Abate Technologies International, Inc.

ATI QUARTERLY
2nd QUARTER 2002

 

PROPOSITION 65 NOTICES
METHYLENE CHLORIDE BAN IN SCAQMD ADHESIVES RULE
NEW AIR QUALITY WORKPLAN ANNOUNCED
UPDATES TO BEST AVAILABLE CONTROL TECHNOLOGY LISTINGS

 

PROPOSITION 65 NOTICES

Proposition 65 requires that warnings be posted on approximately 700 chemicals that are known carcinogens to the state of California. It allows for penalties of up to $2,500 per day for each violation. The law relies on individuals, rather than government agencies, to ensure compliance. It allows for the filing of private lawsuits against alleged violators.

On January 1, 2002, a change to Prop 65 required that a certificate of merit (issued by an expert) be filed with Prop 65 complaints. In December 2001, prior to the effective date of said change, over 4,500 businesses received legal notices warning of intent to sue based on alleged Prop 65 violations. The notices were filed with the Attorney General's Office. This figure sharply contrasts with the average filing of 2,000 notices per year.

The Attorney General's Office is currently taking a closer look at the notices. The Office has asked the filing parties to provide more details on the submitted claims.

 

NEW AIR QUALITY WORKPLAN ANNOUNCED
New SCAQMD Chairwoman Norma Glover presented a proposal to the Governing Board, which will set the tone for the agency's direction. The proposal-referred to as the "Strategic Alliance Initiatives"-- was adopted by the full board. The work plan pivots around the creation of partnerships with public and private entities. The District hopes these relationships will further its air quality goals.

The plan consists of eight initiatives to be implemented by staff. Staff proposes to fund these initiatives with resources already allocated for FY 2001-2002 to the maximum extent possible. Funding will be sought from the California Air Resources Board, Environmental Protection Agency and other public and private entities, if necessary.

 

Initiative #1-Modernization of the Emission Reduction Credit System

The District has recognized that offsets are becoming scarce and more expensive-a fact brought recently to light by the energy crisis. Under this initiative staff would develop alternative mechanisms for generating offsets, such as short-term credits from mobile source and area source categories to offset emissions from stationary source projects. As part of the implementation, an ERC white paper would summarize the current regulatory framework, review other agencies' efforts and examine alternative credit generation mechanisms. Staff will then recommend statutory changes at the federal or local level.

 

Initiative #2-Petition U.S. EPA to Review Outdated Policy Interpretations of the Clean Air Act

This initiative urges the review of various areas of concern such as: the State Implementation Plan, New Source Review, Title V, Economic Incentive Program and federal funding. To this end, a committee including representatives from business, environmental organizations, local governments, CARB and U.S. EPA will develop outreach programs and solicit partners in an effort to change existing policy.


Initiative #3-Creation of a Natural Gas Vehicle (NGV) Partnership

The AQMD will spearhead the formation of non-binding partnerships with vehicle and engine manufacturers, fuel providers, transit and refuse hauler associations, air and energy agencies to facilitate and advance natural gas vehicle technology and deployment. The District plans to promote research and development in this area. In addition, financial incentives and technical assistance will be provided to deploy natural gas vehicles and institute an infrastructure. The District estimates a cost of $150,000 for administering the activities and of $100,000 for a one-day NGV summit.


Initiative #4-Formation of a Multi-Regional Alliance for Clean Air

The District plans to work and enter into a Memorandum of Understanding with other air districts in non-attainment areas experiencing similar air quality problems as the South Coast Basin. Houston, Texas; Atlanta, Georgia; New York City and Boston, Massachusetts have been identified as potential collaborators.


Initiative #5-Strategic Alliance on Advanced Air Pollution Research

The initiative calls for the development of a three-year advanced air pollution research plan to be updated annually. Three areas have been identified for possible examination:

  • Scientific: The health effects of nanoparticles and toxic substances, ambient measurements, emissions inventory, meteorological analysis and source testing;
  • Technological: Air pollution control technologies for both stationary and mobile sources such as zero and near-zero VOC materials and processes, improvements to industrial processes, renewable energy sources, fuel cells, hydrogen technology, heavy-duty-on-road diesel alternatives, marine and other diesel equipment controls, to name a few;
  • Policy development: Rulemaking, environmental assessment methodology, socioeconomic analysis, compliance determination tools and public outreach and information dissemination techniques.

