Turn to the nation's most objective and informative daily environmental news resource to learn how the United States and key players around the world are responding to the environmental...
The Environmental Protection Agency Sept. 5 sent a proposed rule to the White House for review on the outcome of an evaluation of the adequacy of air pollution standards for petroleum refineries.
The proposed rule under review by the Office of Management and Budget is part of required periodic EPA reviews of the new source performance standards and national emissions standards for hazardous air pollutants for petroleum refineries and various pieces of related equipment.
The proposed rule is not expected to include greenhouse gas emissions limits. EPA agreed to adopt greenhouse gas standards for refineries in a 2010 court settlement, but has not completed work on those standards.
The White House review is typically the last step before the proposed rule is published in the Federal Register.
The Clean Air Act requires EPA to review its toxic air pollutant standards at Section 112 and its new source performance standards at Section 111 every eight years to determine if the emissions allowable under those rules still pose risks to public health, and to evaluate any new control technologies that might be available.
The agency either must promulgate additional standards to protect public health against any residual risk or make an official determination that no further controls are necessary.
In January 2009, the Bush administration determined that toxic emissions from petroleum refineries did not pose any additional health risks and no new controls were required. However, that finding was never published in the Federal Register. The Obama administration later withdrew that finding and said it would perform a second review (74 Fed. Reg. 55,670; 206 DER A-1, 10/28/09).
The latest risk and technology review comes after EPA surveyed the 152 refineries in the nation about their emissions and pollution controls. The information collection request also required refinery operators to conduct emissions sampling and testing.
“We are confident the risk and technology review here will once again show the remaining risks from refineries are low and at safe levels,” Howard Feldman, director of scientific and regulatory affairs at the American Petroleum Institute, told BNA Sept. 6.
The hazardous air pollutant standards for petroleum refineries were issued in 1995 under 40 C.F.R. Part 63, Subpart CC (60 Fed. Reg. 43,244). The hazardous pollutant emissions standards for catalytic cracking units, catalytic reforming units, and sulfur recovery units at petroleum refineries were issued in 2002 under 40 C.F.R. Part 63, Subpart UUU (67 Fed. Reg. 17,762).
The new source performance standards for the facilities were first issued under 40 C.F.R. Part 60, Subpart J in 1974. Those standards were last revised in 2008, but EPA delayed implementing the rule to address requests for reconsideration (73 Fed. Reg. 35,838).
Petroleum industry and environmental groups do not expect the proposed rule to address greenhouse gas emissions from petroleum refineries.
An EPA spokeswoman could not be reached for comment on the issue.
EPA agreed to issue greenhouse gas new source performance standards for refineries in December 2010 as part of a court settlement with the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Sierra Club, the Environmental Integrity Project, and several states (American Petroleum Institute v. EPA, D.C. Cir., No. 08-1277, 12/23/10; 246 DER A-1, 12/27/10).
EPA missed a December 2011 deadline to propose the greenhouse gas standards.
“We still have channels open with them. We haven't got a new deadline, but we also haven't agreed it's all for naught,” David Doniger, policy director of the Natural Resources Defense Council Climate Center, told BNA Sept. 6.
Doniger said he expects EPA will propose greenhouse gas standards for refineries after it issues final emissions standards for power plants.
EPA proposed the carbon dioxide new source performance standard for power plants April 13 (77 Fed. Reg. 22,392; 71 DER A-1, 4/13/12).
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)