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TCEQ National Comments Log - Comments Relating to Air Issues

TCEQ national comments relating to air issues.

 

See also: General Information on National Comments, Water Comments, Waste Comments, Multimedia and Administrative Comments

Date
Submitted
Short Title
10/14/14 Carbon Pollution Standards for Modified and Reconstructed Stationary Sources: Electric Utility Generating Units
09/25/14 EPA Responses to State and Tribal 2012 Primary Annual Fine Particle Designation Recommendations
07/14/14 Data Requirements Rule for the 1-Hour Sulfur Dioxide (SO2) Primary National Ambient Air Quality Standard
07/09/14 Withdrawal of the Prior Determination or Presumption That Compliance With the CAIR or the NOX SIP Call Constitutes RACT or RACM for the 1997 8-Hour Ozone and 1997 Fine Particle NAAQS
07/01/14 Proposed Consent Decree, Clean Air Act Citizen Suit
06/24/14 Notice of Availability of the EPA’s 2018 Emissions Modeling Platform
05/08/14 Standards of Performance for Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions for New Stationary Sources: Electric Utility Generating Units
04/29/14 Types of Standard Permits, State Pollution Control Project Standard Permit and Control Methods for the Permitting of Grandfathered and Electing Electric Generating Facilities
04/01/14 Flexible Permit Program
03/24/14 Policy Assessment for Ozone and Related Photochemical Oxidants
03/23/14 Health Risk and Exposure Assessment (HREA) for Ozone and Related Photochemical Oxidants
03/20/14 The Welfare Risk and Exposure Assessment (WREA) for Ozone and Related Photochemical Oxidants
03/20/14 Prevention of Significant Deterioration: Greenhouse Gas Tailoring Rule Revisions
03/12/14 General Permits and Permits by Rule for the Federal Minor New Source Review Program in Indian Country
01/23/14 Standard Permit for Oil and Gas Facilities and Standard Permit Applicability
01/21/14 Integrated Science Assessment for Oxides of Nitrogen-Health Criteria
12/19/13 Control of Air Pollution by Permits for New Construction or Modification; Permits for Specific Designated Facilities
12/06/13 Draft Guidance for One-Hour Sulfur Dioxide (SO2) Nonattainment Area State Implementation Plan (SIP) Submissions
11/22/13 Permitting of Grandfathered Facilities
10/31/13 NESHAP for Reciprocating Internal Combustion Engines
10/08/13 Attainment Demonstration for the Houston-Galveston-Brazoria 1997 8-Hour Ozone Nonattainment Area
08/23/13 8-Hour Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standard Implementation Rule
08/19/13 Air Emissions Reporting Requirements (AERR)
08/19/13 Implementation of the 2008 NAAQAS for Ozone: SIP Requirements
07/18/13 Sulfur Dioxide (SO2) National Ambient Air Quality Standards Designations Modeling Technical Assistance Document
07/18/13 SO2 NAAQS Designations Source-Oriented Monitoring Technical Assistance Document
05/31/13 EPA Draft Guidance for PM2.5 Permit Modeling
05/28/13 Oil and Natural Gas Sector: Reconsideration of Certain Provisions of New Source Performance Standards
05/13/13 State Implementation Plans: Response to Petition for Rulemaking; Findings of Substantial Inadequacy; and SIP Calls To Amend Provisions Applying to Excess Emissions During Periods of Startup, Shutdown, and Malfunction
05/07/13 National Program Manager Guidance
03/31/13 Notice of Availability of the EPA’s 2011 Emissions Modeling Platform
03/18/13 EPA Responses to State and Tribal 2010 Sulfur Dioxide Designation Recommendations
03/07/13 Emergency Orders
02/08/13 Public Participation for Air Quality Permits Applications
01/07/13 National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants from Coal- and Oil-fired Electric Utility Steam Generating Units and Standards of Performance for Fossil-Fuel-Fired Electric Utility, Industrial-Commercial-Institutional, and Small Industrial-Commercial-Institutional Steam Generating Units
12/20/12 Section 610 Review of Heavy-Duty Engine and Vehicle Standards and Highway Diesel Fuel Sulfur Control Requirements
10/18/12 Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans; Texas; Beaumont/Port Arthur Ozone Maintenance Plan Revision to Approved Motor Vehicle Emission Budgets
10/18/12 Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans; Texas; Reasonably Available Control Technology for the 1997 Eight-Hour Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standard
09/24/12 National Uniform Emission Standards for Storage Vessels and Transfer Operations, Equipment Leaks, and Closed Vent Systems and Control Devices; and Revisions to the National Uniform Emission Standards General Provisions
09/07/12 Draft Guidance to Implement Requirements for the Treatment of Air Quality Monitoring Data Influenced by Exceptional Events
08/31/12 National Ambient Air Quality Standards for Particulate Matter
08/20/12 Third External Review Draft Integrated Science Assessment for Ozone and Related Photochemical Oxidants
08/17/12 NESHAP for the Portland Cement Manufacturing Industry and Standards of Performance for Portland Cement Plants
08/09/12 NESHAP for Reciprocating Internal Combustion Engines; New Source Performance Standards for Stationary Internal Combustion Engines
07/26/12 Proposed Consent Decree
06/25/12 Standards of Performance for Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions for New Stationary Sources: Electric Utility Generating Units
05/15/12 Implementation of the New Source Review (NSR) Program for Particulate Matter Less Than 2.5 Micrometers (PM2.5): Amendment to the Definition ‘‘Regulated NSR Pollutant’’ Concerning Condensable Particulate Matter
04/20/12 Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) and Title V Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Tailoring Rule Step 3, GHG Plantwide Applicability Limitations and GHG Synthetic Minor Limitations
03/14/12 Implementation of the 2008 NAAQS for Ozone: Nonattainment Area Classifications Approach, Attainment Deadlines and Revocation of the 1997 Ozone Standards for Transportation Conformity Purposes
02/21/12 National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants for Area Sources: Industrial, Commercial, and Institutional Boilers
02/21/12 National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants for Major Sources: Industrial, Commercial, and Institutional Boilers and Process Heaters
02/16/12 Regional Haze: Revisions to Provisions Governing Alternatives to Source-Specific Best Available Retrofit Technology Determinations, Limited SIP Disapprovals, and Federal Implementation Plans
01/11/12 EPA Responses to State and Tribal 2008 Ozone Designation Recommendations: Notice of Availability and Public Comment Period
12/02/11 Proposed Guidance for 1-Hour Sulfur Dioxide (SO2) National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) SIP Submissions
12/01/11 Integrated Science Assessment for Ozone and Related Photochemical Oxidants (Second External Review Draft)
11/30/11 Oil and Natural Gas Sector: New Source Performance Standards and National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants Reviews
11/28/11 Revisions to Federal Implementation Plans To Reduce Interstate Transport of Fine Particulate Matter and Ozone
10/24/11 Infrastructure and Interstate Transport Requirements for the 1997 Ozone and the 1997 and 2006 PM2.5 NAAQS