Initiative #6-Strategic Alliance on Environmental Justice

After a review of the Environmental Justice Program, the District will propose areas needing further action, conduct further outreach with stakeholders and prepare an annual Environmental Justice work plan. The District will also examine current monetary penalties for rule violations and how to better allocate these revenues.


Initiative #7-Strategic Alliance on Clean Fuel Vehicle Funding

The fleet vehicle regulations have created a need to secure long-term funding to share the differential costs to fleet operators. These operators may not have sufficient funds to set up the necessary infrastructures to use low emission technologies. Funding to assist with facility modifications, technical training on vehicle maintenance and safety may also be needed.

Initiative #8-Negotiated Rulemaking Pilot Program

Modeled after an EPA formal negotiated rulemaking process, the Board will experiment with such a process for a single rule amendment. The concept involves negotiated rulemaking to include various stakeholder groups, agency staff and a facilitator. The intent is to promote consensus-based rules that require fewer resources to enforce, encourage high rates of compliance and result in fewer litigation actions. The District has selected the Metal Finishing rule for this trial.


Staff will conduct various public workshops as part of the plan implementation. Most of the tasks will be completed by the end of 2002.

 

METHYLENE CHLORIDE BAN IN SCAQMD ADHESIVES RULE

Through an amendment to their Adhesives Rule, the South Coast Air Quality Management District proposes to prohibit the use or sale of adhesives, sealants or primers containing methylene chloride after January 1,2003.

Rule 1168 (Adhesive and Sealant Applications) limits VOC content of adhesives used in various operations such as: flooring and carpet installation, plastics industry, computer diskette manufacturing, tire retreading, marine decking and architectural applications, just to name a few. The last rule amendment took place in September 2000 and included a prohibition of sale for non-compliant materials. A one-year sell-through provision allowed for suppliers to dispose of existing stock. The 2000 changes also eliminated the small use exemption for one gallon per day and 55 gallons per year. This change affected some of the small adhesive users, which were previously exempt from the rule. Two of these industries were the "automotive and marine top" and "trim and the shoe repair."

The automotive and marine top and trim industry includes small shops that do after-market upholstery, including the installation of vinyl tops, convertible tops, headliners, door panels, seat coverings and sunroofs. The shoe repair industry also includes handbag, luggage and briefcase repair and prosthetic and orthotic fabrication. These two industries informed the District that they were unable to find compliant adhesives for their processes. District staff could only identify one compliant replacement, but the formulation contained methylene chloride-a toxic compound.

Presently, the District believes that compliant waterborne, acetone-based and hot melt adhesives, which do not contain methylene chloride, are available. Since it was not their intent to drive the industry to convert to toxic containing materials, they now propose to prohibit the use or sale of adhesives, sealants or primers containing methylene chloride after January 1, 2003. In addition, the shoe repair industry will get and exemption until January 1, 2003 and the automotive and marine top and trim installations will get an interim VOC limit of 540 grams per liter. The proposal will extend the interim VOC limits for various specialty applications from January 1, 2003 until January 1, 2005. Staff concluded that "additional time is required to develop acceptable low solvent technology."

 

UPDATES TO BEST AVAILABLE CONTROL TECHNOLOGY LISTINGS

Previous amendments to the SCAQMD New Source Review regulation resulted in a "bifurcation" of the Best Available Control Guidelines. Thus, requirements for major sources (facilities emitting over 10 tons per year of criteria pollutants) differ from those of minor sources. The major source requirements are compiled under Part B of the guidelines. The minor source requirements fall under Part D.

