Florida-DEP Sends Out MACT Hammer Letters

Author:Ms Susan Stephens
Profession:Holland & Knight LLP

On April 5, 2002, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection sent letters to hundreds of facilities that emit hazardous air pollutants (HAPs), reminding them of their duty to submit the notification required by subsection 112(j) of the Clean Air Act if they are a major source of HAPs and in an industrial source category for which the EPA has not yet promulgated maximum achievable control technology (MACT) limits for HAP emissions. The information required pursuant to subsection 112(j) must be submitted by May 15, 2002. DEP's letter specifically requests the following information:

name, address, and brief description of the facility

identification of the relevant industry source category

a list of emissions units belonging to the relevant source category

an identification of any affected sources at the facility for which a case-by-case MACT determination has already been made

Pursuant to section 112 of the Clean Air Act, EPA must identify source categories emitting one or more HAPs and establish emissions standards (National Emission Standards For Hazardous Air Pollutants-NESHAPs) by specified deadlines. The NESHAPs must be based on MACT, the level of emissions achieved by the best-performing facilities. A facility is subject to section 112 if it is a major source of HAPs, emitting 10 tons per year (tpy) or more of a single HAP or 25 tpy or more of more than one HAP.

Subsection 112(j) provides that, if EPA misses one of the deadlines for promulgating NESHAPs by more than 18 months, major sources must submit permit applications to the applicable state or local permitting agency requesting a source-specific, case-by-case MACT. This provision is called the "MACT hammer." EPA has missed the deadline for finalizing the NESHAPs for several source categories, and major sources in those categories must now submit Title V permit applications by May 15, 2002. A facility is required to submit a permit application if it is a major source of HAPs and if it falls within one of the categories for which EPA was required to promulgate a NESHAP and has not yet done so. These categories include combustion turbines, industrial/commercial/institutional...

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