10/10/11 Secondary National Ambient Air Quality Standards for Oxides of Nitrogen and Sulfur
08/11/11 Regulation of Fuels and Fuel Additives: 2012 Renewable Fuel Standards
08/04/11 Standards of Performance for Fossil Fuel-Fired Electric Utility, Industrial-Commercial-Institutional, and Small Industrial-Commercial-Institutional Steam Generating Units
08/04/11 National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants from Coal- and Oil-Fired Electric Utility Steam Generating Units
07/15/11 Draft Integrated Science Assessment for Lead
07/11/11 National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants: Secondary Lead Smelting
05/13/11 Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans; Proposed Disapproval of Interstate Transport State Implementation Plan Revision for the 2006 24-Hour PM2.5 NAAQS
04/28/11 Draft Integrated Review Plan for the National Ambient Air Quality Standards for Lead
04/12/11 National Ambient Air Quality Standards for Carbon Monoxide
03/07/11 Finding of Substantial Inadequacy of Implementation Plan; Call for Kansas Section 110 SIP for Interstate Transport for the 1997 NAAQS for Ozone
02/14/11 Determinations Concerning Need for Error Correction, Partial Approval and Partial Disapproval and Federal Implementation Plan regarding Texas Prevention of Significant Deterioration Program
02/14/11 Reconsideration of the National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants for Reciprocating Internal Combustion Engines
02/07/11 Proposed Rulemaking, Reasonable Further Progress (RFP) Requirements for the 1997 Eight-Hour Ozone NAAQS
02/07/11 EPA Disapproval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; Revisions to the Administrative Rules of Montana-Air Quality
02/07/11 Notice of Data Availability Supporting Federal Implementation Plans to Reduce Interstate Transport of Fine Particulate Matter and Ozone
12/20/10 Finding of Substantial Inadequacy of Implementation Plan; Call for Utah SIP Revision
11/24/10 Federal Implementation Plans to Reduce Interstate Transport of Fine Particulate Matter and Ozone: Revisions to Emission Inventories
11/18/10 Air Quality Implementation Plans; Revisions to Rules and Regulations for Control of Air Pollution; Permitting of Grandfathered and Electing Electric Generating Facilities
10/04/10 Proposed Action to Ensure Authority to Issue Permits Under the Prevention of Significant Deterioration Program to Sources of Greenhouse Gas Emissions: Finding of Substantial Inadequacy and SIP Call; Federal Implementation Plan (FIP)
10/01/10 Federal Implementation Plans to Reduce Interstate Transport of Fine Particulate Matter and Ozone
09/23/10 Proposed Rule to Implement the 1997 8-Hour Ozone NAAQS: New Source Review Anti-Backsliding Provisions for Former 1-Hour Ozone Standard
09/13/10 Transportation Conformity Rule Restructuring Amendments
08/30/10 Review of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards for Particulate Matter
08/16/10 EPA Responses to State and Tribal 2008 Lead Designation Recommendations
07/23/10 Clean Alternative Fuel Vehicle and Engine Conversions
06/16/10 Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans and Designation of Areas for Air Quality Planning Purposes; Beaumont/Port Arthur Ozone Nonattainment Area
06/11/10 Mandatory Reporting of Greenhouse Gases: Injection and Geologic Sequestration of Carbon Dioxide
06/11/10 Mandatory Reporting of Greenhouse Gases: Additional Sources of Fluorinated Gas Systems
06/11/10 Mandatory Reporting of Greenhouse Gases: Petroleum and Natural Gas Systems
03/22/10 National Ambient Air Quality Standards for Ozone
03/15/10 New Source Review (NSR) Program for PM2.5; Rulemaking to Repeal Grandfathering Provision and End the PM10 Surrogate Policy
02/16/10 Revisions to Lead Ambient Air Monitoring Requirements
02/08/10 Primary National Ambient Air Quality Standard for Sulfur Dioxide
12/15/09 Prevention of Significant Deterioration and Title V Greenhouse Gas Tailoring Rule
12/07/09 Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD): Reconsideration of Interpretation of Regulations that Determine Pollutants Covered by the Federal PSD Permit Program
11/25/09 Proposed Rulemaking To Establish Light-Duty Vehicle Greenhouse Gas Emission Standards and Corporate Average Fuel Economy Standards
11/23/09 Revisions to the New Source Review State Implementation Plan; Modification of Existing Qualified Facilities Program
11/23/09 Revisions to the New Source Review State Implementation Plan; Prevention of Significant Deterioration, Nonattainment NSR for the 1997 8-Hour Ozone Standard, NSR Reform, and a Standard Permit
11/23/09 Revisions to the New Source Review State Implementation Plan; Flexible Permits
11/18/09 Review of the Draft Document Related to NAAQS for Carbon Monoxide
09/28/09 Control of Emissions From New Marine Compression-Ignition Engines at or Above 30 Liters per Cylinder
09/11/09 Primary National Ambient Air Quality Standard for Nitrogen Dioxide
07/23/09 Regulation of Fuels and Fuel Additives: Changes to Renewable Fuel Standard Program
07/01/09 NESHAP: Area Source Standards for Paints and Allied Products Manufacturing
06/26/09 Transportation Conformity Rule PM2.5 and PM10 Amendments
06/23/09 Proposed Endangerment and Cause or Contribute Findings for Greenhouse Gases Under Section 202(a) of the Clean Air Act
06/09/09 Mandatory Reporting of Greenhouse Gases
02/23/09 Proposed Rule to Implement the 1997 Eight-Hour Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standard
02/11/09 Approval and Promulgation of Standards of Performance for New Stationary Sources and Emission Guidelines for Existing Sources: Hospital/Medical/Infectious Waste Incinerators
01/27/09 Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans; Texas; Public Participation on Permits for New and Modified Sources
09/05/08 Federal Land Managers' Air Quality Related Values Work Group (FLAG)
08/26/08 EPA Classification of Ozone Nonattainment Areas Under the New Ozone NAAQS
08/20/08 EPA's Proposed Rule to Implement the 1997 8-Hour Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standard
08/12/08 Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans; Texas; Control of Emissions of Nitrogen Oxides (NOx) From Stationary Sources
06/23/08 New Source Performance Standards Review for Nonmetallic Mineral Processing Plants
05/27/08 NESHAP: Area Source Standards for Nine Metal Fabrication and Finishing Source Categories
04/14/08 Revisions to the General Conformity Regulations
02/20/08 Final Eight-Hour Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards Designations for the Early Action Compact Areas
02/07/08 Midlothian Area Air Quality Part 1: Volatile Organic Compounds & Metals
01/30/08 Clean Air Act Reclassification of the Houston/Galveston/Brazoria Ozone Nonattainment Area; Texas
01/16/08 National Ambient Air Quality Standards for Lead
11/30/07 Determination of Nonattainment and Reclassification of the Beaumont/Port Arthur 8-Hour Ozone Nonattainment Area
11/19/07 Prevention of Significant Deterioration for Particulate Matter Less Than 2.5 Micrometers
10/31/07 NESHAP from Petroleum Refineries
10/16/07 NESHAP: Paint Stripping and Miscellaneous Surface Coating Operations at Area Sources
10/09/07 National Ambient Air Quality Standards for Ozone
