EPA has proposed lowering the ambient air ozone standard once again, a move that will have a dramatic effect on industry in general, and especially industries that use coatings, inks, and other organic chemicals.
Reductions in the ambient air ozone standard are always followed by a new round of regulations that require additional controls. Depending on which standard EPA approves, 200 to 300 additional counties across the nation will be subject to control requirements and the 300 counties that currently have ozone problems will find EPA is going to tighten the screws even more.
How will this play out? Following is the sequence of events you can expect:
• 2011 – EPA approves a reduction of the current ozone standard (75 parts per billion) to a lower level, between 60 and 70 parts per billion.
• 2011 – Each state proposes and EPA approves a designation plan. This determines which counties meet the new ozone standard (i.e., are “attainment” areas) and which do not (and are thus “non-attainment” areas).
• 2012 – Each state comes up with a plan to turn their non-attainment areas into attainment areas by reducing emissions. These rules typically require reductions from industry, from cars and truck, and from other sources that contribute to ozone formation.
• 2013 – EPA approves state plans and new control requirements go into effect.
How to stay ahead of the game?
Understand that new control requirements typically apply to major sources of air pollutants. But, if your plant is located in an attainment area today, the amount of emissions allowed before you become a major source is far greater than in a non-attainment area. Many plants located in attainment areas can emit up to 250 tons per year of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) without using controls, for example. But, once a county has been designated as non-attainment, the very same plant may trigger control requirements for 100 tons per year, 50 tons per year, or even less of VOC emissions.
By staying on top of rule development, you can develop a pre-emptive control strategy to make sure your facility can respond to the coming changes, before they happen. Regulatory requirements for major sources in non-attainment areas can be onerous, costly and time-consuming, and – worst of all – can interfere with productivity. Why not stay ahead of the curve?
Catalytic Products International and Mostardi Platt Environmental can analyze your unique situation and come up with a long-term strategy to keep you in compliance and to protect your bottom line. Reach Catalytic Products International at (847) 438-0334 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org and Mostardi Platt Environmental at (630) 993-2100 or via email at email@example.com.