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The San Joaquin Valley air basin is currently classified as non-attainment for PM2.5 and ozone and as such, the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District (SJVAPCD or District) has been taking several measures as part of their 2018 PM2.5 Plan to reduce PM2.5 and ozone within the region. In order to meet the commitments outlined in the 2018 PM2.5 Plan, SJVAPCD is required to evaluate Rule 4306 (Boilers, Steam Generators, and Process Heaters - Phase 3) and Rule 4320 (Advanced Emission Reduction Options for Boilers, Steam Generators, and Process Heaters Greater than 5.0 MMBtu/hr) to determine feasibility of further NOx emission reduction via rule amendment as NOx is a primary precursor to PM2.5 and ozone.

Various public workshops have been held throughout the rulemaking process. The latest public workshop presentation slides can be found here. On October 2, 2020, the District published draft rules with their proposed amendments for Rule 4306 and Rule 4320 which can be found online here and here, respectively.

In the draft rules, the District proposes to further reduce NOx limits for various categories of boilers, steam generators, and process heaters. To comply with the proposed new requirements, facilities may need to purchase retrofit control technology or newer, compliant equipment. All Rule 4320 units and most Rule 4306 units must comply with limits by December 31, 2023. Similarly, most entities affected by the rule amendments will need to submit an Emission Compliance Plan (ECP) and any necessary Authority to Construct (ATC) applications to the District by December 31, 2021. Rule 4306 units that already have specific stringent NOx permit limits will have additional time to submit the required ECP and ATC as well as additional time to meet the new NOx limit.

The District is currently requesting public comment on the draft rules. The District asks that comments be sent by October 22, 2020, to provide the District adequate time to address comments before they publish the proposed rule packages in mid-November. There will be a thirty-day public comment period following the publication of the proposed rule packages that will provide facilities another opportunity to provide their thoughts regarding the rule amendments. The District's goal is to present the final proposed rules to the Governing Board on December 17, 2020.

The SJVAPCD point of contact for comments or questions on these rule amendments is Ross Badertscher, with the Strategies and Incentives Department. Interested parties may email him at ross.badertscher@valleyair.org or call him at 559.230.5812. Facilities should send any comments on the draft rules by the October 22, 2020 deadline.

For assistance understanding potential personal impact of these proposed rule amendments, please contact our Bakersfield office at 661.282.2200.