Month: February 2010

Greenhouse Gas Reporting Requirements for Stationary Fuel Combustion Sources

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As discussed in an earlier posting, Greenhouse Gas (GHG) reporting will be required for 24 source categories (in some cases dependent on emission levels) and facilities with stationary fuel combustion sources that meet specific criteria.  Subpart C deals with the specific reporting, recordkeeping and verification requirements for GHG emissions from fuel combustion.

Starting in 2010, GHG emissions reporting will be required of facilities that have stationary fuel combustion sources where:

  • The aggregate maximum rated heat input capacity of all units at facility exceeds 30 MMBtu/hr, and
  • The facility has GHG emissions exceeding 25,000 metric tons (mt)/year

The regulations define a fuel combustion source as any device that combusts any of 55 solid, liquid or gaseous fuels and includes boilers, stationary internal combustion engines, process heaters, combustion turbines, incinerators, and various other types of equipment. The requirement addresses industrial, commercial and institutional (but not residential) uses of fuel in any combustion device with exemptions for the following:

  • Portable equipment;
  • Emergency generators/equipment;
  • Irrigation pumps at agricultural operations;
  • Flares, unless otherwise required by another subpart;
  • Electricity generating units subject to Subpart D; and
  • Hazardous waste combustion (unless a continuous emission monitoring system (CEMS) is used to monitor CO2 or the unit co-fires fossil fuels)

The fuel consumed as well as the annual operating hours will dictate whether reporting is required.  The regulation provides equations for the calculation of GHG emissions based on the type of fuel, the default high heating value (HHV) of the fuel, and fuel-specific emission factors (EF). There are 4 “Tiers” of calculations based on the type of information available as summarized below:

  •  Tier 1 – use annual fuel consumption (from company records), fuel-specific HHV, and default CO2 emission factors;
  • Tier 2 – use annual fuel consumption (from company records), measured fuel-specific HHV, and default CO2 emission factors;
  • Tier 3 – use annual fuel consumption from company records (for solid fuels) or directly measured fuel consumption values (for liquid and gaseous fuels) and periodic fuel carbon content measurements; and
  • Tier 4 – use CEMS data. There are a variety of restrictions on the use of the Tier 4 methodology. The rule should be consulted prior to using this method.

 As an example, GHG emissions reporting will not be triggered unless fuel consumption exceeds the following:

When Do You Need to Report?
Fuel Design Capacity(MMBtu/hr) Maximum Annual Fuel Use1
Coal 30 > 10,800 short tons
Fuel Oil 35 >2.3 million gallons
Natural Gas 50 >460 million ft3 (460,000 Therm)
Biogas (recovered methane) 50 >570 million ft3
Wood 30 > 10,600 short tons
Ethanol 40 > 4.3 million gallons

1Approximate values assuming full utilization; 8,760 hours/year; and Tier 1 calculation

 Regardless of the design capacity, emissions will remain below 25,000 mt/yr if the fuel consumption is below the maximum levels specified above. Similar calculations can be made for other fuel types based on the HHV and EF provided in Table C-1 of Subpart C.

 Facilities with combustion units that are exempt from state air quality permitting requirements (e.g., in many states, those individually rated at less than 10 MMBtu/hr are exempt from permitting) will be subject to all of the GHG reporting and documentation requirements.  For some facilities that had been tracking and reporting their GHG emissions on a voluntary basis (or due to state requirements), the new regulation may result in an increase in calculated GHG emissions due to the inclusion of GHG emissions from smaller (exempt) combustion units and/or changes in calculation methodology.

 CEC recommends that facilities inventory all fuel combustion sources to evaluate whether this Subpart applies or if the facility is exempt from reporting.  If you are unclear about how this rule affects your facility, please contact one of CEC’s GHG experts: Kris Macoskey, 800-365-2324, kmacoskey@cecinc.com.  You may also email CEC’s GHG team for additional information at GHGENVHelp@cecinc.com.

