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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 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 2017 Annual Emissions Reports (AER) are due by 5:00 p.m. on March 16, 2018. This report corresponds to Calendar Year 2017 reporting period (January 1, 2017 – December 31, 2017). 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:

Payment received date Penalties
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.

Special circumstances

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 2017 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 2017 AER, facilities in Phase 2 are required to file their Quadrennial Reports.
  • The PIN codes will remain the same as in previous year.



The SCAQMD has unveiled a plan to transition the Regional Clean Air Incentives Market (RECLAIM) program to a command-and-control regulatory structure requiring Best Available Retrofit Control Technology level controls. A decision by the agency's board to end the RECLAIM program was made last year as part of the adoption of the Air Quality Management Plan. Staff has formed a working group comprised of stakeholders. Although a decision has not been made, the agency is also contemplating the elimination of the Sox (Sulfur Oxides) RECLAIM program.

According to staff documents, there are approximately 268 NOx (Nitrogen Oxides) RECLAIM facilities, which include over 2,500 individual pieces of equipment. The Oil and Gas industry is the largest category in the program. Power generation and Cement/Asphalt Mining are second and third largest respectively. The transition process will address issues such as New Source Review, permitting, rule development, monitoring and a variety of policy decisions. The overall objective is to achieve an additional 5 tons per day of NOx reductions by 2025.

As a starting point, the District plans to amend Rule 2001 – Applicability – to prohibit new facilities from entering the RECLAIM program. Staff also intends on establishing provisions to provide for an easy earlier exit for facilities that are already in compliance with Best Available Retrofit Technology (BARCT) and to establish a command and control rulemaking schedule. Technology assessments and rule developments will be initiated, with emphasis on the largest RECLAIM sources. The District plans to promulgate a rule that would mandate facilities who are currently under the RECLAIM program to exit it. The initial analysis focuses on facilities with 5 or less pieces of RECLAIM source equipment and those with no RECLAIM source equipment (Rule 219 NOx equipment only).

Staff is in the process of analyzing "landing" rules – existing command and control rules that correspond to RECLAIM equipment. According to the analysis some RECLAIM equipment have complimentary command and control rules, while others do not. Some of the landing rules may not comply with BARCT and need updating. Some of the landing rules under consideration are:

  • Rule 1110.2 (Internal Combustion Engines)
  • Rule 1146 (Boilers and Process Heaters)
  • Rule 1146.1 (Boilers and Process Heaters)
  • Rule 1147 (Miscellaneous NOx Sources)
  • Rule 1470 (Diesel Internal Combustion Engines)
  • Rule 1134 (Stationary Gas Turbines)
  • Rule 1135 (Electricity Generating Facilities)

Coke Calcining Equipment, Sulfur Recovery Unit/Tail Gas Unit Incinerators and Sodium Silicate Furnace were cited as examples of equipment currently under RECLAIM for which there are no corresponding command and control rules. It is anticipated that rules targeting these categories will be proposed. The District estimates that there are 67 facilities that would be impacted by BARCT requirements.

Rule amendments for Rule 2001 are underway and a final proposal is expected by March 2018.


The South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) recently adopted changes to their Rule 1168—Adhesives and Sealants Applications. The rule applies to products used during manufacturing and to products used by consumers that are not regulated by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) Consumer Products Regulation. Any "person who sells, stores, supplies, offers for sale or manufactures for sale" any adhesives, adhesive bonding primers, adhesive primers, caulks, sealants, or sealant primers is subject to the requirements. Manufacturers located outside the South Coast are subject to the rule if they have products intended for use within the boundaries of the SCAQMD.

