||1ST QUARTER 2017
|AQMD ANNUAL EMISSIONS REPORTS (AER) - CALENDAR 2016
The web-based annual emissions reporting system is now equipment-based. In other words, the criteria and toxic emissions from each piece of equipment at a facility will be reported separately from all other sources of emissions. The requirements are expected to remain almost the same as in the previous year.
Who is required to file?
- Facilities in the Annual Operating Permit Emission Fee Program. Those are companies who pay annual emissions for permitted equipment. Such facilities are subject to AQMD Rule 301(e) and are required to file when exceeding the corresponding reporting thresholds.
- Facilities whose permitted plus non-permitted emissions equal 4 tons or more per year of criteria pollutants (VOCs, NOx, SOx, PM, Specific Organics); or 100 tons or more per year of CO.
- Facilities which had emissions [thresholds specified in Rule 301(e)] of specific Toxic Air Contaminants or ozone depleting compounds, listed in form TAC.
- Facilities that receive an Annual Emissions Report Package. However, it is the operator's responsibility to file a report if necessary, even if the facility does not receive a notification from SCAQMD.
- Facilities which prior to July 1, 2000 had equipment listed as exempt. There is no fee associated with these exempt emissions but they must be reported.
What if I miss the deadline?
The SCAQMD 2016 Annual Emissions Report (AER) is due by 5:00 p.m. on March 2, 2017. The Report applies to the Calendar Year 2016 reporting period (January 1, 2016 – December 31, 2016). If a facility misses the deadline and owes emission fees, late payment penalties in the form of a percentage of the emission fees will apply. The penalties are set forth in AQMD Rule 301(e)(10)(B) and are as follows:
|Less than 30 days late
||5% of reported amount
|30 to 90 days late
|| 15% of reported amount
|91 days to 1 year late
||25% of reported amount
|More than 1 year late
||50% of reported amount
Fees are determined based on rates in effect for the year when the emissions are actually reported, not the year wherein the emissions occurred.
The AQMD has a Fee Review Committee to handle issues regarding fees and penalties. The agency requires records related to the AER to be kept for a minimum of five years.
What is new this year?
- New Emission Fee Rates: New emission fee rates are in effect for the 2016 Annual Emission Reporting Program for criteria pollutants, toxic air contaminants, and ozone depleting compounds in accordance with AQMD Rule 301(e).
- AB2588 Quadrennial Report: For 2016 AER, facilities in Phase 1B are required to file their Quadrennial Reports.
- Updated Guidelines: Guidelines have been updated for reporting of Liquid Organic Storage Tanks and References - February 2016.
- The PIN codes will remain the same as in previous year.
|PROPOSITION 67 PASSES -- PLASTIC BAG BAN
With the passage of Proposition 67, California became the first state to ban single-use plastic bags. Most grocery stores, convenience stores, large pharmacies and liquor stores are now prohibited from providing single-use plastic carryout bags. Stores will be required to charge at least 10 cents for any other carryout bag provided to customers at checkout.
According to the state's Legislative Analyst Office (LAO), as of June 2016 there were local carryout bag laws in about 150 cities and counties—covering about 40 percent of California's population—mostly in areas within coastal counties. These local laws have been implemented due to concerns about how the use of such bags can impact the environment. "For example, plastic bags contribute to litter and can end up in waterways. In addition, plastic bags can be difficult to recycle because they can get tangled in recycling machines."
Opponents of the measure consider it "a $300 million annual hidden tax on consumers who will be forced to pay $.10 for every grocery bag at checkout," claiming that the profits will to go grocers and not the environment. The other proposition on the ballot, requiring the proceeds from the sale of paper and reusable bags to be placed in a special environmental fund, was defeated.
