1ST QUARTER 2003
PROGRAM CAN IMPACT SOUTHLAND BUSINESSES
|New enhancements to the South Coast Basin's environmental
justice program will be put in place in the summer of 2003. In addition,
the state has published a draft document for resolution of air pollution
complaints as an outgrowth of their commitment to work with local
air districts and other interested stakeholders on environmental justice
Some of the local changes included:
- Regulating the use of hydrogen fluoride by requiring the use
of additives or alternative processes to reduce the community
health risk in the event of accidental release.
- Sponsoring research to develop small, low-cost outdoor air monitoring
devices that can be placed in residential areas to assist AQMD
in identifying the source of air pollution complaints.
- Posting information on facility health risk assessments and
validated violation notices on AQMD's website.
- Developing a Model Air Quality Element for inclusion in city
and county general plans. The Element would assist local government
in making land use decisions that minimize the potential for health
risk or nuisance for air pollution.
- Developing a program for expedited environmental review for
proposed projects in exchange for emission reductions that exceed
The Air Resources Board draft complaint resolution protocol identifies
the local air districts as the primary and appropriate agencies
to contact regarding complaints. The SCAQMD reportedly receives
over 8,000 complaints against Southland businesses yearly. The protocol
represents a framework of best management practices for the local
air districts and ARB to respond to complaints received from the
public about sources of air pollution. Moreover, ARB policy documents
emphasize pollution prevention in the handbook for local land-use
The Bay Area Air Quality Management District is considering community
proposals of so called "toxic tours." In the community's
view, these tours of sites of concern would help educate the public
and ensure meaningful public participation. BAAQMD staff is looking
into making a video of a toxic tour so that more people could see
the sites of concern.
|ENFORCEMENT AND COMPLIANCE
HISTORY ON-LINE (ECHO)
|The Environmental Protection Agency is seeking public
comments on their pilot information service, which will enable anyone
with Internet access to obtain compliance information on regulated
Enforcement and Compliance History Online (ECHO) is an electronic
tool, which retrieves EPA and state compliance data under the Clean
Air Act, Clean Water Act, and Resource and Conservation and Recovery
Act. It also provides links to additional state information.
The data covers a two-year period and includes the following information:
- Information on compliance with air permits for various stationary
sources of air pollution, such as electric
- power plants, steel mills and factories, and information about
the air pollutants they produce;
- National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit issuance,
permit limits, self-monitoring data and
- enforcement and inspection activity for facilities regulated
under the Clean Water Act;
- Hazardous waste generators and handlers;
- Federal enforcement actions taken under all major environmental
- Demographic information surrounding a facility based on the
2000 Block Group U.S. Census data.
The program includes an online error reporting process that allows
users to alert EPA and the States to possible errors.
|BEST AVAILABLE CONTROL
TECHNOLOGY GUIDELINES UPDATE
|In keeping its commitment to provide periodic updates
to the BACT Guidelines, the SCAQMD has posted the following listings
on their Clearinghouse. The listings are applicable for new, relocated
or modified Major Sources.
|Heater, other process
||Forced Circulation type, 19 MM Btu/hr, horizontal
double pipe coil with a 60% average firing rate; heating recirculating
oil used in laminating presses.
||Natural gas fired with ultra low NOx burners,
12 ppmd NOx), 50 ppmd CO at 3% O2 .
||Water tube type, 21.46 MM Btu/hr, operating at
variable load, generating process steam for cosmetic manufacturing
||Natural gas fired with ultra low NOx burners,
9 ppmd NOx ), 100 ppmd CO at 3% O2 .
|Brake Pad Grinder
||Manual arc type. The facility refurbishes brake
shoes. Brake pads are bonded or riveted to old brake shoes and
ground to shape.
||Cartridge filter and High Efficiency Particulate
Air (HEPA) filter required to control asbestos emissions from
|Abrasive Blasting Room
||Cornstarch particles are used as the medium to
remove excess adhesive material from aircraft parts.
||Baghouse or cartridge filter
|Architectural coating operations are reported to be
the largest emission source among stationary and area sources. An
Appellate Court decision ordered the South Coast Air Quality Management
District to vacate the 1999 amendments to their Architectural Coatings
Rule (Rule 1113). The District filed a petition to the California
Supreme Court to review the Appellate Court decision. The petition
was denied. As a result, the District will have to re-adopt the May
14, 1999 VOC limits.
In 1998 the emissions from these sources were approximately 58
tons per day. The number could jump to 79.4 tons per day if rule
limits are not tightened. The SCAQMD seeks a 22-ton reduction per
day of VOC's from architectural coating operations through a rule
amendment. Changes include:
- Re-adopt interim and final VOC limits and Averaging Compliance
- Change the compliance dates for interim limits to January 1,
2003 and for Industrial Maintenance Coatings to January 1, 2004.
- Deletion of the Essential Public Services and Chemical Storage
- Establishing lower interim and final limits for new and existing
coating categories such as bituminous roof, high-temperature industrial
maintenance, Zinc-rich primers, pretreatment wash primers, swimming
pool repair, to conform to state standards.