08/07/07 Prevention of Significant Deterioration New Source Review: Refinement of Increment Modeling Procedures
08/01/07 Standards of Performance for Petroleum Refineries
07/19/07 Model-Based Analysis and Tracking of Airborne Mercury Emissions to Assist in Watershed Planning
07/02/07 Control of Emissions of Air Pollution From Locomotive Engines and Marine Compression-Ignition Engines
06/14/07 Revisions to Definitions in CAIR/CAMR Program Rules
05/31/07 Transportation Conformity Rule Amendments
04/10/07 Public Hearings and Submission of Plans
03/22/07 Control of Air Pollution From New Motor Vehicles and New Motor Vehicle Engines—Heavy-Duty Vehicle and Engine Standards; Onboard Diagnostic Requirements
03/08/07 National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants: General Provisions
03/06/07 Revisions of Standards of Performance for New and Existing Stationary Sources
01/08/07 National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants for Source Categories
10/03/06 EPA’s Proposed 30% cut in the IMPROVE Monitoring Network
09/05/06 Control Techniques Guidelines in Lieu of Regulations for Printing Materials, Coatings, and Cleaning Solvents
09/05/06 Electric Generating Unit NOx Annual and Season Allocations for the Clean Air Interstate Rule Federal Implementation Plan Trading Programs
08/11/06 Boutique Fuels List Under Section 1541(b) of the Energy Policy Act
07/10/06 Transition to New or Revised Particulate Matter National Ambient Air Quality Standards
06/05/06 Alternative Work Practice to Detect Leaks from Equipment
05/09/06 Treatment of Data Influenced by Exceptional Events
05/03/06 Air Emissions Reporting Requirements (AERR)
04/17/06 National Ambient Air Quality Standards for Particulate Matter
04/17/06 EPA's 40 CFR Parts 53 and 58, Revisions to Ambient Air Monitoring Regulations
03/24/06 EPA's Draft 2006-11 Strategic Plan Architecture
01/31/06 Draft Guidance for Setting Reasonable Progress under the Regional Haze Program
01/31/06 Proposed 40 CFR Parts 51 and 52 Rule To Implement the Fine Particle National Ambient Air Quality Standards
12/19/05 Revision of Standards of Performance for New and Existing Stationary Sources: Electric Utility Steam Generating Units
10/28/05 Strategic Petroleum Reserve Expansion
10/24/05 Petition from North Carolina to Reduce Interstate Transport of Fine Particulate Matter and Ozone; Federal Implementation Plans to Reduce Interstate Transport of Fine Particulate Matter and Ozone; Revisions to the Clean Air Interstate Rule and the Acid Rain Program
10/17/05 Determining the Emissions Reductions Achieved in Ozone Nonattainment and Maintenance Areas from the Implementation of Rules Limiting the VOC Content of AIM Coatings
07/06/05 Extension of the Deferred Effective Date for 8-hour Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards for Early Action Compact Areas
06/07/05 Pearl Crossing LNG Terminal
05/26/05 Proposal to Exempt Area Sources Subject to NESHAP From Federal and State Operating Permit Programs
05/09/05 40 CFR Parts 51 and 52 Prevention of Significant Deterioration for Nitrogen Oxides
05/04/05 EPA’s Draft Air Quality Criteria for Ozone and Related Photochemical Oxidants
04/28/05 Comments on Potentially Inadequate Monitoring in Clean Air Act Applicable Requirements and on Methods To Improve Such Monitoring
03/31/05 Second Draft Staff Paper for Particulate Matter; Notice of Draft for Public Review
03/21/05 8-Hour Implementation Rule Reconsideration
03/21/05 Guidance on the Use of Models and Other Analyses in Attainment Demonstrations for the 8-hour Ozone NAAQS
03/07/05 Information Collection Request (ICR) for Source Compliance and State Action Reporting
02/07/05 Standards of Performance for New Stationary Sources and Emission Guidelines for Existing Sources: Other Solid Waste Incineration Units
01/31/05 Proposed Rule on Options for PM2.5 and PM10 Hot-Spot Analyses in the Transportation Conformity Rule Amendments for the New PM2.5 and Existing PM10 National Ambient Air Quality Standards.
12/21/04 Legislative Report on Rider 15, Big Bend Air Haze Study
10/29/04 Test Procedures for Testing Highway and Nonroad Engines and Omnibus Technical Amendments; Proposed Rule
10/05/04 Nitrogen Oxides Exemption Guidance for the Proposed Rule to Implement the 8-hour Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standard
09/30/04 Stage II Vapor Recovery Systems Issues Paper
08/31/04 Proposed Rules for Control of Emissions of Air Pollution From New Locomotive Engines and New Marine Compression-Ignition Engines Less than 30 Liters per Cylinder
08/16/04 Proposed Rule on Control of Emissions of Air Pollution From New Motor Vehicles: In-Use Testing for Heavy-Duty Diesel Engines and Vehicles
07/27/04 Supplemental Proposal for the Rule to Reduce Interstate Transport of Fine Particulate Matter and Ozone (Clean Air Interstate Rule)
07/15/04 Regional Haze Regulations and Guidelines for Best Available Retrofit Technology (BART) Determinations; Proposed Rule in 40 CFR 51
06/29/04 Supplemental Notice for the Proposed National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants; and, in the Alternative, Proposed Standards of Performance for New and Existing Stationary Sources: Electric Utility Steam Generating Units published in the March 16, 2004 Federal Register.
06/29/04 Proposed Rule for National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants; and, in the Alternative, Proposed Standards of Performance for New and Existing Stationary Sources: Electric Utility Steam Generating Units published in the January 30, 2004 Federal Register.
03/30/04 Proposed Rule to Reduce Interstate Transport of Fine Particulate Matter and Ozone (Interstate Air Quality Rule)
01/20/04 Air Toxic Assessment Library
01/15/04 Deferral of Effective Date of Nonattainment Designations for 8-Hour Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards for Early Action Compact Areas.
01/13/04 Transportation Conformity Rule Revision
12/16/03 Proposed rule to control Air Pollution from Aircraft and Aircraft Engines.
11/05/03 Response to EPA's 8-hour Implementation Rule Reopening Regarding Classification Alternatives
10/28/03 First Draft Staff Paper For Particulate Matter
10/17/03 Executive Management Review and Signature for a TDH Letter of Support regarding an application to EPA for the Children's Environmental Health Protection State Level Collaboration to Address Childhood Asthma Initiative
10/8/03 Comments on Documents cited in 68 FR 52934: USEPA, "Comparison of Regulatory Design Concentrations: AERMOD vs. ISCST3, CTDMPLUS, ISC-PRIME" and USEPA, "AERMOD: Latest Features and Evaluation Results"
09/05/03 Draft Regulatory Text to Accompany the 8-hour Implementation Rule Proposal
08/20/03 Proposal to Reclassify the Beaumont/Port Arthur (BPA) Ozone Nonattainment Area
08/20/03 Control of Emissions of Air Pollution from Nonroad Diesel Engines and Fuel, a proposed rule
08/01/03 8-hour Implementation Rule Proposal
05/02/03 Proposed Changes to the Routine Maintenance, Repair, and Replacement Exclusion to the New Source Review in 40 CFR 51 and 52
02/21/03 Comments on the American Trucking Assoc. Petition for Reconsideration of the Heavy-Duty Highway Engines and Vehicles rule
01/15/03 EPA's Proposed 8-hour Designation Recommendation Schedule

