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EPA extends NESHAP compliance date

World Cement,

Reacting to a federal court ruling and data provided by the cement industry, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced proposed changes to its 2010 air standards, which were due to come into force in September 2013. The EPA now proposes to extend the compliance date to September 2015 and has also amended some of the requirements under NESHAP. The full description of the changes can be found on the EPA website. A brief summary follows.

PM limits and monitoring changed

The Portland Cement National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Airborne Pollutants (NESHAP) aimed to dramatically cut emissions of mercury, particulate matter and other airborne pollutants emitted during the cement production process. The EPA had originally proposed that particulate matter emissions levels would be monitored through Continuous Emissions Monitoring systems (CEMs), but in the latest proposal the EPA states:

‘Based on the information the EPA now has, we believe that it may be problematic for a PM CEMS to meet the mandated Performance Specification 11 (PS11) correlation requirements complying with the promulgated PM standards… As a consequence, the EPA is proposing to amend the existing and new source PM standards in the NESHAP to require manual stack testing in lieu of PM CEMS for compliance determinations. An additional consequence of this proposed change of compliance measurement methods is that the EPA is proposing to change the averaging time and numeric emissions value of those standards.’

Kilns burning non-hazardous solid waste will be covered by CISWI. The EPA is not proposing any changes to the existing source standards for mercury, THCs or hydrogenchloride (HCl).

The extension will give industry more time to find an appropriate emissions control strategy in light of the proposed changes mentioned above.

PCA response

Portland Cement Association CEO Brian McCarthy responded to the announcement with the following statement:

“PCA welcomes the Portland cement NESHAP proposal released by EPA today to provide the cement industry necessary additional time for compliance with the proposed revised standards. Such time is essential to each cement plant’s ability to complete any planning, engineering, and construction that may be necessary to comply with the standards. The Association also agrees with EPA’s proposal to revise the emission standard for particulate matter.

“EPA’s revised proposed rules are a win for the nation’s economy,the environment and cement manufacturers. The proposed standards and extended compliance period are essential to preserving jobs at domestic cement facilities, and they support an American manufacturing industry that is critical to our nation’s infrastructure and has been hit hard by the recession.

“PCA supports meeting the demand for Portland cement through environmentally and socially responsible business practices. PCA and its member companies are continually working to identify innovative ways to improve plant operations and implement state-of-the-art technologies to minimize emissions,promote a safe workplace, improve energy efficiency and conserve natural resources while cost-effectively producing a high-quality product.”

EPA will accept comment on the proposed changes for 30 days after the proposal is published in the Federal Register. The agency will hold a public hearing if requested to do so. The rule will be finalised by 20 December 2012.

Edited from various sources by Katherine Markham

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