MACT Hammer Rule Notification--a Potential Sleeper Issue for Many Industrial Sources
Can you afford to ignore this portion of the Clean Air Act?
The Maximum Achievable Control Technology (MACT) Hammer rule (Section 112(j) of the 1990 Clean Air Act) is one of the regulatory requirements that most people thought they could ignore. However, because of the Environmental Protection Agency's inability to maintain its original schedule on issuing MACT standards, this sleeper issue is waking up and requiring action by major sources of hazardous air pollutants.
When Congress passed the Clean Air Act of 1990, it included a mandate that MACT standards be adopted for many industrial facilities over the next 10 years. Further, Congress included a provision that would mandate site-specific MACT standards if the EPA did not adopt industry-wide standards by May 15, 2002. Since establishing site-specific MACT standards for each major source of hazardous air pollutants would be an immense burden for both industry and government (local, state and federal) regulators, this provision was called a "hammer." The thought was--since the burden would be so great on all parties--the EPA would be highly motivated to complete the MACT work within the anticipated schedule.
Unfortunately, the EPA has now missed the schedule and the "hammer" is set to fall on May 15, 2002.
What Do You Have to Do?
In early March 2002, the EPA promulgated final rules on implementing this provision of the Clean Air Act (http://www.epa.gov/ttn/oarpg/t3pfpr.html). The final rule establishes a two-step permitting process:
- Submission of a Part 1 Notification by May 15, 2002, to your Title V permitting agency.
- Submission of a Part 2 Permit Application by May 15, 2004.
The Part 1 Notification is not particularly burdensome, but the Part 2 will require substantial work by industrial facilities. It is the EPA's intention to issue all of the remaining MACT standards prior to May 15, 2004, therefore making the submission of the burdensome Part 2 a moot issue.
The Part 1 Notification requires the following information:
- Name, address and physical location of the major source.
- Brief description of the major source and identification of the relevant source category.
- Identification of the types of emission points belonging to the relevant source category.
- Identification of an affected source(s) for which a case-by-case MACT determination has been made.
How Do I Determine if This Requirement Applies to Me?
We have prepared a simplified decision tree to determine if the MACT Hammer rule is applicable to your facility. Please note that these rules are complex and each facility must evaluate its applicability on a case-by-case basis.
As the decision tree indicates, a key determinant for any major source of hazardous air pollutants is which MACT standards will not be adopted by May 15, 2002. If a facility has one of these sources, then the MACT Hammer is applicable to it. Table One contains a listing of those sources for which the MACT standard will not be adopted by May 15, 2002.
MACT STANDARDS SCHEDULED TO BE FINAL AFTER 5/15/2002
- Asphalt Roofing and Processing
- Municipal Solid Waste Landfills
- Combustion Turbines
- Reciprocating Stationary Internal Combustion Engines
- Industrial/Commercial/Institutional/Boilers & Process Heaters
- Reinforced Plastic Composites Products
- Coke Ovens
- Flexible Polyurethane Foam Fabrication
- Friction Products
- Hydrochloric Acid Production
- Integrated Iron & Steel Manufacturing
- Misc. Organic Chemical Production & Processes
- Paper & Other Web Coating
- Auto/Light Duty Truck
- Iron & Steel Foundries
- Lime Manufacturing
- Metal Can Manufacturing
- Plastic Parts & Products
- Plywood & Composite Wood Products
- Primary Magnesium Refining
- Taconite Iron Ore Processing
- Wood Building Products
- Brick, Structural Clay Products
- Clay Ceramics Manufacturing
- Chlorine Production
- Engine Test Cells/Stands
- Metal Furniture
- Misc. Metal Parts
- Printing, Coating & Dyeing of Fabrics
- Organic Liquids Distribution (non-gasoline)
The burden is on members of the regulated community to determine whether they must file a Part 1 Notification and whether they may have to file a Part 2 Permit Application. While filing the Part 1 is easy, failure to do so could result in regulatory enforcement.