On March 9, 2018, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) published final amendments to a wide range of regulations in its 310 Code of Massachusetts Regulations (CMR) 7.00 Air Pollution Control regulations. A summary of finalized changes is offered below.

Regulations Updated

  • 7.01 Definitions - the final amendments add multiple new definitions and update some existing definitions to reflect the changes and additions to the regulations.
  • 7.01: General Regulations to Prevent Air Pollution - the final amendments add text for "Computation of Time". This addition clarifies when a regulatory time period begins and ends, and how to handle weekend days and holidays that may occur within the time period.
  • 7.02: Plan Approval and Emission Limitations - the final amendments make multiple changes in this section which clarify the approval applicability, exemptions and procedures. A few notable changes are listed below:
    • Add a new permitting threshold based on greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions. The final amendments state that the regulation is applicable to GHGs emissions if construction, substantial reconstruction or alteration of a facility or emission unit results in an increase in potential emissions equal to or greater than 75,000 tons per year (tpy) CO2e, in which case a comprehensive plan approval (CPA) will be required by the MassDEP.
    • Increase the threshold for an oil combustion unit that requires a CPA to 40 million British thermal units per hour (MMBtu/hr).
    • Establish a requirement for mandatory 30-day public comment period for CPA applications.
    • Remove the Electric Generating Unit mercury budget since it is no longer enforceable because EPA's Clean Air Mercury Rule is no longer in effect.
    • Remove the 300 hours per 12-month rolling period operating limitation for emergency engines (that is, allow unrestricted operation for emergency use) and add 100 hours for maintenance and testing, including up to 50 hours per year for non-emergency use per calendar year.
    • Eliminate references to emergency demand response.
  • 7.03(10): Plan Approval Exemption: Construction Requirements - Emergency or Standby Engine - consistent with the changes in 310 CMR 7.02, the final amendments remove the 300 hours per 12-month rolling period operating limitation for emergency engines and add 100 hours for maintenance and testing, including up to 50 hours per year for non-emergency use per calendar year. In addition, amendments remove references to emergency demand response.
  • 7.12: Source Registration - the final amendments make editorial changes to reporting applicability thresholds and reporting requirements.  Specifically, the following updates are included in finalized regulation:
    • Add a facility fuel aggregate threshold of 40,000,000 Btu/hr for applicability of reporting.
    • Add a new requirement to report for sources with actual lead emissions equal to or greater than 0.5 tpy in the previous calendar year. Remove previous requirement for sources with potential emissions of lead of five tpy.
    • Set a three tier filing system for source registration submitters. The date for non-annual filers is updated to April 1st every third year, for Operating Permit filer to May 1st every year and other annual filers to June 1st every year.
  • 7.18: Volatile and Halogenated Organic Compounds - the final amendments amend multiple subsections in this regulation to update Reasonably Available Control Technology (RACT) for VOCs used in certain coating, printing, and cleaning operations, and to create flexibility for solvent cleaning of certain high precision components.
  • 7.19: Reasonably Available Control Technology (RACT) for Sources of Oxides of Nitrogen (NOx) - the final changes to this regulation add a new exemption and an applicability requirement for certain large boilers, turbines, and engines at major sources. The finalized regulations also update NOx RACT for Municipal Waste Combustors.
  • 7.26: Industry Performance Standards -
    • (41): Definitions - the final amendments add definition for "Applicable Model Year", and "Installation" and revise the definition of "Emergency" to loss of electrical supply or voltage deviation only. Regional transmission organization operation portion of the definition is removed.
    • (42): Emergency Engines and Emergency Turbines - the final amendments remove the 300 hours per 12-month rolling period operating limitation for emergency engines and add 100 hour for maintenance and testing, including up to 50 hours per year for non-emergency use per calendar year. In addition, final amendments clarify that the new emergency engines and turbines will need to comply with applicable model year emission limitations set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 40 CFR 60 Subpart IIII.
    • (43): Engines and Turbines (i.e., non-emergency units) - The final amendments add a requirement that certification be submitted "30 days prior to commencement of operation."
  • 7.34: Massachusetts NOx Ozone Season Program (MassNOx) - this is a new regulation which replaces the Massachusetts Clean Air Interstate Rule (MassCAIR) program and is intended to control NOx emissions during the ozone season (May 1st through September 30th). The final text includes a list of facilities which will be subject to this regulation. Each facility listed in the regulation is allocated a fixed MassNOx Facility Emissions Budget and has monitoring, recordkeeping and reporting requirements.
  • 7.00 Appendix C(2) Operating Permit and Compliance Program - the final amendments add a requirement that the emissions from exempt and insignificant activities must be included in applicability determinations. In addition, the CO2e and GHG emissions based applicability thresholds are removed from the final regulations.
  • 7.51: Hearings Relative to Orders and Approvals - the final amendments delete subsection 7.51(1) in its entirety and replace it with new text. The final text stipulates who can file for an adjudicatory hearing of a decision (i.e. appeal a decision such as approval of an air permit), establishes timelines and the procedures that must be followed to do so.

Regulations Rescinded

The following regulation sections have been removed in their entirety. These were either outdated and/or had been superseded by other regulations.

  • 7.17: Conversions to Coal;
  • 7.21: Sulfur Dioxide Emissions Limitation;
  • 7.22: Sulfur Dioxide Emissions Reductions for the Purpose of Reducing Acid Rain;
  • 7.32: Massachusetts Clean Air Interstate Rule (MassCAIR); and
  • 7.45: The Massachusetts Green Fleet Program.

Details of final amendments can be found at https://www.mass.gov/files/documents/2018/03/27/apc-final18.pdf

The 310 CMR 7.00 regulation and detailed fact sheets for amended regulations can be found at the link provided below.

Please contact Kristine Davies, Principal Consultant of our Boston office at (508) 273-8600 or Chris Whitehead, BD Supervisor-Northeast, at (609) 375-2664 if you have any questions.