Cleaner Air Oregon
Cleaner Air Oregon Rules and LRAPA Prioritization
Governor Kate Brown launched the Cleaner Air Oregon rulemaking process in April 2016 after communities around the state raised concerns about their exposure to potentially harmful heavy metals, chemicals and other pollutants from factories and other industrial sources. Oregon’s existing rules were based on federal law. These existing rules allowed industrial facilities to release potentially harmful amounts of air toxics, but still operate within legal requirements.
Prioritization and Calling-in Existing Facilities
LRAPA will implement the program next by publishing the prioritization results for existing sources and calling in several facilities on the list as resources allow. The list of approximately 70 sources on the list include all facilities with Title V Operating Permits, Standard and Simple Air Contaminant Discharge Permits (ACDPs), along with two chrome plating sources assigned to General ACDPs. LRAPA published the prioritization results on November 26, 2019. The LRAPA prioritization procedure followed the same process DEQ used which includes a method that considers numerical prioritization values, as well as certain qualitative factors. Based on these factors, facilities were placed in priority groups or tiers. As facilities are called in, they will perform air toxics risk assessments that will determine the actual estimated risks associated with facility emissions.
The LRAPA Cleaner Air Oregon Facility Prioritization Results report (PDF) is available here: https://www.lrapa.org/DocumentCenter/View/4460/LRAPA-CAO-Prioritization-Results
The LRAPA Cleaner Air Oregon Prioritization Details file (Excel) is available here: https://www.lrapa.org/DocumentCenter/View/4459/CAO-Prioritization-Details_-LRAPA
Information on DEQ’s Cleaner Air Oregon program including fact sheets is available at: https://www.oregon.gov/deq/aq/cao/Pages/default.aspx
CAO Call-in Updates for Existing Facilities (8/7/20)
J.H. Baxter & Company – Eugene Plant (JHB) was called in on December 2, 2019. Their updated air toxics emission inventory was due March 2, 2020, but the facility submitted an extension request on February 13, 2020 to allow additional time to prepare the emission inventory. LRAPA granted the facility additional time on February 20, 2020 to conduct liquid sampling and other steps to complete the emission inventory in accordance with the following timeline:
- The liquid sampling plan was submitted to LRAPA on March 6, 2020. LRAPA approved the liquid sampling plan on April 10, 2020 with a May 25,2020 deadline to conduct the liquid sampling. On April 16, 2020 JHB requested an extension of the deadline to conduct the liquid sampling due to physical distancing requirements related to the COVID-19 situation, and offered to send a technical memo that would outline some of the scientific principles involved in the emission inventory approach. LRAPA granted the extension on April 23, 2020. On May 5, 2020, the facility submitted a technical memo regarding their scientific approach for wood treatment emission estimations.
- On June 23, 2020, LRAPA and the facility entered discussions to clarify the emission inventory approach and have had numerous meetings and exchanges of information since then; these discussions are currently ongoing. Activity since June 23, 2020 includes:
- July 13, 2020 teleconference (MS Teams) with JHB and some of their consultants to discuss the scientific principles involved with the liquid sampling part of the emission inventory. JHB committed to providing LRAPA an Excel file example of the emission inventory approach as well as a technical memo to outline all of the emission units planned to be included in the emission inventory.
- July 17, 2020: JHB submitted an Excel file example of the vapor mass fraction calculations for part of the treating operation (example work/storage tank).
- July 17, 2020: LRAPA requested additional details and other examples of treating sources (retort door openings and treated storage) that would use liquid sampling to determine vapor mass fractions.
- August 5, 2020: JHB submitted the technical memorandum describing the calculation approach to estimate air toxics along with example treated storage and retort door opening emission calculations.
- August 7, 2020: LRAPA is currently reviewing the treated storage and retort door opening emission calculations and will provide the facility with feedback, additional questions, or required changes (i.e., use of different emission factors or source testing to better characterize emissions).
- Once LRAPA has approved the emission inventory approach, JHB will schedule and conduct the sampling then have the samples analyzed and prepare a summary report.
- Upon completion of the sampling summary report, JHB will have 75 days to incorporate the results and produce the CAO Emission Inventory to LRAPA.
Seneca Sustainable Energy, LLC (SSE) was called in on December 2, 2019. Their updated air toxics emission inventory was due March 2, 2020. The facility submitted the emission inventory on February 27, 2020. LRAPA reviewed the emission inventory and requested additional information. The facility submitted revisions and supplemental information on March 30, 2020, May 4, 2020, and June 11, 2020. LRAPA approved the emission inventory on June 15, 2020. The facility will next submit a modeling protocol and a risk assessment work plan. The due dates vary depending on the Risk Assessment Level (see “Step 2” and “Step 3” in the flowchart here). Based on correspondence with the facility, LRAPA expects the facility to complete a Level 3 Risk Assessment. For a Level 3 Risk Assessment, the following due dates apply:
- A modeling protocol is due no later than July 15, 2020
- A risk assessment work plan (RAWP) is due no later than August 14, 2020.