DATE SUBMITTED: 10/14/14

SHORT TITLE: Carbon Pollution Standards for Modified and Reconstructed Stationary Sources: Electric Utility Generating Units Adobe Acrobat PDF Document

SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

OFFICE PREPARING: Office of Air

STAFF CONTACT: Erik Hendrickson, P.E.

SUMMARY OF COMMENTS:

TCEQ recommends that the EPA withdraw the proposed rule, for numerous reasons. The EPA has not adequately demonstrated the need for the proposed rule; has not performed a reasonable evaluation of the projected benefits and costs of the proposed rule; and the rule as proposed is not consistent with the FCAA. Selected comments are discussed below.

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DATE SUBMITTED: 09/25/14

SHORT TITLE: EPA Responses to State and Tribal 2012 Primary Annual Fine Particle Designation Recommendations Adobe Acrobat PDF Document

SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

OFFICE PREPARING: Office of Legal Services

STAFF CONTACT: Terry Salem

SUMMARY OF COMMENTS:

  • The TCEQ continues to support Governor Perry's attainment designation recommendation:
    • Eleven Texas counties (Bexar, Bowie, Dallas, Ellis, El Paso, Harris, Harrison, Hidalgo, Nueces, Tarrant, and Travis) should be designated attainment for the 2012 primary annual PM2.5 NAAQS based on both 2012 and 2013 actual measured design values; and
    • All remaining counties in Texas should be designated unclassifiable/attainment.
  • The EPA has failed to explain adequately the methods by which it has identified its recommended designations and has offered no rational explanation for refusing to designate as "attainment" those areas with monitor data demonstrating that an area is actually meeting the relevant standard.
  • It is the EPA's responsibility to set the requirements for, and approve of, the monitoring network and states should be able to rely on the data from these networks for attainment determinations. Additionally, for the PM2.5 NAAQS, EPA specifies in 40 CFR §§50.13 and 50.18 that the NAAQS is met when monitor values meet criteria specified in the noted Appendices to 40 CFR Part 50.

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DATE SUBMITTED: 07/14/14

SHORT TITLE: Data Requirements Rule for the 1-Hour Sulfur Dioxide (SO2) Primary National Ambient Air Quality Standard Adobe Acrobat PDF Document

SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

OFFICE PREPARING: Office of Air

STAFF CONTACT: Daphne McMurrer

SUMMARY OF COMMENTS:
The following comments are included in this response to the notice.

  • The TCEQ strongly disagrees with the EPA’s intention to use data developed under this proposal for future rounds of area designations under the 2010 SO2 NAAQS, for those areas that have not yet been initially designated. The EPA is well past the deadline to act on states’ recommendations and data for initial designations for the 2010 standard. The EPA must immediately designate all areas in the country based on the data already submitted, or if data is lacking for certain areas, to designate those as unclassifiable.
  • The EPA’s subsequent proposed entry of a consent decree regarding the schedule for area designations conflicts with this proposal and compromises the TCEQ’s ability to effectively comment if the agreement is ultimately entered with the court.
  • The TCEQ supports the use of ambient air quality monitoring data for SO2 as the only valid basis for making attainment or nonattainment designations and considers the existing monitoring network adequate for making attainment designations.
  • The EPA should reconsider the proposed timeline, monitoring-related financial burden, and monitoring to modeling penalties as they appear to make modeling the only viable option states have for assessing attainment. The EPA should remove the obstacles the proposed rule places in the way of reaching its stated goal of providing states with options for characterizing air quality.
  • The EPA should clarify that areas can be directly designated or redesignated to attainment based on qualifying monitoring data.
  • The TCEQ disagrees with the EPA’s characterization of SO2 evolution in the atmosphere, as it may result in overprediction of ambient SO2 levels.
  • To avoid potential modeled overprediction of SO2 concentrations, and subsequent wasted resources, unnecessary nonattainment designations, and unnecessary control strategies, the EPA should provide states with documentation of all technical issues and fixes that have been identified with the AERMOD modeling system.
  • The EPA should provide states the flexibility to use tools that are better suited to accounting for the chemical reactions of SO2 in the atmosphere.
  • The EPA should explicitly allow for alternate approaches to identify the sources that should be modeled using refined dispersion modeling.
  • The EPA should allow states to use modeling inputs that support the best approximation of actual conditions, such as actual emissions and actual stack heights.
  • The TCEQ considers the modeling cost estimates noted by the EPA to be under estimates for anything other than the simplest modeling scenarios.
  • Because the 2010 primary SO2 NAAQS is based on protecting public health, the TCEQ supports use of emissions and population-based thresholds.
  • Given SO2 emission reduction trends, the TCEQ favors an emission threshold approach to characterize only the largest sources with the greatest potential for relatively higher SO2 concentrations.
  • The EPA’s preferred source emission and population threshold (Option 1 in the proposed rule) does not provide substantially more air quality information than the EPA’s other options or the TCEQ’s preferred options. The EPA’s preferred option would be much more resource intensive for the TCEQ, allowing less time for rigorous analyses, while the TCEQ’s preferred options would allow for more thorough and rigorous analysis of the highest emitting SO2 sources in Texas.
  • To promote national consistency and assist states with making viable implementation plans, the EPA should develop a process or criteria to identify any sources that may be requested for evaluation beyond those determined by the rule’s thresholds. The EPA should make clear in all guidance and procedures for this rule that states truly have the option to monitor or model sources below the thresholds established in the final rule.
  • The TCEQ favors allowing states the option of using either appropriately reviewed and publicly available emissions inventory data or the most recent emissions inventory data published by the EPA.
  • The EPA should issue timely guidance on selecting designation levels and boundaries, including guidance on addressing areas without SO2 sources, to promote national consistency for this round of boundary recommendations.
  • The TCEQ contends that, based on precedent from implementation of the lead (Pb) NAAQS, one monitor could be sufficient to obtain reasonable worst-case highest concentrations near a source or a concentrated group of sources.
  • The TCEQ agrees that modeling could be useful for determining monitor placement in some cases, but should be a tool used at the discretion of states, locals, and tribal areas.
  • The proposed monitoring implementation timeline is unnecessarily onerous. The EPA should allow a phased approach similar to the near-road monitoring implementation schedule, allowing full implementation to be achieved by 2020.
  • The proposed overly aggressive monitoring implementation timeline could potentially force states into using modeling, despite its shortcomings for this application.
  • The proposed modeling timeline is not feasible. With the potential challenge of conducting several multi-source analyses using approaches typical for permit evaluation and single-source evaluations, two to four years may be needed to complete adequate modeling demonstrations. The proposed schedule has insufficient time for informed state planning, modeling preparation, and careful modeling analysis.
  • The EPA should provide a list of models, such as the CAMx modeling system, that have been used extensively in regulatory assessment, that states can use without being required to submit lengthy justification and model performance studies. Since models like CAMx have been used by many state agencies and the EPA to provide air quality assessments, states should not be required to go through the rigor specified in Appendix W Section 3.2.2(e) to use them for the SO2 NAAQS analyses.
  • The EPA should establish data sharing and appeals procedures and EPA Regional Office review deadlines that provide the basis for states to plan and develop implementation plans.
  • The most recent annual emissions are the only reasonable metric for determining which sources are subject to modeling or monitoring.
  • The TCEQ suggests it is reasonable to use the same receptor placement policy for both monitor placement and compliance modeling demonstrations.
  • The proposed options for on-going verification of attainment if modeling is used for attainment demonstrations are too onerous. The usual state implementation plan maintenance schedule should be sufficient for ongoing verification of attainment.
  • As noted in correspondence from Texas Governor Rick Perry to the then EPA Region 6 Administrator Al Armendariz (April 20, 2012) and to the EPA Region 6 Administrator Ron Curry (April 5, 2013), the EPA should designate 10 Texas counties (Jefferson, Gregg, Ellis, Harris, Galveston, Nueces, Kaufman, El Paso, Dallas, and McLennan) attainment for the 2010 SO2 NAAQS based on monitored data. The EPA should designate all the remaining counties in Texas unclassifiable.
  • The EPA should revise this rule and associated guidance in response to comments that the TCEQ submitted on July 18, 2013 regarding the SO2 NAAQS designations modeling and monitoring Technical Assistance Documents.

