and to assist individual facilities with their MACT compliance programs. Furthermore, we expect, at a minimum, that the changes related to SSM provisions and electronic reporting through CEDRI will be consistently applied during future RTR rule revisions.

If you have questions about this article or upcoming RTR rulemakings, please reach out to your local office at (800) 229-6655.