SSE submitted a combined modeling protocol and RAWP on July 8, 2020. LRAPA reviewed these documents and requested revisions to be submitted no later than August 14, 2020.
Arauco North America, Inc. – Eugene MDF (Arauco) was called in on February 3, 2020. Their emission inventory was due May 4, 2020. However, the facility announced on February 11, 2020 that the company would begin decommissioning the facility on May 1, 2020. On February 27, 2020, the facility submitted a request to cancel the CAO call-in. LRAPA granted the request on March 2, 2020. Arauco notified LRAPA on April 29, 2020 that the facility was permanently shut down on April 28, 2020 but that they wanted to maintain the permit until further notice. The facility requested their permit be terminated at the end of the first semi-annual reporting period (June 30th) and LRAPA terminated the Arauco Title V Operating Permit on July 1, 2020. Rather than call in another facility right away to fill the spot left by this closed facility, LRAPA is currently using its limited CAO resources to continue the significant work involved with the other three (3) existing facilities LRAPA has officially called in to the program.
The Willamette Valley Company LLC was called in on March 2, 2020. Their emission inventory was due June 1, 2020. However, the facility submitted an extension request on March 23, 2020 proposing a new date of June 22, 2020 to allow additional time to cope with the challenges of the then-emerging COVID-19 pandemic. LRAPA granted the extension on March 25, 2020 and the facility submitted their emissions inventory on June 22, 2020. LRAPA reviewed the emissions inventory and requested additional information during discussions with the facility on July 6, 2020. The facility submitted supplemental information on July 17, 2020. LRAPA is currently in the process of reviewing the additional information received.
LRAPA plans to call-in International Paper (IP) – Springfield Mill by the end of 2020. International Paper is the last of the initial five facilities announced for call-in by LRAPA in November 2019 and LRAPA met with IP Air Quality staff and their CAO consultants on December 18, 2019, to discuss IP’s preliminary work on the CAO emissions inventory and modeling and permitting requirements. While LRAPA had intended to call-in IP in the first half of 2020, several issues/circumstances have arisen that have caused LRAPA to delay formally calling-in International Paper. These include:
- In January 2020, IP was notified by Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) that the facility was required to submit a Regional Haze Four Factor Analysis (FFA) of potential controls to be added to the facility’s emission units to reduce impacts to Oregon Class I Wilderness areas. IP (along with 25 other Oregon facilities) was required to submit the detailed FFA by May 31, 2020. Because the FFA required a great deal of work for both International Paper and LRAPA, LRAPA elected to delay calling-in IP into the CAO program until LRAPA staff could more effectively process IP’s required CAO submittals.
- The COVID pandemic has put further strains on the facility’s staff and operations. Plant personnel have been reduced to a “skeleton crew” at the same time IP has been tasked with meeting the substantial regulatory and reporting requirements and workload of Regional Haze, CAO and IP’s Title V permit renewal without their Air Quality Supervisor who was responsible for these tasks as well as plant safety concerns.
- The level of complexity and detail required by the CAO program submittals has increased LRAPA’s workload a great deal. Based on the current workload for LRAPA staff required by the 3 facilities’ (JHB, SSE & Willamette Valley Co.) CAO submittals, LRAPA decided to delay officially calling-in IP to the CAO program because it is, by far, the most complex facility to review and permit.
LRAPA and DEQ Rule Adoption
The Environmental Quality Commission adopted Cleaner Air Oregon rules in November 2018 to close the regulatory gaps left after the implementation of federal air toxics regulations. Cleaner Air Oregon is a state health risk-based air toxics regulatory program that adds requirements to LRAPA’s and DEQ’s existing air permitting framework.
The Board of Directors for Lane Regional Air Protection Agency (LRAPA) voted 7 to 0 on March 14, 2019 to approve administrative changes to integrate Cleaner Air Oregon rules with existing LRAPA program rules. Some of the changes to existing rules amend LRAPA’s part of the Oregon Clean Air Act State Implementation Plan (SIP). The Environmental Quality Commission (EQC) reviewed and approved the LRAPA for inclusion into the SIP at the May 2019 EQC meeting.
For a variety of reasons including scope, detail, public input and technical expertise that went into the creation of the Cleaner Air Oregon program, LRAPA will implement Division 245-Cleaner Air Oregon by reference without any changes.
In addition to closing gaps in existing air quality rules, Cleaner Air Oregon rules will provide the public greater access to air toxics emissions data and create more certainty for regulated facilities in addressing community health concerns.
More information on LRAPA’s rulemaking to adopt the Cleaner Air Oregon program is available at: http://www.lrapa.org/271/Adopted-Rules
Information on the LRAPA Board of Directors is available at: http://www.lrapa.org/159/Board-of-Directors
Questions: Please contact LRAPA: 541-736-1056, or send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org