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DATE SUBMITTED: 07/09/14

SHORT TITLE: Withdrawal of the Prior Determination or Presumption That Compliance With the CAIR or the NOX SIP Call Constitutes RACT or RACM for the 1997 8-Hour Ozone and 1997 Fine Particle NAAQS Adobe Acrobat PDF Document

SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

OFFICE PREPARING: Office of Air

STAFF CONTACT: Daphne McMurrer

SUMMARY OF COMMENTS:

  • The EPA should clarify what is meant by the term “regional cap-and-trade program.” Specifically, the EPA should clarify whether this proposed rule is meant to address only CAIR and the NOX SIP Call, or if the term is meant to more generally be applied to all current or future programs that could be described as “a regional cap-and-trade program.” Additionally, the EPA should make clear that this determination regarding regional cap-and-trade programs does not apply to cap-and-trade programs and similar compliance flexibility alternatives that are confined within a discrete nonattainment area.
  • The proposed amendment to 40 CFR §51.912 does not include language to explicitly allow states the option to conduct a technical analysis to demonstrate that compliance by sources participating in a regional cap-and-trade program satisfies RACT for the 1997 eight-hour ozone standard. The TCEQ suggests adding language to reflect the EPA’s stated option for states to conduct a technical analysis to support reliance on a regional cap-and-trade program to satisfy RACT.

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DATE SUBMITTED: 07/01/14

SHORT TITLE: Proposed Consent Decree, Clean Air Act Citizen Suit Adobe Acrobat PDF Document

SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

OFFICE PREPARING: Office of the Executive Director

STAFF CONTACT: Richard A. Hyde, P.E.

SUMMARY OF COMMENTS:

The TCEQ responded to requests for comments to EPA-HQ-OAR-2014-0421.

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DATE SUBMITTED: 06/24/14

SHORT TITLE: Notice of Availability of the EPA’s 2018 Emissions Modeling Platform Adobe Acrobat PDF Document

SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

OFFICE PREPARING: Office of Air

STAFF CONTACT: Daphne McMurrer

SUMMARY OF COMMENTS:
The following comments are included in this response to this notice.

  • The EPA should consider modeling multiple years to form a rational basis for nationwide rules or use a more appropriate base year, such as 2012, because 2011 is not representative of historical ozone formation for Texas and surrounding states. Using 2011 meteorology and related emissions may not be conducive to good model performance for Texas due to the atypical meteorology (e.g., extreme temperatures) and related events (e.g., wildfires, exceptional drought). If the EPA relies on the 2011 meteorology and projects the emissions from 2011 for its 2018 Emissions Modeling Platform, the EPA should account for any poor model performance for Texas and surrounding states, and the EPA should explain why any controls developed based on 2011 data would be appropriate for the majority of years which have more normal meteorological conditions.
  • As with its 2011 base case, the EPA should address how it is accounting for a season or more of widespread wildfires and exceptional drought, and their aftereffects, in its biogenic emissions modeling estimates for the 2018 future case.
  • The EPA should use average or “typical” emissions instead of 2011-based temporalization for wildfires and electric generating unit (EGU) emissions or explain the rationale for not using a typical baseline that is projected to the future.
  • The EPA should use state-submitted inventory and projection data where available.
  • The EPA should use data and emissions development methods equivalent in quality and refinement to the data and methods used by the TCEQ to develop the original 2011 National Emissions Inventory (NEI) on-road mobile submission from Texas.
  • When implementing national consistency for NEI projection values, the EPA should not select the most conservative assumptions to predict future emissions growth when more specific information is available.
  • The EPA should acknowledge the possibility that results from the Integrated Planning Model (IPM) may not account for all business scenarios and should outline mechanisms to adjust IPM’s output to account for other outcomes, especially when specific retrofit and compliance options that differ from IPM outputs are identified.
  • The EPA should choose a shorter projection time frame, such as 2017-2019, to allow for a more refined representation of the EGU sector.
  • The EPA should vet the inputs, assumptions, and constraints used in IPM for Texas EGUs more thoroughly. The EPA should use Texas-specific information from the Electric Reliability Council of Texas and the Public Utility Commission of Texas to characterize Texas EGUs.
  • The EPA should clearly explain how the number of new model plants for each source type was determined and respond to other concerns about IPM results.
  • The EPA should consider other EGU projection tools, such as the Eastern Regional Technical Advisory Committee (ERTAC) EGU projection model, to provide error bounds and independent corroboration of IPM results.
  • The TCEQ questions IPM’s results for future sulfur dioxide (SO2) reductions from the electric utility power sector. The EPA may be overestimating SO2 reductions in the IPM future base case data.
  • The TCEQ cannot confirm some of IPM’s specific predictions for Texas coal-fired utility units based on the information the EPA has made available. The EPA should make the assumptions being used for IPM more transparent.
  • The EPA should not speculate on potential facility closures for modeling. Only announced shutdowns should be included in IPM modeling.
  • The EPA should clarify and take specific public comment on certain other aspects of the modeling platform, such as the use of spatial surrogates, projection techniques, and agricultural livestock losses since 2005.

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DATE SUBMITTED: 05/08/14

SHORT TITLE: Standards of Performance for Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions for New Stationary Sources: Electric Utility Generating Units Adobe Acrobat PDF Document

SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

OFFICE PREPARING: Office of Air

STAFF CONTACT: Erik Hendrickson, P.E.

SUMMARY OF COMMENTS:

Legal Basis for the Rulemaking

EPA cites several government-subsidized CCS projects as examples to justify the determination that CCS is an adequately demonstrated technology. The Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPAct05) clearly prohibits the use of CCS technology funded by the federal government as support for a finding under the Federal Clean Air Act (FCAA or CAA) section 111 that the technology is adequately demonstrated as a BSER.

