On August 11th, 2016 the NOx RECLAIM Working Group held a public workshop to discuss the implications and alternatives to proposed regulation changes regarding the shutdown of RECLAIM facilities. Attendees were primarily associated with the oil and gas or other large manufacturing industries. The proposed change will apply on a facility wide basis and will not apply to the shutdown of individual equipment. The original proposal submitted by the working group during the December 4th, Governing Board Motion was returned to the working group for further investigation and commentary. The primary objective of the proposal is to avoid the use of facility shutdown RTCs to delay implementing BARCT at other noncompliant facilities. However, it was suggested during the meeting that the use of shutdown RTCs may be allowed at facilities that have achieved BARCT compliance. The District is also seeking suggestions for provisions regarding facilities operating under common ownership, with common ownership decided based on ownership as of September 2015. It was suggested during the meeting that facilities under common control may be allowed to claim RTCs regardless of BARCT compliance.
A facility is considered to have shut down when it has either surrendered operating permits for the entire facility or have been deemed shut down by the Executive Officer. The Executive Officer will verify non-operational status when reported operations drop more than 90%. Notification requirements to facilities under Executive Officer review have not yet been established. Facilities temporarily ceasing operations for a period of less than 5 years will be given special consideration, but will not be allowed to trade RTCs during periods of non-operation. Any allocated RTCs that have been sold prior to shutdown must be repurchased and retired. The amount of required credits will be based on the average NOx emissions for the highest 2 of the past 5 compliance years. Credit reductions will be available based on the difference between the average emissions and the projected emissions from BARCT compliance. These requirements shall not apply to RTCs transferred to facilities under the same NAICS code and operating under common control.
The comment period for the current proposed language ends on August 26, with additional working group meetings scheduled as necessary. A draft staff report is scheduled to be released on September 6th, and the final public hearing is set to occur on October 7th.