At its December meeting, the South Coast Board heard concerns from
industry groups about the final rule limits, which will become effective
in 2006. The board granted a sixty-day continuance for industry
to resolve remaining issues with staff. The rule will then be brought
back to the board.
|EXTENSION FOR DEGREASER
|SCAQMD Rule 1122- Solvent Degreasers, originally adopted
in 1979, mandated VOC reductions from solvent degreasing operations.
Solvent degreasing operations can be found at industrial, commercial
or institutional facilities, to remove contaminants, which are by-products
of their processes. The rule specifies equipment and operating requirements
for all solvent degreasing processes. Recent amendments to the rule
called for lower VOC limits and the control of toxic air contaminants
from the use of NESHAP (National Emission Standards for Hazardous
Air Pollutants) halogenated solvents.
Based on a study by District staff, the agency now proposed to
extend the sunset date for an exemption in section (k)(1)(D) of
the rule to January 1, 2005. Said exemption was to expire on January
1, 2003. It applies to small batch-loaded cold cleaners and vapor
degreasers with open-top surface areas less than 1 square foot,
or with a capacity of less than 2 gallons. In order for the exemption
to apply, the equipment must be used only for electrical, high precision
optics or electronics applications; or aerospace and military applications
for cleaning solar cells, laser hardware, space vehicle components,
fluid systems, or components used solely in research and development
programs, or laboratory tests in quality assurance laboratories.
The exemption will apply to degreasing equipment that does not use
NESHAP halogenated solvents.
The exemption is expected to give facilities additional time to
evaluate, on a case-by-case basis, the transition to aqueous cleaners
and exempt solvents. In some cases, such a transition will necessitate
FOR CUMMULATIVE IMPACTS FROM AIR TOXIC EMISSIONS
|In response to a Board directive, AQMD staff has issued
a report in reference to investigating the feasibility of rulemaking
regarding cumulative impacts of air toxics beyond current AQMD requirements.
The report analyzes further health risk reduction that would be implemented
on a regional basis. Permitted sources, area sources and California
Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) projects may fall within the scope
of the tentative regulation. Unlike current District rules, which
look at individual risk, cumulative impact regulations may look at
the cancer risk burden for a particular neighborhood or community.
Industry groups have asked for the scope to be limited to cancer
impacts while environmental and community groups have requested
the scope to be expanded to chronic impacts and particulates. Although
talks of cumulative impacts are at their infancy, the District is
considering various options such as a toxic reduction trust fund
to invest in clean technologies in Environmental Justice areas.
|POWER PLANT EMISSION
|A recent SCAQMD report looked at ways of controlling
emissions from power plants. Currently, clean power generation equipment
such as photovoltaic units, wind power, fuel cells and micro turbines
are exempt from AQMD permits. Reciprocating engines (greater than
50 HP) and gas turbines (greater than 2,975,000 Btu/hr) represent
examples of power generation equipment, which require AQMD permits.
SCAQMD staff has researched emission controls, which comply with
their standards. According to their findings, fuel NOx and thermal
NOx are of greatest concern. Fuel NOx is created from the oxidation
of bound nitrogen in fuels. Thermal NOx results from the combustion
of nitrogen and oxygen at temperatures exceeding 200 degrees Fahrenheit.
Pre-combustion control of NOx can be achieved through:
* Fuel/feed modifications (excess air or air preheat reduction
and ultra low nitrogen fuels).
* Combustion temperature absorption such as flue gas recirculation
or water or steam injection.
* Combustion staging/modification (overfire air, low and ultra
low NOx burners, catalytic combustion).
Post combustion control of NOx can be achieved through:
* Selective Non-Catalytic Reduction. This method can reduce NOx
emissions by 40 to 70 percent. NOx is selectively reduced by injecting
ammonia or urea into flue gas. It requires a controlled residence
time and temperature (between 1600 and 2000 degrees Fahrenheit).
If not properly controlled, ammonia slip and additional NOx generation
can be issues. In addition, flue gases with high sulfur content
coupled with ammonia slip can produce ammonia sulfates that will
plug and corrode equipment. This technology can be applied to
boilers, heaters and furnaces.
* Selective Catalytic Reduction. Selective Catalytic Reduction
consists of ammonia or urea injection into the flue gas upstream
of the catalyst. NOx reductions range from 80 to 95%. The temperature
operating range is between 300 and 1100 degrees Fahrenheit. There
are ammonia slip considerations and proper mixing of flue gas
and ammonia is critical. This technology can be applicable to
boilers, gas turbines, duct burners, heaters, furnaces and internal
* Non-Selective Catalytic Reduction (3-way catalyst, SCONOx.)
The 3-way catalyst derives its name from its ability to reduce
NOx, CO and VOC's. It is limited to rich burn engines and can
reduce NOx by 80-95%. The SCONOx process oxidizes NO to NO2 by
means of a catalyst at an operational temperature range of 300-700
F. Ammonia is not used. CO and VOC's are also oxidized. The process
requires additional quantities of natural gas and steam to generate
reformer gas. This technology can be applicable to boilers, gas
turbines, duct burners and internal combustion engines.
* Emerging technologies include ozone oxidation of NOx, non-thermal
plasma and phosphorous injection.
District staff pointed out that currently, ammonia emissions from
NOx controls account for 5% of the total emissions of ammonia from
industrial sources in the Basin. This number is expected to jump
to 14% by 2004.