Proposition 67 also created new standards for the material content and durability of reusable plastic carryout bags. The LAO estimates the fiscal impact to be "relatively small" with a "minor increase" in state administrative costs and possible minor local government savings from reduced litter and waste management costs. The California Department of Resources Recovery and Recycling (CalRecycle) will be responsible for ensuring that bag manufacturers meet these requirements. The measure also defines standards for other types of carryout bags. The department has posted on their website the initial information necessary to understand the new law and how it will be implemented. This website also has information about reusable bags. Additional information can be found at the CalRecycle website
|RULE 1147 TECHNOLOGY ASSESSMENT
The South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) has unveiled the preliminary results of a recent independent review of Rule 1147-- NOx Reductions from Miscellaneous Sources. The study was included in the adopted rule in December 2008, at the request of industry representatives.
Rule 1147 established nitrogen oxide (NOx) emission limits for new and existing (in-use) combustion equipment requiring permits that are not regulated by other AQMD NOx rules. Under the rule, regulated equipment must meet an emission limit of 30 to 60 parts per million (ppm) of NOx based on the type of equipment and process temperature. Compliance dates for emission limits are based on the date of equipment manufacture and emission limits are applicable to older equipment first. Rule 1147 also establishes test methods and provides alternative compliance options, including a process for certification of equipment NOx emissions through an approved testing program. Other requirements include equipment maintenance and recordkeeping.
The 2008 amendments generated strong opposition from businesses, ranging from auto body shops to crematories, who argued the requirements were not cost effective and would result in them going out of business. In 2011, SCAQMD adopted amendments to "delay compliance dates, provide alternative compliance options, clarify requirements for small units, reduce testing requirements and require a technology assessment for small sources." Food products preparation, printing, textile processing, product coating and material processing were some of the affected categories. Staff estimated that approximately 5,000 units in 2,200 facilities are expected to require retrofit of burners in their equipment.
AQMD staff has released a preliminary third party review of the agency's "Draft Technology Assessment for Rule 1147" dated February of 2016. The assessment identified the affected types and numbers of equipment and burners, emission characteristics, cost effectiveness of replacing old burners and recommendations regarding changes in emission limits. The recommendations include:
- Exempt sources with total rated heat input less than 325,000 BTU per hour from the Rule 1147 NOx emission limits.
- Change the emission limit from 30 ppm to 60 ppm NOx for the primary chamber for all burn-off ovens, burnout furnaces and incinerators.
- Delay compliance for existing in-use heated process tanks, evaporators and parts washers from the NOx emission limit until the combustion system or tank is modified, replaced or relocated.
- Delay compliance with the NOx emission limit for existing in-use spray booths until the heating system is modified or replaced or the unit is relocated.
- Delay compliance with the NOx emission limit for existing in-use units with actual NOx emissions of one pound per day or less until the combustion system is modified or replaced or the unit is relocated.
A staff presentation was on the November Agenda of the District's Stationary Source Committee, but was postponed due to time constraints. Staff recommends the rule be brought back for amendments by May of 2017. The changes mean a delay in compliance for up to 4,900 small and low emission units, which include 3,400 spray booths and paint preparation stations and approximately 1,500 small ovens, dryers, furnaces and afterburners.
|EFFORTS TO CHANGE DISTRICT BOARD FAILS
Senate Bill 1387 (De León) – Non-Vehicular Air Pollution: Market-based Incentive
Programs: South Coast Air Quality Management District Board – which would have expanded
the SCAQMD Governing Board by three additional members failed to pass. The bill was intended to represent environmental justice communities and dilute the business-friendly composition of the Board that took place in the spring of 2015. The proposal would have also altered requirements for revisions to the SCAQMD's Regional Clean Air Incentives Market (RECLAIM) program and granted the California Air Resources Board greater oversight authority. SB 1387 would have required the District Board to submit to the State Board for review and approval the District's market-based incentive program and any revisions to that program. The move was described by some AQMD Board members as "political" and a power grab by Sacramento.
