Fugitive Emissions

Latest Developments…

    The Environmental Protection Agency is accepting comments until May 31 on an interim rule clarifying its intent that sources in all industries must account for fugitive emissions when determining whether pollution control upgrades are needed under the Clean Air Act’s new source review requirements (76 FR 17548, 3/30/11). EPA said the interim rule revises, reinstates, and stays parts of 40 CFR 51 and 52, which were amended by the 2008 fugitive emissions rule (73 FR 77882, 12/29/08), to clarify the "potential" confusion that arose following a previous stay issued in March 2010 (75 FR 16012, 3/31/10). EPA noted that under the previous stay, certain provisions "appeared to be stayed in their entirety rather than amended to undo the changes" made in 2008. "The overall effect of this action is to revert the treatment of fugitive emissions in applicability determinations to the approach that applied prior to the fugitive emissions rule on an interim basis, while EPA completes the reconsideration," the agency said.
-- You can find the text of the interim rule in the Federal Register Archive

Did you know…?
    EPA defines fugitive emissions as those that could not reasonably pass through a chimney, stack, vent, or other functionally equivalent opening. Examples of fugitive emissions include volatile organic compounds emitted from leaking fittings and pipes at petroleum refineries and windblown dust from surface mines, according to the agency. New source review requires sources to install new pollution controls when they make plant modifications that increase emissions. The 2008 rule exempted certain industries, such as mining and refineries, from reporting fugitive emissions when complying with new source review requirements. The interim rule EPA published March 30 seeks to reinstate the requirement to include fugitive emissions for those industries exempted by the 2008 rule.
-- You can find more information on fugitive emissions and new source review in Air Pollution Control Guide