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On December 7, 2011, the TCEQ adopted revisions to rules for certain sources of VOC emissions located in the DFW Nonattainment and other affected areas. The anticipated effective date of this rule change is December 29, 2011. Affected owners or operators must be in compliance with the new or revised requirements by March 1, 2013.

These rules changes were required because the EPA reclassified the nine-county Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) area from a moderate to a serious nonattainment area (NA) for the 1997 8-hour ozone standard. This reclassification became effective January 19, 2011. As a result of the reclassification, TCEQ is required to submit an update to the State Implementation Plan (SIP) by January 19, 2012, that demonstrates attainment of the 1997 8-hour ozone standard. The DFW area has until June 15, 2013 to demonstrate attainment with the 1997 8-hour ozone standard. The new rules that will reduce emission from certain VOC sources in the DFW area are part of the TCEQ's effort to meet the attainment deadline and are incorporated into the DFW attainment demonstration SIP.

The first rule change amends existing 30 TAC Chapter 115 rules for VOC storage tanks in the DFW area, and includes a combination of updates to existing and new control measures that TCEQ has determined as reasonably available control technology (RACT). RACT is defined by EPA as the lowest emission limitation that a particular source is capable of meeting by application of control technology that is reasonably available considering technological and economic feasability.

Highlights of the first rule change specific to VOC storage tanks include:

  • Requirements to achieve 95% control of flash emissions from crude oil and condensate tanks, prior to custody transfer, with uncontrolled VOC emissions ≥ 50 tons per year (tpy). If the DFW area in the future is reclassified as a severe NA for the 1997 8-hour ozone standard, the 95% control requirement will extend to crude oil and condensate tanks, prior to custody transfer, with uncontrolled VOC emissions ≥ 25 tpy.
  • Additional requirement that control devices for storage tanks must maintain ≥ 95% control efficiency, along with specific requirements for control device testing.
  • Additional requirements in the DFW area for use of low-leaking storage tank fittings and limitations on situations when a floating roof storage tank is allowed to emit VOC because the roof is not floating on the liquid.
  • Reorganization of 30 TAC Chapter 115, Subchapter B, Division 1, with clarification and additional specificity for existing storage tank requirements in all affected areas namely DFW 8-hr NA; Houston-Galveston-Brazoria (HGB) 8-hr NA; Beaumont-Port Arthur maintenance area; and Aransas, Bexar, Calhoun, El Paso, Gregg, Matagorda, Nueces, San Patricio, Travis, and Victoria counties.

The second rule change amends 30 TAC Chapter 115, Subchapter E, to implement RACT requirements in the DFW and HGB areas for the following eight source categories:

  1.  Flexible Packaging Printing Materials 
  2. Industrial Cleaning Solvents;
  3. Large Appliance Coatings;
  4. Metal Furniture Coatings
  5. Paper, Film, and Foil Coatings
  6. Auto and Light-Duty Truck Assembly Coatings;
  7. Miscellaneous Industrial Adhesives; and
  8. Miscellaneous Metal and Plastic Parts Coatings

The proposed rulemaking implements the EPA's RACT recommendations except for specific recommendations that staff determined were not necessary to implement the RACT or would interfere with the current requirements. In addition to establishing more stringent VOC emission limits, the proposed rulemaking includes implementing new work practice standards, requiring additional monitoring and recordkeeping, and revising exemption levels.

Highlights of the second rule change include:

  • Revisions to Chapter 115, Subchapter E, Division 2, Surface-Coating Processes, to exempt surface coating processes in the DFW and HGB areas. Specific surface coating categories will now be subject to new Chapter 115, Subchapter E, Division 5 requirements. These source categories include large appliance coatings; metal furniture coatings; paper coating lines with potential to emit VOC emissions ≥ 25 tpy from all coatings; miscellaneous metal part and product coatings; and automobile and light-duty truck manufacturing coatings in the DFW area.
  • Revisions to Chapter 115, Subchapter E, Division 3, Flexographic and Rotogravure Printing, to expand Chapter 115 applicability to include flexible package printing processes with VOC emissions of at least 3 tpy (when uncontrolled). In addition, the rule requires reductions in VOC content limits of coatings for flexible packaging printing lines that have a potential to emit at least 25 tpy of VOC from a press dryer (when uncontrolled).
  • Addition of new Chapter 115, Subchapter E, Division 5, Control Requirements for Surface Coating Processes, which establishes more stringent VOC content limits for miscellaneous metal parts and products coating processes currently subject to Division 2 of Subchapter E. Requirements for new metal and plastic parts coating subcategories have been added, namely: miscellaneous plastic parts and products; pleasure craft; automotive/transportation and business machine plastic parts; and motor vehicle materials. Also, new rules have been added that limit the VOC content of the affected metal and plastic parts coatings in the DFW and HGB areas if total uncontrolled VOC emissions from all applicable surface coating processes are at least 3 pounds per hour and 15 pounds per day.
  • Addition of new Chapter 115, Subchapter E, Division 6, Industrial Cleaning Solvents, which requires all affected industrial cleaning operations with VOC emissions of at least 3 tpy (when uncontrolled) to comply with specific control requirements.
  • Addition of new Division 7, Miscellaneous Industrial Adhesives, which requires affected miscellaneous adhesive application processes with VOC emissions of at least 3 tpy (when uncontrolled) to comply with control requirements.
  • New requirements to implement work practice procedures specific to each affected subcategory.
  • New testing, monitoring, and recordkeeping requirements for all affected subcategories to demonstrate continuous compliance with VOC content limits or control efficiency standards.

If you have sources subject to Chapter 115 and have questions on the impacts of recent changes to the rule, please contact one of Trinity's Texas offices at: 512-514-6600 (Austin); 337-493-3301 (Beaumont/Port Arthur); 361-883-1668 (Corpus Christi); 972-661-8100 (Dallas); 713-552-1371 (Houston).