Determinations for major sources are based on the most stringent standards across the nation. Cost is not a factor in these determinations. They are updated frequently as sources improve their means of control, setting new standards. The process is so dynamic, it has been referred to as a "moving target." Ultimately, the engineer processing the application makes the case-by-case determination as to what the most appropriate means of control should be for a certain equipment category. The applicant can challenge the determination, if he believes the category listed in Part B of the Guidelines is not applicable to his operation.

Minor source requirements incorporate the cost variable. They fall under state law and are not subject to federal requirements. The SCAQMD has flexibility in setting the standards. Unlike their major source counterparts, once an equipment category is identified in Part D of the guidelines, there is little opportunity for negotiating changes.

The SCAQMD has recently added new listings to the major source section of the BACT Clearinghouse. Permitting staff uses these new standards to determine control requirements for new installations, modifications and relocations of equipment. The following table summarizes a few of the latest listings in Part B:

Equipment Information
Emissions Information
Emergency Internal Combustion Engine, compression ignition, turbocharged and aftercooled, manufactured by Cummins, diesel fueled, driving an electrical generator, 470 BHP -NOx emission rate < 4.8 grams/BHP-hr
-Hydrocarbon emission rate < 4.8 grams/BHP-hr
-Carbon Monoxide emission rate < 2.6 grams/ BHP-hr
-Particulate Matter emission rate < 0.15 grams/BHP-hr
Emergency Internal Combustion Engine, compression ignition, turbocharged and aftercooled, manufactured by Cummins, diesel fueled, driving an electrical generator, 395 BHP -NOx emission rate < 4.8 grams/BHP-hr
-Hydrocarbon emission rate < 4.8 grams/BHP-hr
-Carbon Monoxide emission rate < 2.6 grams/ BHP-hr
-Particulate Matter emission rate < 0.15 grams/BHP-hr
Emergency Internal Combustion Engine, compression ignition, turbocharged and aftercooled, manufactured by Caterpillar, diesel fueled, driving an electrical generator, 764 BHP -NOx emission rate = 5.02 grams/BHP-hr
-Reactive Organic Gases = 0.03 grams/BHP-hr
-Carbon Monoxide emission rate = 0.26 grams/ BHP-hr
-Particulate Matter emission rate = 0.023 grams/BHP-hr
Emergency Internal Combustion Engine, compression ignition, turbocharged and aftercooled, manufactured by Caterpillar, diesel fueled, driving an electrical generator, 685 BHP -NOx emission rate = 4.78 grams/BHP-hr
-Reactive Organic Gases = 0.05 grams/BHP-hr
-Carbon Monoxide emission rate = 0.21 grams/ BHP-hr
-Particulate Matter emission rate = 0.03 grams/BHP-hr
Emergency Internal Combustion Engine, compression ignition, turbocharged and aftercooled, manufactured by Caterpillar, diesel fueled, driving an electrical generator, 610 BHP -NOx emission rate = 4.52 grams/BHP-hr
-Reactive Organic Gases = 0.06 grams/BHP-hr
-Carbon Monoxide emission rate = 0.17 grams/ BHP-hr
-Particulate Matter emission rate = 0.03 grams/BHP-hr
Water Treating-Water Stripping, waste water is air stripped of VOC's at a chemical plant, plant produces acetone, phenol and alpha methyl styrene by oxidation of cumene The stripper is vented to a thermal oxidizer with minimum destruction efficiency of 95%
Resin Manufacturing, chemical plant producing styrene/butadiene resin and acronal All equipment considered to have significant VOC emissions is vented to a thermal oxidizer with a minimum destruction efficiency of 99%.
Drum Reclamation Furnace, burning organic residues out of drums as a first step in drum reconditioning process Afterburner with destruction efficiency of 99.9%, minimum temperature of 1600 degrees F and minimum residence time of 0.5 seconds
Rolling Mill, cold rolling type with an 80 inch hot strip mill rolling stand, used to produce steel flat stock (mostly in coil form) Lubricating oils used in cold rolling mill must be oil-water emulsions containing less than 2% VOC; lubricating oils used in hot strip mill rolling stand must be oil-water emulsions containing less than 4% VOC

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