2009 EPCRA TIER II Report

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Although the requirements for the preparation and submittal of Tier II Reports were established more than 20 years ago, we still find that some facilities are not submitting the reports or forget to submit the reports in accordance with the deadline.  This can also be an issue for facilities where environmental departments have been downsized or eliminated due to current economic conditions.  The Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) established the requirements for Federal, state and local governments, Indian Tribes, and industry regarding reporting on hazardous and toxic chemicals.  EPCRA was passed in response to concerns regarding environmental and safety hazards posed by the storage and handling of toxic chemicals.  These concerns were triggered by the disaster in Bhopal, India caused by the accidental release of methyl isocyanate.

Facilities covered by EPCRA requirements must submit an Emergency and Hazardous Chemical Inventory Form to the Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC), the State Emergency Response Commission (SERC), and the local fire department annually. Facilities provide either a Tier I or Tier II Form although most States require the Tier II Form.  Some states and counties have requirements in addition to the federal Tier II requirements. 

The EPCRA Tier II Form submittal is due on March 1, 2010.  The Tier II Form is required for chemicals that are stored at your facility above specific weight thresholds that are not exempted under the EPCRA regulations.  The weight threshold varies for extremely hazardous substances (EHS) and is set at 10,000 pounds for other chemicals stored at your facility.

 Tier II Forms must report the required information for each hazardous chemical present at your facility in quantities equal to or greater than established threshold amounts (discussed below), unless the chemicals are excluded.  Hazardous chemicals are any substance for which your facility must maintain a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) under OSHA’s Hazard Communication Standard (described at 29 CFR 1910.1200).

 Section 311(e) of EPCRA excludes a number of substances.  The OSHA regulations at Section 1910.1200(b) also stipulates various exemptions from the requirement for maintaining an MSDS for certain chemicals or materials. Minimum thresholds have been established for Tier II reporting under EPCRA Section 312.  These thresholds are as follows:

  • For Extremely Hazardous Substances (EHSs) – the reporting threshold is 500 pounds or the Threshold Planning Quantity (TPQ), whichever is lower.  The current list of EHS chemicals and their TPQs is maintained at 40 CFR Part 355. 
  • For gasoline (all grades combined) at a retail gas station, the threshold level is 75,000 gallons, if the tank(s) was stored entirely underground and was in compliance at all times during the preceding calendar year with all applicable Underground Storage Tank (UST) requirements. 
  • For diesel fuel (all grades combined) at a retail gas station, the threshold level is 100,000 gallons, if the tank(s) was stored entirely underground and the tank(s) was in compliance at all times during the preceding calendar year with all applicable UST requirements. 
  • For all other hazardous chemicals for which facilities are required to have or prepare an MSDS, the minimum reporting threshold is 10,000 pounds.

 Your facility needs to report hazardous chemicals that were present at your facility at any time during the previous calendar year at levels that equal or exceed these thresholds.  The report covers the 2009 calendar year, beginning January 1 and ending December 31. For each chemical that your facility has listed, identify all the physical and health hazard boxes that apply.  These hazard categories are defined in 40 CFR 370.2.  The two health hazard categories and three physical hazard categories are a consolidation of the hazard categories defined in the OSHA Hazard Communication Standard, 29 CFR 1910.1200.  <more info>

 For each chemical that is reported, the Tier II form asks for specific information such as the maximum amount stored onsite, average daily amount stored onsite, number of days present onsite, and storage codes and storage location information (for non-confidential chemicals).  You may elect to withhold location information on a specific chemical from disclosure to the public.  The Tier II instructions provide details for submittal of confidential information. The owner or operator or the officially designated representative of the owner or operator must certify that all information included in the Tier II submission is true, accurate, and complete.  An original signature is required on the submission. 

To obtain Tier II reporting procedures and requirements for your state, please click on the state where your facility is located using the following EPA website link: http://www.epa.gov/oem/content/epcra/tier2.htm#state. We noted that at least one of the EPA’s website links were broken (e.g. Pennsylvania) at the time this blog page was written.  Pennsylvania’s website for Tier II information is found at: http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt?open=514&objID=553047&mode=2.

