Abate Technologies International, Inc.

3rd QUARTER 2006




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 all un-permitted emissions equal 4 tons or more per year of criteria pollutants (VOCs, NOx, SOx, CO, PM, Specific Organics);
  • 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 a 2005-2006 Annual Emissions Report Package.

What if I miss the deadline?

The SCAQMD 2005-2006 Annual Emissions Report is due on August 29, 2006. If a facility misses the deadline and owes an emission fee, 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 Penalties

Payment received
Less than 30 days after 9/30/06 5% of reported amount
30 to 90 days after 9/30/06 15% of reported amount
91 days to 1 year after 9/30/06 25% of reported amount
More than 1 year after 9/30/06 50% of reported amount

After submitting my report I found out I estimated emissions incorrectly

Companies who pay their emissions fees on time but underestimated their emissions, which resulted in underpayment to SCAQMD, can re-submit the report subject to underpayment penalties. If the underpayment is corrected within one year from the filing deadline and more than 90% of the amount due was paid, there are no penalties. However, if payment was less than 90% of the amount due, the penalty is 15% of the underpayment amount. When the underpayment is determined more than one year and sixty days from the official due date, fee rates and penalties will be assessed based on 301(e)(10)(D). Fees are determined based on rates in effect for the year when the emissions are actually reported, and not the year wherein the emissions occurred.

A facility can file a refund request when overestimating of the emissions resulted in overpayment to AQMD. The refund request must be submitted in writing as set forth in Rule 301. Form A can also be used to request refunds associated with the current reporting period.

Special circumstances

The AQMD has a Fee Review Committee to handle issues regarding fees and penalties.

Recent changes

  • A 3.65% increase in fees, reflecting the 2005 California consumer price index. Permitting, annual renewal and emissions related fees are increased by 10% rate per year for the next three years.
  • For equipment that is issued a Permit to Operate without a prior Permit to Construct, annual operating fees will have to be submitted for 3 full years or the actual years of operation if less than 3 years.
  • If the Executive Officer determines that an independent consultant is needed to review a specific plan, the consulting fees will be charged to industry.
    An annual facility-wide flat fee has been added to those facilities that operated emergency standby diesel engines as listed in Table 1 of Rule 307.1 (fees in Table 1 range from $366.51 to $13,338.15)
  • All facilities with emissions greater than or equal to 4 tons per year (100 tons per year for Carbon Monoxide) will pay fees for all non-permitted emissions, in addition to the permitted emissions fees.
  • Existing facilities entering the RECLAIM program after its initial implementation will pay a minimum fee of $369.50 for fiscal year 2006-2007, $406.45 for 07-08 and $447.10 for 08-09.
  • Title V renewal initial processing fee is a base rate determined from the hourly permit processing rate and the number of hours estimated to complete processing of a typical Title V permit revision. The final fee is based on an hourly permit processing rate and is assessed for each hour the actual processing exceeds the base rate. The base rate is proposed to be changed from 5 hours to 8 hours.
  • The emission calculation methodology for flare emissions is revised to reflect amendments to Rule 1118. Under the rule mitigation, fees for sulfur dioxide will be as follows:
    • Exceedance less than 10%, $25,000/ton for each ton above the annual performance target;
    • Exceedance more than 10% but less than 20%, $50,000/ton for each ton above the annual performance target;
    • Exceedance more than 20%, $100,000/ton for each ton above the annual performance target.
    • The total mitigation fees in any one year are not to exceed $4,000,000

For the purpose of calculating the total emission fees for a facility:

Total facility emissions = Permitted emissions + Non-Permitted emissions



The South Coast Air Quality Management District held a public hearing on their proposed amendments to Rule 1171 (Solvent Cleaning). Industry representatives expressed concern to the District that the technical data presented to date does not support the proposal to lower VOC limits. Based on the comments, the AQMD Board directed staff to bring back the rule with changes to address the industry’s input at the July 7th board meeting.

The postponement was the result of disagreement between Printing Industry Association of Southern California and District staff on hand wipe UV/EB ink cleanup (proposed at 500 grams per liter) and the newsprint category (proposed at 100 grams per liter). Industry requested:

  • A limit of 650 grams per liter for manual cleanup of UV materials;
  • 800 grams per liter for cleanup of Electron Beam materials; and
  • Either 500 or 650 grams per liter for the newsprint category

Governing Board members commented that the staff proposal did not make sense and asked staff to bring back new language in July. The current amendments do offer more flexibility than the original proposal to lower the limits to 100 grams per liter on July 1, 2006. The limits for adhesives are proposed at 25 grams per liter.

Printers questioned the effectiveness of the low-VOC solvents (100 grams per liter) formulated by District consultants, pointing to the problems with the 500 gram per liter solvents. They conducted an industry-wide survey on the problems printers were experiencing with cleanup solvents at the 500 grams per liter limit and presented the results to the District staff. Various printers received visits from AQMD staff.