Supporters of the legislation included the American Lung Association in California, the Sierra Club of California and other environmental groups. Dozens of business groups, including the California Building Industry Association, the American Coatings Association, the Automotive Specialty Products Alliance and the California Chamber of Commerce stood in opposition. In a 7-6 vote during their June meeting, the South Coast Air Quality Management District Board took a position to oppose the bill.
|ARB CONSUMER PRODUCTS REGULATION TAKES EFFECT JANUARY 2017
The California Air Resources Board's requirements for various consumer product categories and aerosol coating product categories will become effective on January 1, 2017. The specific regulatory requirements are contained in the Regulation for Reducing the Ozone Formed from Aerosol Coating Product Emissions (Aerosol Coating Product Regulation), sections 94520 –94528, Title 17, California Code of Regulations:
As of 1/1/17, mist sprays, web sprays and screen printing adhesives with a Global Warming Potential of 150 will not be allowed. Use of Methylene Chloride, Perchloroethylene and Trichloroethylene will be prohibited for screen printing adhesives, single purpose cleaner and single purpose degreasers. Some of the requirements include reactivity limits for general and specialty coatings. There are "sell-through" provisions that allow for the sale or supply of non-compliant products for up to three years (January 1, 2020), if they were manufactured prior to the effective date of the applicable standard.
|SHORT LIVED CLIMATE POLLUTANTS LEGISLATION
SB 1383, Lara -- Short-lived climate pollutants, methane emissions, dairy and livestock, organic waste, landfills -- was introduced in February of 2016 and would require the state's Air Resources Board to approve and begin implementing a "comprehensive strategy" to reduce emissions of short-lived climate pollutants (SLCP). SLCP are greenhouse gases that have relatively short lifetime in the atmosphere and a warming influence on climate. The main short lived climate pollutants are black carbon, methane and tropospheric ozone. The bill seeks to achieve a reduction in methane by 40%, hydrofluorocarbon gases by 40%, and anthropogenic black carbon by 50% below 2013 levels by the year 2030.
The bill also would establish specific targets for reducing organic waste in landfills and authorize regulations to reduce methane emissions from livestock manure management operations and dairy manure management operations. Under the proposal, local jurisdictions would have the authority to charge and collect fees to recover "costs incurred in complying with the regulations."
|EPA AUDITS AQMD'S TITLE V PROGRAM
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently conducted a Title V program evaluation of the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD). The audit was performed in response to the recommendations of a 2002 Office of Inspector General (OIG) audit, which found deficiencies in the program implementation. Earlier this year, the OIG at the Environmental Protection Agency issued a report titled "Clean Air Act Facility Evaluations Are Conducted, but Inaccurate Data Hinder EPA Oversight and Public Awareness." The review sought to determine whether EPA management controls reasonably assure the agency conducts compliance assurance activities for major Clean Air Act (CAA) facilities in accordance with the Compliance Monitoring Strategy (CMS). According to the Inspector General's report "Periodic evaluations are essential to ensure companies' compliance with EPA laws and regulations." The OIG went on to say that the inaccurate data presented on the publicly available website could "misinform the public about the status of facilities."
The EPA delegates authority to state, local and tribal agencies to implement federal environmental programs. Delegated agencies usually have the authority to issue permits, conduct full compliance evaluations (FCEs), make compliance determinations and initiate enforcement. The SCAQMD is one of 35 air districts in California with delegated authority. According to the EPA, the purpose of the Title V program evaluations is to "identify good practices, document areas needing improvements, and learn how EPA can help the permitting agencies improve their performance." While the EPA found that the District generally implements the Title V program in an "effective and efficient manner," the report identified areas for program improvement such as more consistent documentation of regulatory or policy decisions in Statement of Basis documents, more detailed incorporation of federal requirements, and harmonization of the District's rules and EPA's requirements related to the EPA's 45-day review period.
Additionally, EPA found that:
- SCAQMD's Statements of Basis do not consistently describe regulatory and policy issues or document decisions the District has made in the permitting process.
- Due to SCAQMD's practice of incorporating federal regulations using only a general reference, District permits may lack the detailed monitoring, recordkeeping, and reporting for specific applicable requirements that are adequate to ensure and determine compliance for the permittee, SCAQMD, and the public.
- SCAQMD provides public notices and other meaningful information of its draft and final Title V permitting actions on its website. However, aside from those permits up for public review, SCAQMD does not otherwise provide the public with online access to the current final version of all Title V permits.