Staff reported that "several industry stakeholders and trade associations commented that the proposed reporting requirements for manufacturers are too burdensome because compiling the requested information is time consuming and costly." The proposal includes extensive new labeling and recordkeeping requirements for products manufactured after January 1, 2019, such as:

  • Each container shall display the VOC content of the regulated product as recommended for application.
  • VOC content shall be displayed as grams of VOC per liter of regulated product, excluding water and exempt compounds, or grams of VOC per liter of material for low-solids products.
  • Each container or an associated product data sheet shall display a statement of the manufacturer's recommendations regarding thinning, reducing, or mixing with any other VOC containing material, if applicable. Mixing recommendations shall specify a ratio which results in a compliant, as applied, product.
  • Each container shall display the date or a date code of manufacture of the contents. A manufacturer utilizing a date code shall file with the Executive Officer of the District an explanation of each date code.
  • A Quantity and Emission Report (QER) shall be submitted according to the reporting timeline specified in Table 2 of the Rule. The report shall include the following information:

(i) Product manufacturer (as listed on the label);
(ii) Product name and code;
(iii) Applicable Rule 1168 category;
(iv) VOC content less water and exempt solvents as determined by calculations based on product formulation or laboratory analysis;
(v) VOC content of material as determined by calculations based on product formulation or laboratory analysis;
(vi) Total volume sold for use within the District reported in gallons of container size;
(vii) The volume of regulated product with a VOC content higher than the applicable limit in Rule 1168 sold under the sell-through provisions of this rule; and
(viii) The annual quantity of each product including products sold through big box retailers with distribution centers located within or outside the District. Regulated product manufacturers shall use the list of big box retailers maintained by the Executive Officer. There are even more requirements for "Big Box" retailers.

Stakeholders requested that insulating foams should not be included in the rule amendments. Staff disregarded comments that insulating foams are not considered "sealants" by industry, as their primary purpose is not to fill a gap, but rather to insulate. Thus, insulating foams are now subject to Rule 1168.

The following table summarizes some of the proposed changes.

Category VOC Limit (grams/liter) VOC Limit (grams/liter)
Wood Flooring Adhesive 100 20 by 1/1/23
Other, Outdoor Floor Covering 150 50 by 1/1/19
Grout 65  
Reinforced Plastic Composite 250 200 by 1/1/19
Contact Adhesive 80  
Non-Staining Plumbing Putty 250 150 by 1/1/19;
50 by 1/1/23
Rubber Vulcanization 850 250 by 1/1/23
Other, Roof Adhesive 250 200 by 1/1/23
Foam Sealants 250 50 by 1/1/23
All Other Architectural Sealants 250 50 by 1/1/19

Staff is in the process of developing a "guidance document" to clarify which VOC test method should be performed on each product type affected by the rule in order to address concerns that the regulated industry would have to use multiple test methods to demonstrate compliance with the VOC limits in the rule. In response to comments from the industry, formulation data will be allowed for energy curable (UV/EB/LED) thin film materials.

The additional guidance document is expected to be completed by October 2018.


Prompted by community complaints in the City of Paramount, the SCAQMD is proposing to further regulate emissions of Hexavalent Chrome. SCAQMD conducted air monitoring in the city of Paramount to investigate potential sources of hexavalent chromium near a metal forging facility and a chromic acid anodizing facility. According to the District, off-site ambient monitoring and source testing near three chromic acid anodizing facilities identified process tanks not currently regulated that are sources of hexavalent chromium emissions. The agency concluded that additional emission controls were warranted and hence proposed to amend Rule 1469 – Hexavalent Chromium Emissions from Chromium Electroplating and Chromic Acid Anodizing. Proposed Amended Rule (PAR) 1469 proposes new requirements for hexavalent chromium-containing tanks, such as dichromate seal tanks that are currently not regulated.

The rule proposal establishes emission limits for hard and decorative electroplating and chromic acid anodizing based on throughputs and proximity to sensitive receptors, requires ongoing monitoring, initial performance testing of add-on control devices, housekeeping, reporting and recordkeeping requirements. SCAQMD staff has identified 117 facilities that either conduct decorative or hard chromium electroplating or chromic acid anodizing operations within SCAQMD's jurisdiction. Of the 117 affected facilities, 49 facilities conduct decorative hexavalent chromium plating, 31 facilities conduct hard hexavalent chromium plating and 30 facilities conduct chromic acid anodizing. The automotive, computer/electronics, machinery/industrial equipment and defense/government are the four largest segments of industry served by all electroplaters and anodizers. In addition, fasteners are a large industry segment for job shops.