EPA has not adequately justified the need for the proposed GHG NSPS rule for EGUs, and has not demonstrated any real benefit. EPA’s own projections show the rule is not expected to reduce emissions of GHG. EPA should reconsider the efficacy of the proposed rule and withdraw it.

The proposed rule will result in disparate impacts on States because it does not adequately consider regional differences in fuel availability, power infrastructure, geologic conditions, and other factors.

Environmental Impact of the Proposed Rule

EPA’s claimed health benefits of sulfur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxides (NOX) reductions from the proposed rule are invalid because the rule would actually result in higher NOX emissions. Additionally, EPA has not evaluated the impact of the additional water consumption that CCS requires.

Feasibility of the Proposed Rules

EPA has not demonstrated the feasibility or cost-effectiveness of the proposed partial CCS BSER for coal-fired EGUs. Section 111 of the FCAA requires EPA to consider costs, achievability, and make a finding of “adequately demonstrated” technology when establishing a standard of performance. EPA has substantially underestimated the cost of CCS technology.

EPA’s reliance on projects receiving government subsidies to justify a cost-prohibitive NSPS standard on particular source categories is not appropriate. EPA has a legal obligation to demonstrate the economic feasibility of NSPS standards and government-supported projects do not demonstrate actual market-based economic feasibility.

TCEQ disagrees with EPA’s position that CCS should not undergo a Science Advisory Board (SAB) review, and believes that the rules should also comply with U.S. Office of Management and Budget peer review guidance for highly influential scientific assessments. The rule should also address a number of issues raised in the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) 2013 report.

It is inappropriate for EPA to rely upon current low natural gas prices to justify the proposed GHG NSPS rule. Natural gas prices have historically been highly volatile, and EPA cannot be certain that natural gas will remain at current pricing.

Recent changes to EPA’s underground injection rules have established a significant disincentive for enhanced oil or gas recovery well owners to accept utility-produced CO2.

Impact to Reliability, Affordability, Public Health, and the Economy

EPA should conduct a thorough analysis of the long-term impacts of the proposed rule on energy supply, distribution, and use. Decreased fuel diversity in the power generation industry will have adverse consequences for affordable and reliable electric power. This could result in impacts on public health and safety, especially in vulnerable low-income populations. Decreased affordability and reliability in the power system will also have impacts on the productivity and revenue of businesses.

EPA Setting Energy Policy

In practical effect, EPA is ending the coal-fired power generation option. This approach effectively bars utilities from establishing a diverse energy portfolio necessary to meet use demands.

Implications for PSD and Title V Programs

EPA’s adoption of the proposed NSPS would preclude applicants for PSD permits for coal-fired power plants without CCS from making an economic reasonableness argument, because the proposed NSPS establishes a floor for BACT.

Other Comments

EPA should conduct a new endangerment finding for this source category, and not rely on the 2009 finding for mobile sources of GHG.

Under startup and shutdown conditions, EGUs are producing power less efficiently than under normal operating conditions. During these periods, it will be difficult for units to comply with the proposed output-based standard. EPA should provide a work practice standard that is appropriate for startup and shutdown emissions, or exclude these periods from the standard completely.

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DATE SUBMITTED: 04/29/14

SHORT TITLE: Types of Standard Permits, State Pollution Control Project Standard Permit and Control Methods for the Permitting of Grandfathered and Electing Electric Generating Facilities Adobe Acrobat PDF Document

SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

OFFICE PREPARING: Office of Air

STAFF CONTACT: Michael Wilhoit

SUMMARY OF COMMENTS:

TCEQ concurs with EPA’s determination that 30 Tex. Admin. Code §§ 116.601(a)(1), 116.617, and 116.911(a)(2) meet the applicable requirements of the Federal Clean Air Act and applicable requirements for Minor NSR under 40 CFR Part 51, and expects that this approval will resolve the litigation related to these rules. TCEQ appreciates the discussion in the notice that clarifies that the permitting program for standard permits adopted via the rulemaking process and codified in rule is SIP-approved. Therefore, TCEQ supports the approval of these rule sections as revisions to the Texas SIP. TCEQ also appreciates EPA’s acknowledgment that the non-rule PCP SP, adopted in February 2011, is a part of Texas’ SIP-approved Minor NSR permit program.

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DATE SUBMITTED: 04/01/14

SHORT TITLE: Flexible Permit Program Adobe Acrobat PDF Document

SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

OFFICE PREPARING: Office of Air

STAFF CONTACT: Mike Wilhoit

SUMMARY OF COMMENTS:

TCEQ supports EPA’s proposed conditional approval of the FPP. TCEQ also supports EPA’s proposed approval of 30 TAC § 39.402(a)(4) and (5), and 30 TAC § 116.10(9)(E).

TCEQ also provides a comment on a portion of EPA’s notice which appears to incorrectly describe the requirements of 30 TAC §116.717, relating to the establishment and adjustment of an implementation schedule for the installation of control equipment.

As part of our comments, TCEQ is also including portions of rule text from rulemaking adopted by the commission on December 14, 2010. The commission submitted only certain portions of the 2010 FPP rule amendments to EPA in 2013, consisting of certain new and removed language related to the litigation regarding EPA’s disapproval of the FPP rules for which the TCEQ prevailed when it challenged the disapproval. However, the 2010 rule amendments also included changes that improved the organization of the rules and provided clarity without altering the program. Unless these changes are provided to EPA during this comment period, these changes would not otherwise be submitted to EPA until the rulemaking by TCEQ is completed and submitted to EPA (scheduled for July 2014). TCEQ received requests (which were not granted) to remove some of this text prior to the February 12, 2014 commission agenda proposing the conforming rulemaking. EPA may receive similar requests in comments submitted by other parties on the proposed conditional approval. Therefore, the purpose of providing most of these 2010 rule amendments is to ensure that EPA has a basis to accept and approve them as part of its review.

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DATE SUBMITTED: 03/24/14

SHORT TITLE: Policy Assessment for Ozone and Related Photochemical Oxidants Adobe Acrobat PDF Document

SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

OFFICE PREPARING: Office of the Executive Director

STAFF CONTACT: Stephanie Shirley, Ph.D.

SUMMARY OF COMMENTS:

TCEQ staff have reviewed the 2014 Policy Assessment for the Review of the Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards, which will serve as the basis for the Administrator’s decision regarding the ozone NAAQS. We have a number of concerns regarding the evaluation of the available evidence by EPA.

Although EPA utilized the causal framework outlined in the Integrated Science Assessment, it is not clear that this was done in a rigorous, clear, and consistent manner. The EPA should have evaluated all relevant data using clearly-specified criteria and determined whether, evaluating across all realms of evidence, causation is more likely than alternative hypotheses. However EPA has given more weight to positive studies and discounted results that do not support ozone related health effects at concentrations below the current standard.

The Policy Assessment considered evidence for respiratory effects associated with ozone exposure. The key studies used by EPA report small changes in respiratory function, but have numerous limitations. The controlled human exposure studies that examined lung function effects at concentrations below 72 ppb do not report statistically significant differences between ozone exposure and filtered air (not background ozone levels). In addition, clinical guidelines such as those from the American Thoracic Society indicate that lung function decrements in the absence of symptoms do not constitute an adverse effect. Indeed, review of the available evidence indicates that lung function effects near or below the current standard are within the range of intra-individual variability in normal subjects, and not considered adverse with respect to clinical guidelines.

