[Date Prev][Date Next][Date Index]

GLIN==> New York State Proposes New Regs for Improving Air Quality



NEW YORK DEC ANNOUNCES AVAILABILITY OF PROPOSALS TO IMPROVE AIR QUALITY
Draft Regulations Will Reduce Mercury, Help Address New/Modified
Sources

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC)
Commissioner Denise M. Sheehan today announced that the State has
proposed new regulations that will significantly reduce mercury
emissions from coal-fired power plants. The State is also proposing
changes to existing regulations that will strengthen the State's
regulation of new or modified emissions sources. 

"These draft regulations will have significant environmental benefits
for communities throughout the State and continues New York's leading
role under Governor George Pataki in improving air quality,"
Commissioner Sheehan said. "For both of these proposals, DEC has reached
out to stakeholders that included representatives from industry,
environmental groups, and other interested organizations and we
encourage the ongoing participation of these constituencies as we move
forward with this regulatory process." 

In May 2006, Governor Pataki announced that New York State would be
reducing harmful mercury emissions from coal-fired utility power plants
by approximately 50 percent from current levels by 2010 and 90 percent
by 2015. The draft regulations announced today will implement these
reductions to decrease the amount of harmful mercury that is entering
our environment from these sources. 

The proposed mercury regulation will be enacted in two phases. The
first phase requires an approximately 50 percent decrease in power plant
mercury emissions from current levels by January 1, 2010. Under this
regulation, the State will establish a statewide mercury cap of 786
pounds. Facilities will have to reduce mercury emissions and will not be
able to trade with other power plant facilities in New York or other
states. The second phase, which will be effective by January 1, 2015,
will implement a unit-based limit for each power plant facility. In
conjunction with the first phase reductions, this will result in an
estimated 90 percent decrease in mercury emissions, from current levels,
with the overall levels being reduced to approximately 150 pounds per
year or less. This phase would require a level of emissions reductions
consistent with those that would be achieved by applying a Maximum
Available Control Technologies (MACT) requirement under the Clean Air
Act. 

To submit public comments or to receive more information on the mercury
proposal, contact David Gardner, NYSDEC Division of Air Resources, 625
Broadway, Albany, NY 12233-3254, telephone: (518) 402-8403; email,
246CAMR@gw.dec.state.ny.us . Written statements may be submitted to
the Department until 5p.m., October 20, 2006.

The second regulatory proposal announced today will revise the State's
existing New Source Review (NSR) program, including a State Prevention
of Significant Deterioration (PSD) program, for new and modified sources
located in areas of the State which are in attainment of the National
Ambient Air Quality Standards.  To conform with requirements imposed by
the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 2002, DEC is
proposing to revise State regulations to provide further clarification
of the air permitting process for new and modified stationary sources
including factories, industrial boilers, and power plants. These
streamlined regulations will continue to provide the necessary
protections for air quality while providing industry with a clearer
regulatory framework. DEC's proposed NSR rule incorporates some of the
federal requirements but is also more stringent in that it includes
provisions requiring adequate record keeping, monitoring and reporting
to ensure the enforceability of the rule.  

Proposed changes from less stringent federal requirements include the
clarification of what constitutes "routine maintenance, repair, and
replacement." DEC's proposal would base this designation on a
case-by-case basis by examining the nature and extent, purpose,
frequency, and cost -- the federal government currently evaluates only
cost and this approach has been invalidated in federal court. The draft
State rule also omits provisions in the Federal rule that exempted Clean
Units and Pollution Control Projects from NSR review and permitting, and
is consistent with a series of federal court decisions that have been
made regarding the federal rule.  
In addition, the proposed NSR/PSD revisions will provide an option for
facilities to change the basis of applicability for modifications and
emissions reduction credits to an approach that looks at an entire
facility. Also, since the 2002 changes to the federal program and
subsequent State legal challenges to the basis of the program, PSD
permit decisions in New York State have defaulted to the federal
government. Today's regulatory proposal will enable DEC to seek approval
from EPA to implement a New York-specific PSD program. 

To submit public comments or to receive more information about the
NSR/PSD proposals, contact Robert Sliwinski, NYSDEC Division of Air
Resources, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233-3254, telephone (518)
402-8403; email 231nsr@gw.dec.state.ny.us  . Written statements may be
submitted until 5 p.m., October 20, 2006.

Joint public hearings on both regulatory proposals will be held at the
following locations and times:

 	October 11, 2006: 1 p.m. in Public Assembly Room 129 at the DEC
Central Office, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233

 	October 12, 2006: 9 a.m. in the Conference Room at the DEC
Region 8 Office, 6274 East Avon-Lima Rd., Avon, NY 14414

 	October 13, 2006: 9 a.m. in Hearing Room 106 of the DEC Region 2
Office, 11-15 47th Avenue, Long Island City, NY 11101	

###
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
glin-announce is hosted by the Great Lakes Information Network (GLIN):
http://www.great-lakes.net

To subscribe: http://www.glin.net/forms/glin-announce_form.html

To post a message: http://www.glin.net/forms/glin-announce_post.html

To search the archive: http://www.glin.net/lists/glin-announce/

All views and opinions presented above are solely those of the author or
attributed source and do not necessarily reflect those of GLIN or its
management.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *