MassDEP Preparing to finalize its Proposed Amendments to Air Pollution Control Regulations



On August 12, 2016 the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) proposed a wide range of changes to 310 Code of Massachusetts Regulations (CMR) 7.00 Air Pollution Control regulations. As we approach the one year anniversary of that date, the MassDEP is preparing to release the final amended regulations. Below is a summary of the proposed changes.

7.01 Definitions

The proposed amendments add multiple new definitions and update some existing definitions to reflect the proposed changes and additions to the regulations.

7.01:  General Regulations to Prevent Air Pollution

The proposed 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

Most changes in this section are editorial except that the proposed amendments would add a new permitting threshold based on greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions. The proposed amendment states that the potential to emit for GHGs is to be calculated based on tons per year (tpy) of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e), and that the regulation is applicable to GHGs if:

  • Construction of a new facility or emission unit results in an increase in potential emissions equal to or greater than 100,000 tpy CO2e; or
  • Substantial reconstruction or alteration of a facility or emission unit results in an increase in potential emissions equal to or greater than 75,000 tpy CO2e.

7.03(10):  Plan Approval Exemption: Construction Requirements - Emergency or Standby Engine

The proposed amendments remove the 300 hours per 12-month rolling period operating limitation for emergency engines.

7.12:  Source Registration

The proposed amendments make editorial changes to reporting applicability thresholds and reporting requirements. Specifically, the following updates are proposed:

  • Add a facility fuel aggregate threshold of 40,000,000 Btu/hr for applicability of reporting.
  • Add a requirement to report for sources with actual lead emissions equal to or greater than 0.5 tpy. Removed previous requirement for sources with potential emissions of lead of five tons per year.
  • Set a filing date for non-annual filers of March 15th every third year. Previously the MassDEP had used a tiered filing system of March, June and July.

7.18:  Volatile and Halogenated Organic Compounds

The proposed amendments amend multiple subsections in this regulation and add subsections on industrial cleaning solvents, and fiberglass boat manufacturing.

7.19:  Reasonably Available Control Technology (RACT) for Sources of Oxides of Nitrogen (NOx)

The proposed changes to this regulation add new applicability requirement for engines and boilers.

7.26:  Industry Performance Standards

  • (40):  Engines and Combustion Turbines
    The proposed amendments make editorial changes to this section.
  • (41):  Definitions
    The proposed amendments add definition for "Emergency Demand Response" 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 proposed amendments remove the 300 hours per 12-month rolling period operating limitation for emergency engines.
  • (43):  Engines and Turbines. (i.e., non-emergency units)
    The proposed amendments add a requirement that certification be submitted "30 days prior to commencement of operation."

7.29:  Emissions Standards for Power Plants

The proposed amendments revise this regulation to include reference to 310 CMR 7.34 Massachusetts NOx Ozone Season Program (MassNOx) instead of 310 CMR 7.28 NOx Allowance Trading Program.

7.32:  Massachusetts Clean Air Interstate Rule (MassCAIR)

This section is removed in its entirety and not replaced in the proposed amendments.

7.34:  Massachusetts NOx Ozone Season Program (MassNOx)

This is a proposed new regulation that is intended to control NOx emissions during the ozone season (May 1st through September 30th). The proposed 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 A Emission Offsets and Nonattainment Review

The proposed amendments update multiple definitions in this regulation to include reference to 310 CMR 7.34 Massachusetts NOx Ozone Season Program (MassNOx).

7.00 Appendix C(2) Operating Permit and Compliance Program

Proposed amendments add requirements that exempt and insignificant activities must be included in applicability determinations. The thresholds for CO2e and GHG emissions applicability are also removed.

7.51:  Hearings Relative to Orders and Approvals

The proposed amendments delete Subsection 7.51(1) in its entirety and replace it with new text. The proposed text stipulates who can file for an adjudicatory hearing of a decision (i.e. appeal a decision such as approval of an air permit) and the procedures that must be followed to do so.

Details of proposed amendments can be found here