EPA also considers mortality associated with short-term and long-term exposure to ozone. However, the available evidence does not support a consistent association between ozone exposure and mortality. This is especially true if one considers the heterogeneity of effects estimates between cities and the confounding effects of co-pollutants. EPA should discuss these considerations in the context of determining a national standard for ozone and should eliminate statements in the Policy Assessment that describe this evidence as “consistent.” The TCEQ finds it especially troubling that the EPA selected a single study (Jerrett et al. 2009) that reports positive associations for long-term exposure to ozone and mortality, when previous investigators analyzing this cohort have not found such associations. Combined with the observation that mortality was not determined to be a “causal” endpoint for long-term exposure to ozone in the Integrated Science Assessment, we urge EPA to remove this analysis from the Policy Assessment.

The Policy Assessment describes uncertainty separately from the core analysis of risk, leading to misperception of that risk. For example, upon reading the appendices for the underlying analysis presented in the Health Risk and Exposure Assessment, it is clear that for some areas of the U.S. (including Houston) mortality is estimated to increase for some alternative standards under consideration. We urge EPA to consider a retaining the current standard due to the significant uncertainty surrounding these estimates.

Also, the PA should more thoroughly discuss personal exposure to ozone. EPA should explain the limitations of setting standard for ambient air based on clinical exposures when HREA states that most people spend the majority of their time indoors. Similarly, it is unclear how the results of modeling presented in the HREA were paired with the information from studies indicating daily personal exposure is well below any of the benchmarks suggested. EPA points out in Figure 5-15 of the HREA that the upper end of daily average ozone personal exposure are well less than 20 ppb, well below the current standard and the range of proposed alternate standards. The TCEQ urges EPA to consider personal exposure in setting the ozone standard, which would lead to the conclusion that the current standard is more than adequately health–protective.

Finally, we would like to point out that many of these same concerns have been raised by members of CASAC in their individual comments in the past. We find it troubling that these issues have not been communicated to the Administrator in the consensus statements of CASAC. We urge the committee to continue to consider these issues and clearly highlight to the Administrator the uncertainty and ambiguity inherent in the scientific evidence. Given the significant impact of the NAAQS, we urge that no change be recommended.

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DATE SUBMITTED: 03/20/14

SHORT TITLE: Health Risk and Exposure Assessment (HREA) for Ozone and Related Photochemical Oxidants Adobe Acrobat PDF Document

SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

OFFICE PREPARING: Office of the Executive Director

STAFF CONTACT: Stephanie Shirley, Ph.D.

SUMMARY OF COMMENTS:

TCEQ staff have reviewed the 2014 Health Risk and Exposure Assessment for Ozone Second External Review Draft (REA, US EPA, 2014). In this draft, EPA presents its analysis of 12 urban areas, including Houston. However, EPA highlighted modeled results without a sufficient discussion of the uncertainty surrounding these estimates.

The EPA attempted to improve the science used to quantify the effects of modifying the ozone NAAQS, specifically the replacement of the quadratic rollback with a model-based approach that more realistically portrays the anticipated resulting ozone concentrations through use of the Higher-order Direct Decoupled Method (HDDM). However, a number of issues must be emphasized. For example, bias in the 2008 National Emissions Inventory (NEI) and modeling bias due to the relatively coarse resolution of 12 km. In addition, treating emission reductions uniformly across all sectors and geographic areas is clearly unrealistic. And finally, the results of EPA’s analysis wherein both NOX and VOC emissions were reduced simultaneously seem contradictory, because for many cities including Houston it appears that reducing both pollutants simultaneously would be less effective than reducing NOX alone.

Indeed, in part because of these modeling decisions, the HREA indicates a lower standard may result in additional premature mortality for some areas of the country, including Houston. In fact, the last line of the HREA states that: “[m]ortality from short-term and long-term O3 exposures and respiratory hospitalization risk is not greatly affected by meeting lower standards…” This observation does not support the necessity of a lower standard. EPA’s own modeling shows either adverse or little to no public health benefit from lowering the current standard, therefore staff urges EPA to retain the existing standard.

The draft HREA presents hypothetical health effects that are based on one or two 8-hour exposures above the various benchmarks. Based on modeling presented in the HREA it appears that the only significant potential exposures would be to 60 ppb ozone. At this concentration we would expect only mild, reversible, transient effects on lung function that are not of clinical importance. Furthermore, based on the confidence intervals presented in the document, no significant 8-hour exposure to 70 or 80 ppb would be expected even if the current standard were to be retained. This information does not support a more stringent NAAQS. Moreover, the ozone standard is based on the 4th highest 8-hour exposure averaged over 3 years. This analysis does not support a lower standard that attempts to capture a single exposure over a given benchmark.

For mortality attributable to long-term exposure to ozone, EPA chose to use the same concentration-response function from Jerrett et al. 2009 for all 12 urban case study areas despite mentioning regional heterogeneity many times throughout the draft. TCEQ would like to emphasize that in light of the substantial regional heterogeneity, it is unclear how to interpret pooled estimates, particularly given the inconsistencies across studies. Moreover, this appears to be the first time a significant association between ozone and morality has been reported for this cohort and results for six other cohorts have not reported relationships between ozone and mortality. Taken together with the fact that mortality was considered to be “suggestive” of a causal association in the Integrated Science Assessment, the long-term mortality endpoint should not be included in the HREA or subsequent analyses.

Personal exposure is not considered in any of the epidemiology studies. As EPA clearly demonstrates in Figure 5-15, the vast majority of the US population is not exposed to 8 hour ozone concentrations greater than 20 ppb. Using ambient ozone concentrations without consideration of personal exposure greatly overestimates risk and is inappropriate.

The TCEQ agrees with EPA that the NAAQS for ozone should protect public health. We would like to emphasize that modeling presented in the HREA indicates a lower standard may result in additional premature mortality for some areas of the country, including Houston. In addition, we would like to emphasize that when considering alternative O3 standards, the lower end of the proposed range is not well-supported. In fact, EPA states that at lower concentrations “…the likelihood and magnitude of a response becomes increasingly uncertain…” and elsewhere that the “…the relative importance of background O3 would increase …with a lower level of the O3 NAAQS”. In summary, EPA has not made the case that a lower standard will improve public health and TCEQ urges EPA to retain the current standard. Measures designed to achieve a lower ozone standard could actually lead to increased health risk, e.g. decreased electric reliability resulting in summertime blackouts.

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DATE SUBMITTED: 03/20/14

SHORT TITLE: The Welfare Risk and Exposure Assessment (WREA) for Ozone and Related Photochemical Oxidants Adobe Acrobat PDF Document

SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

OFFICE PREPARING: Office of the Executive Director

STAFF CONTACT: Stephanie Shirley, Ph.D.