Thus far, the industry obtained:

  1. An 18 month delay for the limit of 100 grams per liter used in lithographic/letterpress printing (except newsprint), screen printing and ultraviolet/ electron beam inks to allow further testing and industry transition to new cleaning materials. The limit allowed is 650 grams per liter for automatic systems. The limit for manual cleaning is 500 grams per liter;
  2. Allowance of the use of cleaners with 650 g/l of VOCs for automatic roller and blanket clean up systems until January 1, 2008.
  3. An 18 month extension of the exemption for the cleaning of metering rollers, dampening rollers and printing plates, allowing the use of 800 grams per liter cleaners.
  4. An 18 month extension of the exemption for cleaning ultraviolet/electron beam curing equipment.

The industry also gained control of the testing and qualifying of low-VOC solvents. Previously, the District had contracted out this work to consultants. There appeared to be a disconnect between the consultant’s findings and the experiences printers reported. The Printing Industry Association will be testing low-VOC formulations from a single segment of the industry that accounts for a significant fraction of the total amount of solvent consumed by all lithographic printers.

Please note that this article was written after the June 2, 2006 AQMD Board meeting, but prior to the July 7th hearing.



Previously, SCAQMD Rule 219 exempted roll coaters, dip coaters and vacuum coaters, but only exempted spray equipment that is “operated outside control enclosures.” Technological developments now allow for 100% solids as well as waterborne UV formulations, to be used in spray machines with high transfer efficiencies and coating reclamation systems that allow for recovery of most of the overspray. These systems were not explicitly dealt with in the rule.

In response to comments from industry representatives and individual companies, the District exempted flash off ovens, drying ovens or curing ovens associated with coating, adhesive application, or laminating equipment with several provisions outlined in section (l)(11) of the rule.

Sections relating to modified exemptions for non-emergency internal combustion engines and gasoline storage and dispensing equipment for agricultural sources were continued in order to evaluate requests from the California Farm Bureau.

The following are some of the exemptions added for basic equipment and its associated air pollution controls:

  • Crucible-type or pot type furnaces: (e)(1) & (e)(2)
  • Molds for metal casting: (e)(3)
  • Metal forming equipment: (e)(11)
  • Wax burnout kilns: (e)(17)
  • Smoke houses: (i)(1)
  • Coffee roasting: (i)(8)
  • Plastic conveying/storing: (j)(9)
  • Batch mixers: (k)(1)
  • Chemical vapor sterilization: (p)(11)
  • Blenders/grinders/mixers: (k)(4)
  • Concrete mixers: (k)(5)
  • Packaging of sodium hypochlorite products: (k)(7)
  • Dryers for dyeing, stripping or bleaching: (p)(1)
  • Surface preparation (paint stripping, pickling, desmutting….): (p)(4)
  • Plating, stripping, anodizing (p)(5); including lead: (p)(5)(A)

Of concern to industry is the inclusion of the following language in the rule: “The VOC content of the UV/EB coating shall be determined using a District approved test method or other method approved by the Executive Officer.” This language could be problematic to end users who are applying coatings for which there is no suitable test method.

Industry representatives continue to challenge the rule on the issue of exempting spray equipment operated outside of enclosures, claiming that it provides an unintentional incentive to pollute, as it results in higher emissions. They requested that finishing equipment/systems with transfer efficiency over 75 percent should be exempt due to its emission reduction characteristics.



The SCAQMD held a summit to solicit new and innovative concepts for future emission reductions. The agency involved experts from a variety of areas such as emissions controls, new technologies, fuels, energy conservation and transportation.

The air district reported that, on a yearly basis, exposure to air pollution is responsible for:

  • 6,500 premature deaths
  • 9,000 hospitalizations
  • 1.7 million cases of respiratory illness
  • 1.3 million school absences
  • 2.8 million lost workdays

According to district estimates, the 2007 Air Quality Management Plan may require approximately 50% combined Volatile Organic Compounds and Nitrogen Oxides emission reductions in order to achieve air quality standards by 2015 for particulate matter and by 2020 for ozone.

The discussions included zero VOC solvents/coatings (ultraviolet/electron beam, water based coatings, high solids and powder coatings), electrotechnology and zero emissions vehicles as potential solutions to the area’s air quality problems.



The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) lowered the permissible exposure limit (PEL) for hexavalent chromium from 52 micrograms per cubic meter to 5.0 micrograms per cubic meter. The agency had originally proposed a limit of 1.0 micrograms per cubic meter but reached conclusions that it was not technologically or economically feasible.

Employers must meet the PEL through the use of engineering controls to the maximum extent feasible. There are also provisions for medical monitoring, hygiene facilities, protective clothing and equipment, and regulated areas where hexavalent chromium is present in the workplace. The rule requires initial exposure assessments to determine if ambient exposures to hexavalent chromium exceed the specified limits. The use of respiratory protection used by workers in a facility does not factor into this assessment.

The new standard became effective on May 30th 2006 and is applicable to employers with 20 or more employees. In order to provide employers with time needed to comply, OSHA is making allowances for businesses to show full compliance by November 27, 2006.

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