See the latest EHS federal and state regulatory updates due to COVID-19

The San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District (SJVAPCD, or the District) is proposing to amend District Rule 2201 (New and Modified Stationary Source Review Rule).  These proposed revisions are primarily in response to reclassification of the District from Moderate to Serious nonattainment for the 1997 and 2006 National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for particulate matter with an aerodynamic diameter of less than 2.5 microns (PM2.5).  The District is also proposing two additional revisions to Rule 2201, unrelated to NAAQS attainment status change.

In order to comply with Federal requirements for Serious nonattainment areas, the District reviewed Rule 2201 requirements and identified necessary amendments.  First and foremost, the District is proposing to lower the PM2.5 Major Source Emission Threshold from 100 tons per year (200,000 lbs/year) to 70 tons per year (140,000 lbs/year).  Second, the District is proposing to revise the PM2.5 definition to clarify that PM2.5 includes the condensable portion of particulate matter.  This particular amendment is for clarification purposes only, and does not represent a change to current District practice or interpretation of what constitutes PM2.5.  Third, the District has concluded that no amendments are necessary to address federal requirements for PM2.5 precursors.  The District provided a demonstration that volatile organic compounds (VOC) and ammonia are not significant PM2.5 precursors, and expects US Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) to concur on this matter.

The District is proposing two other amendments unrelated to the PM2.5 attainment status change noted above.  First, the District is proposing to remove the offset threshold for carbon monoxide (CO) in non-attainment areas because there are no CO non-attainment areas in the District.  Second, the District is proposing to make various revisions allowing for temporary replacement emission units (TREUs) that require an Authority to Construct (ATC) to be installed prior to obtaining an ATC.  This amendment would allow certain TREUs, such as equipment used during emergency breakdowns or malfunction situations, to be constructed or installed when needed, provided that the operator submits an ATC application within seven calendar days of construction or installation.  A similar application shield for permanent routine replacements already exists in Rule 2201.  During USEPA's recent preliminary review of the proposed amendments, questions were raised about whether the District's current application shield provisions for routine replacements are legal.  These concerns were discussed in the public workshop for the proposed Rule 2201 amendments held by the District on November 10, 2015.  The District is concerned that USEPA may push to remove the current application shield provisions for routine replacements.  The District is working with USEPA to demonstrate that the existing application shield for routine replacements, as well as the proposed application shield for TREUs, will not have a significant impact on air quality, and therefore demonstrate that these application shield provisions should be allowed.  However, if USEPA disagrees, the existing application shield provisions of Rule 2201 may be removed.

Written comments on the proposed amendments to Rule 2201 must be submitted to the District by December 1, 2015.  The final rule is scheduled to be adopted by the Governing Board on January 21, 2016.  Per USEPA requirements, Rule 2201 amendments to address the District's reclassification as a Serious PM2.5 nonattainment area must be submitted by May 7, 2016.

The redlined version of Rule 2201 and the SJVAPCD staff report concerning the proposed amendments can be found here and here.