SCAQMD staff identified the following tank operations as potential sources of hexavalent chromium emissions:

  • Drag-Out/Rinse Tanks
  • Seal Tanks
  • Passivation Tanks
  • Stripping Tanks
  • Chromate Conversion Tanks

The proposed amended rule includes periodic source testing, parameter monitoring of control equipment, requirements for building enclosures and additional housekeeping and best management practices for all hexavalent chromium-containing tanks. Proposed requirements include triggered provisions for permanent total enclosures vented to air pollution controls based on non-compliance with specific source testing or monitoring requirements. PAR 1469 also revises existing requirements to reduce surface tension limits and prohibits the use of chemical fume suppressants that contain perfluorooctane sulfonic acid. Environmental groups have expressed concerned about the use of fume suppressants, citing "high persistence, bioaccumulation potential and extreme toxicity." At the most recent public workshop staff announced their intent to prohibit fume suppressants altogether.

All tanks in hexavalent chromium electroplating and anodizing operations with hexavalent chromium concentrations of 1,000 ppm or greater would be subject to the regulation. The proposed rule will create two tiers of tanks:

-Tier I hexavalent chromium-containing tank means a tank permitted to contain a hexavalent chromium concentration of 1,000 ppm or greater.

-Tier II hexavalent chromium-containing tank means a Tier I hexavalent chromium-containing tank that meets any one of the following:

  • An operating temperature above 140 Degrees Fahrenheit; or
  • Uses air sparging as an agitation method; or
  • Is electrolytic.

Both Tier I and Tier II tanks will be required to be operated in a building enclosure and comply with housekeeping requirements and best management practices to minimize fugitive chrome emissions. Additionally, Tier II tanks, which have been found to have higher emissions, will be required to be vented to add-on air pollution control devices. There are new requirements to operate any Tier I or Tier II Hexavalent Chromium-Containing Tank and associated process tanks within a building enclosure beginning 90 days after date of rule adoption.

Tier II Hexavalent-Chromium Containing Tanks that are not chromium electroplating or chromic acid anodizing tanks will be required to be vented to an add-on air pollution control device and must meet the following standards:

  • For existing facilities, 0.0015 mg/amp-hr, if any tanks that are vented are electrolytic; or
  • For new facilities, 0.0011 mg/amp-hr, if any tanks that are vented are electrolytic; or
  • If all tanks that are vented are not electrolytic, 0.20 mg/hr

Owners and operators of facilities with an existing Tier II tank that plan to eliminate or reduce hexavalent chromium concentrations within the tank shall not be subject to the requirements of venting the tank to an add-on air pollution control device. In order to qualify for this exemption, facilities must submit a plan to the Executive Officer for approval that includes the method by which the hexavalent chromium concentration will be eliminated or reduced and expected completion date; a list of milestones necessary to occur, including their projected dates and a list of all control measures that will be implemented until the concentration is eliminated or reduced. Facilities must also submit a monthly progress report and update the Executive Officer regarding any revisions to the original plan. Implementation of the plan must be completed within 2 years of approval of the Hexavalent Chromium Phase-Out Plan.

Industry representatives expressed concern that the proposal will be a financial hardship and that the District has not provided sufficient data to show that actual emissions will occur. "We are committed to working with AQMD and industry to locate funding sources to assist in transitioning to engineered controls. Sources we are investigating include but are not limited to the California Pollution Control Financing Authority" ….commented a representative from the environmental community.

PAR 1469 is scheduled to be adopted at a public hearing before the SCAQMD Governing Board on February 2, 2018.



Effective January 1, 2018 the Executive Officers of air pollution control districts will have the authority to immediately issue an administrative order pending a hearing before the agency's Hearing Board. The new authority was created by Assembly Bill 1132 (Garcia), which was signed recently by Governor Jerry Brown. According to the SCAQMD the legislation "will give air districts across the state an important new tool to curtail emissions from a facility when it is alleged to endanger public health." It is not clear how each air district Executive Officer will define "imminent and substantial." The business community has expressed concern over expanding the authority of the Executive Officer which could result in a facility being ordered to shut down operations prior to having a hearing.


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