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Board Adopts New Source Review / General Regulation Updates

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Following a 68-day public comment period and public hearings on June 16, 2020 and July 9, 2020, the Spokane Regional Clean Air Agency's (SRCAA) Board of Directors adopted New Source Review and General Regulation revisions to SRCAA Regulation I, Articles I, II, IV, V, VI and X, and the Consolidated Fee Schedule. The revisions will be effective September 1, 2020. Click here for the Concise Explanatory Statement that summarizes the rulemaking.

The revisions improve the consistency of SRCAA Regulation I with state and federal regulations. This follows several years of working with the WA State Department of Ecology and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to identify the necessary updates. In addition, the rulemaking provided SRCAA the opportunity to clean up regulatory language and formatting for improved clarity, readability and consistency.

The EPA requires state and local agencies adopt federally-approved control strategies to attain and maintain health-based National Ambient Air Quality Standards. EPA then incorporates the regulations into a federally enforceable State Implementation Plan (SIP).

The adopted revisions:

New Source Review / General Regulation Updates; What does this mean for your business? Examples of adopted amendments and impacts on business.

Article II, Section 2.09 – Source Testing Updates:

What does this mean for a regulated business? Removing the combustion testing requirement should eliminate potential confusion and possible redundancy. Allowing email as an acceptable form of communicating about source testing may improve efficiency and timeliness.

Article II, Section 2.13 – State and federal regulations adoption by reference date, Section 2.14 – State regulations adopting by reference, add Sections 2.16-2.19 –Federal regulations adopting by reference Updates:

What does this mean for a regulated business? It should help them clearly see, in one location, the state and federal air quality regulations that they are required to meet because SRCAA has adopted them by reference.

Article IV, Section 4.02 – Operations & Maintenance (O&M) Plan Updates:

What does this mean for businesses? The revisions require all registered facilities to have and follow an O&M plan. Currently, all facilities with an air quality permit and businesses regulated under Article VI, Section 6.18 are required to have and follow an O&M plan, which encompasses the vast majority of all registered facilities. The proposed changes will impact very few businesses. For newly affected businesses, SRCAA will provide technical assistance about the O&M plan requirements as they perform air quality inspections.

Article IV, Section 4.03 – Registration Exemption Documentation Requirements Updates:

What does this mean for businesses? The revisions require businesses that are exempt from registration requirements to keep records documenting their exempt status. Businesses are provided with the steps they need to take if they exceed exemption criteria. It also clarifies that being exempt from one section does not exempt you from Regulation I.

Article IV, Section 4.04 – List of Source Categories Required to Register Updates:

What does this mean for businesses? The restructuring of the list should make it more user-friendly.

Potential to Emit (PTE) is less than 100 lbs./yr. or PTE toxic air emissions does not exceed any Small Quantity Emission Rate (SQER) listed in Chapter 173-460 WAC. The de minimis levels become effective after surface coating regulation updates have been completed under a separate rulemaking proposal.

What does this mean for businesses? By establishing de minimus levels, SRCAA recognizes that surface coating operations with lower emissions should be excluded from certain requirements, as follows:

a. Motor vehicle or motor vehicle component surface coating operations with PTE below the de minimis level, will continue to register with SRCAA, but they will not be required to perform coating operations in a paint booth and therefore will not have to obtain an air quality permit.

b. General surface coating operations with PTE below the de minimis level will no longer be required to register.

Note: The de minimis levels become effective after surface coating regulation updates have been completed under a separate rulemaking proposal.

Article IV, Section 4.05 – Business Closure Criteria Updates:

What does this mean for a regulated business? The changes specify criteria for when a business (source/emissions unit) is considered closed, and what the business must do to resume operation.

Article V, Section 5.02 – New Source Review Exemption Requirements Updates:

What does this mean for a regulated business? All facilities that are exempt must keep, and be able to produce upon request, record documenting their exemption status. Surface coating operations below the de minimis level will be exempt from air quality permitting, saving them time and money.

Article V, Section 5.05 – Public Involvement Update:

What does this mean for a regulated business? Provides additional options for how a business meets noticing requirements when obtaining an air quality permit.

Article V, Section 5.08 – Portable Source Permits Updates:

What does this mean for a regulated business? The changes simplify the air quality permit process for portable sources that are operating for the first time in Spokane County. This will save them time and money. The notification period changing from 10 to 15 days will provide consistency with state regulations but will require businesses to plan accordingly. Updates to the non-road engine requirements will provide clarity as well as consistency with state and other local air agencies in Washington.

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