 The completed Tier II form(s) must be submitted to each of the following organizations:  SERC, LEPC, and the fire department with jurisdiction over your facility.  If you have any questions about EPCRA Tier II reporting requirements and whether your facility may be subject to these regulations, please contact Paul Tomiczek III, REM, P.E. at ptomiczek3@cecinc.com or 800-365-2324. More information on EPCRA Tier II Reporting obligations and instructions for completing the Tier II report are provided at http://www.epa.gov/oem/docs/chem/t2-instr.pdf.

2009 RCRA Biennial Hazardous Waste Report

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This blog was prepared as a reminder that your facility is required to complete and file the 2009 RCRA Hazardous Waste Report (also known as the “Biennial Report”) or your State’s equivalent hazardous waste report by March 1, 2010 if your facility met the definition of a RCRA Large Quantity Generator (LQG) during 2009; or if your facility treated, stored, or disposed of RCRA hazardous wastes on-site during 2009.  We know of a number of facilities where the environmental departments have been downsized or eliminated due to economic conditions, so we thought this blog could be helpful.  Your facility is a RCRA LQG for 2009 if your facility met any of the following criteria:  

  • Your facility generated, in any single calendar month, 1,000 kg (2,200 lbs.) or more of RCRA non-acute hazardous waste; or 
  • Your facility generated, in any single calendar month, or accumulated at any time, more than 1 kg (2.2 lbs.) of RCRA acute hazardous waste; or
  • Your facility generated, in any single calendar month, or accumulated at any time, more than 100 kg (220 lbs.) of spill cleanup material contaminated with RCRA acute hazardous waste.

 Report your facility’s current Hazardous Waste Generator status based on the date you submit your 2009 Hazardous Waste Report on the Site ID Form.  Your facility’s current status could be different from the status during the 2009 Hazardous Waste Report year.  Hazardous waste imported from a foreign country in 2009 must be counted in determining your facility’s generator status if your facility is the U.S. Importer.

 Do not file the 2009 Hazardous Waste Report if, during 2009, your facility was not a RCRA LQG and your facility did not treat, store, or dispose of RCRA hazardous wastes on-site in waste management units subject to a RCRA operating permit.  Do not file the 2009 Hazardous Waste Report if, during 2009, all hazardous waste generated at your facility was exported directly out of the United States to a foreign country. An Annual Report must be filed in this case as required under 40 CFR 262.56.

 States may impose reporting requirements above and beyond the Federal requirements. Some States use a modified version of this report or their own instructions and forms to fulfill their reporting requirements.   Please contact your State Office about State-specific requirements.   See the State Contacts list at http://www.epa.gov/osw/inforesources/data/form8700/contact.pdf,

 EPA has added the collection of additional data to incorporate changes from the Revisions to the Definition of Solid Waste Final Rule and the Subpart K Hazardous Waste at Academic Laboratories Final Rule. EPA has also made some editorial changes to the instructions and forms for clarification of the data collected.  More information regarding these changes is provided here.

 The 2009 Hazardous Waste Report contains the following four forms: RCRA Subtitle C Site Identification (Site ID Form), Waste Generation and Management (GM Form), Waste Received From Off-site (WR Form), and Off-Site Identification (OI Form).  More information about these forms is provided here.

As noted previously, the 2009 Hazardous Waste Report is due to your State or EPA Regional Office by Monday, March 1, 2010.  Your State reporting requirements or forms may differ from the Federal requirements.  Return your completed Hazardous Waste Report to the address listed for your State or Regional contact: http://www.epa.gov/osw/inforesources/data/form8700/contact.pdf.

Be sure to make a photocopy of your completed Hazardous Waste Report and keep a copy for at least three years from the due date of the report as required by 40 CFR 262.40(b).

 If you have any questions about RCRA Biennial Hazardous Waste reporting requirements and whether your facility may be subject to these regulations, please contact Paul Tomiczek III, REM, P.E. at ptomiczek3@cecinc.com or 800-365-2324. More information on RCRA Biennial Reporting obligations, and detailed instructions for completing the hazardous waste report are provided at http://www.epa.gov/waste/inforesources/data/br09/br2009rpt.pdf.