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7 June 2017

EPA administrator issues 90-day stay of NSPS XXX/Cf rules – what will it mean?

Faithful CornerPost readers know we have written about NSPS a few times. This time, I’m taking pen to paper (figuratively) to report on the recent 90-day Stay of Standards of Performance: Municipal Solid Waste Landfills and Emission Guidelines and Compliance Times for Municipal Solid Waste Landfills (aka the NSPS XXX/Cf rules), which was issued on May 30, 2017 by Scott Pruitt, administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency. I know many will have questions, and I wanted to use this space to tell readers what I know. 

First some background

There was a lot of chatter throughout the month of May regarding the status of the NSPS Subpart XXX and Subpart Cf regulations, which were finalized on August 29, 2016. In a letter dated May 5, 2017, Administrator Pruitt announced that EPA intended to exercise its authority under Clean Air Act section 307(d)(7)(B) to issue a 90-day stay of the effectiveness of both the NSPS Subpart XXX and the emissions guidelines (Subpart Cf).

The EPA convened a proceeding for reconsideration based on the objections raised in a petition for reconsideration filed by SWANA/NWRA, as well as several solid waste companies, in the fall of 2016.

The Administrator is required to convene a proceeding for reconsideration if the person raising an objection to a rule can demonstrate: (1) That it was either impractical to raise the objection during the period for public comment or that the grounds for the objection arose after the period for public comment; and (2) that the objection is of central relevance to the outcome of the rule.

Administrator Pruitt determined that the petitions met these requirements, so he stayed the effectiveness of the rule for 3 months during this reconsideration.

What will be considered during the stay?

The 90-day stay runs from May 31, 2017 through August 29, 2017. It basically pauses the timeline on the implementation of NSPS XXX/Cf rules. While we don’t fully understand what this short-term stay will mean for the future of the NSPS XXX/Cf rules, we do know a bit about the specific pieces of the rule that are to be reconsidered. The administrative reconsideration proceeding will focus on these petition topics:

(1)   Tier 4 surface emission monitoring

(2)   Annual liquids reporting

(3)   Corrective action timeline procedures

(4)   Overlapping applicability with other rules

(5)   The definition of cover penetration

(6)   Design plan approval

As part of the proceeding, the EPA will prepare a notice of proposed rulemaking that will provide the petitioners and the public an opportunity to comment on the issues identified in EPA’s May 5, 2017 letter. That letter states that the EPA has not taken action on the remaining issues in the petitions for reconsideration.

We don’t know how this affects the implementation process, nor do we know what changes the EPA may make to the NSPS XXX/Cf rules. We do know that industry leaders are working with the EPA to make the path to implementing and executing these rules clearer.

When I learn more, I will share it in this forum. In the meantime:

What is your opinion of the stay and what would you tell EPA about the rules?

Julie Hall is a Project Manager in Cornerstone’s Cincinnati, OH office. She earned her degree in Chemical Engineering and has extensive history in air permitting and air compliance with clients throughout the mid-west.

Categories: Air Quality, Environmental Planning & Compliance, Landfill Engineering and Design, Operations and Maintenance, Solid Waste
Posted By Julie Hall at 2:42 PM  |  No Comments on EPA administrator issues 90-day stay of NSPS XXX/Cf rules – what will it mean?

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