SUMMARY OF COMMENTS:

  1. The proposed cumulative standard is unnecessary. EPA’s analysis indicates that just meeting the current 75 ppb standard would generate W126 results within the range proposed by EPA. The WREA indicates that there is a strong positive correlation between the current standard and proposed form. In essence, the current standard is a surrogate for the proposed alternative form.
  2. There is substantial uncertainty with cumulative ozone estimates. The WREA describes a number of uncertainties relating to the proposed secondary standard. These include monitor density near urban cities, validity of Concentration Response Functions (CRFs) and data availability for W126 index estimates from studies supplying these CRFs. CRFs are only available for 12 tree species and these estimates are based on seedlings studies, rather than on mature trees.
  3. There are limitations with implementing the proposed standard. The existing monitoring network has been developed over decades to meet current form of the ozone standard. We have significant concerns regarding the potentially substantial challenges associated with implementing the cumulative secondary standard based on the W126 index as proposed. The current monitoring network would likely require significant redesign to address a different purpose and potentially significant differences between geographic locations. Similar issues are anticipated with modeling plans as well. EPA has not addressed whether the current monitoring, modeling, and reporting plans could be used to implement the new form or the instability that could be caused in implementing a new cumulative form of the standard.

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DATE SUBMITTED: 03/20/14

SHORT TITLE: Prevention of Significant Deterioration: Greenhouse Gas Tailoring Rule Revisions Adobe Acrobat PDF Document

SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

OFFICE PREPARING: Office of Air

STAFF CONTACT: Mike Wilhoit

SUMMARY OF COMMENTS:

TCEQ supports EPA’s proposed approval, and appreciates EPA’s prompt consideration of the proposed new and amended rules regarding the PSD program that were submitted by TCEQ on December 2, 2013. The commission is scheduled to consider these rules for adoption on March 26, 2014, with submittal to EPA shortly thereafter. TCEQ looks forward to continuing to work with EPA to ensure final approval of these rules, rescission of the FIP, and a smooth transition of authority to issue PSD permits for GHG sources in Texas.

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DATE SUBMITTED: 03/12/14

SHORT TITLE: General Permits and Permits by Rule for the Federal Minor New Source Review Program in Indian Country Adobe Acrobat PDF Document

SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

OFFICE PREPARING: Office of Air

STAFF CONTACT: Dom Ruggeri, P.E.

SUMMARY OF COMMENTS:

General Comments

This rulemaking does not directly affect the Texas minor NSR program; however, TCEQ appreciates the opportunity to comment on issues related to the Texas program. While TCEQ agrees with EPA’s proposed change to allow general permits and PBRs in Indian country, it would not support a national minor NSR program that would affect the use of streamlined authorizations in the Texas state implementation plan (SIP). SIP-approved minor NSR programs can and do vary widely from state to state. TCEQ has consistently supported the position, to which EPA agrees, that states have great flexibility to create their own minor NSR permitting programs. Therefore, TCEQ is not providing comments on the specific proposed terms and conditions of the general permit or the PBRs, leaving the specifics to EPA as the permitting authority. TCEQ expects that EPA will allow the states the same flexibility in developing general permits and PBRs, including flexibility with respect to minor NSR public participation requirements.

Similar Sources

EPA’s proposed general permits are for "similar" types of emissions units or minor sources. TCEQ does not agree with EPA that this federal clean air act (FCAA) interpretation is a limitation on the ability to issue general permits. The United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit found that EPA’s imposition of a “similar source” requirement to TCEQ’s Pollution Control Project Standard Permit was neither necessary to safeguard air quality standards nor warranted by any applicable provision of the FCAA.

Summary

TCEQ supports EPA’s proposed use of general permits and PBRs as a strategy to provide a streamlined method of authorization for minor NSR purposes. TCEQ has used PBRs and general permits for many years as a key component of a minor NSR program. However, EPA’s implementation of general permits and PBRs must not interfere with states’ flexibility to manage their own minor NSR programs.

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DATE SUBMITTED: 01/23/14

SHORT TITLE: Standard Permit for Oil and Gas Facilities and Standard Permit Applicability Adobe Acrobat PDF Document

SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

OFFICE PREPARING: Office of Air

STAFF CONTACT: Michael Wilhoit

SUMMARY OF COMMENTS:

TCEQ concurs with EPA’s determination that § 116.620 and § 116.610(a) and (b) meet the applicable requirements of the Federal Clean Air Act and applicable requirements for Minor NSR under 40 Code of Federal Regulations Part 51. Therefore, TCEQ supports the approval of these rule sections as revisions to the Texas SIP.

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DATE SUBMITTED: 01/21/14

SHORT TITLE: Integrated Science Assessment for Oxides of Nitrogen-Health Criteria Adobe Acrobat PDF Document

SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

OFFICE PREPARING: Office of the Executive Director

STAFF CONTACT: Shannon Ethridge, MS, DABT

SUMMARY OF COMMENTS:

There is great complexity associated with multiple issues relevant to the assessment of health and welfare risk and exposure assessments of oxides of nitrogen, especially at low exposure levels. The TCEQ developed comments based on a cursory review and additional time would have allowed the TCEQ to: (1) perform a more detailed review of the volumes of relevant information; (2) more fully examine statistical procedures and the rationale and scientific support for key EPA decisions and analyses; and (3) provide more detailed specific comments on all problematic issues associated with the ISA.

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DATE SUBMITTED: 12/19/13

SHORT TITLE: Control of Air Pollution by Permits for New Construction or Modification; Permits for Specific Designated Facilities Adobe Acrobat PDF Document

SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

OFFICE PREPARING: Office of Air

STAFF CONTACT: Mike Wilhoit

SUMMARY OF COMMENTS:

On December 11, 2013, the commission withdrew all sections of 30 TAC Chapter 116, Subchapter L, Permits for Specific Designated Facilities, from EPA’s consideration as a revision to the SIP. In addition, on the same date, the commission withdrew 30 TAC Chapter 39, §§ 39.402(a)(10), 39.419(e)(3), and 39.420(h) as revisions to the SIP. Therefore, the commission opposes the proposed approval of any of the referenced sections as a revision to the Texas SIP.

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DATE SUBMITTED: 12/06/13

SHORT TITLE: Draft Guidance for One-Hour Sulfur Dioxide (SO2) Nonattainment Area State Implementation Plan (SIP) Submissions Adobe Acrobat PDF Document

SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

OFFICE PREPARING: Office of Air

STAFF CONTACT: Daphne McMurrer

SUMMARY OF COMMENTS:
The TCEQ commented previously on various concerns related to the one-hour primary SO2 standard and continues to disagree with the EPA’s proposal to use air dispersion modeling results to determine attainment status. The comments also note that:

  • the EPA should allow the use of alternative modeling approaches for attainment demonstration or allow flexibilities recommended by the TCEQ when AERMOD is used for this purpose;
  • the TCEQ disagrees with the approach to use maximum allowable emissions to determine existing air quality;
  • the EPA should restrict the requirement to have separate enforceable limits to sources within a nonattainment area;
  • requiring Title V Permits to be submitted as SIP revisions to ensure that any SO2 limits codified therein would become “permanent and enforceable” is inappropriate, unworkable, and not supported by the CAA;
  • the TCEQ questions the necessity of the procedures suggested by the EPA to justify longer averaging time (e.g., 30-day) for emissions limits necessary to model attainment because the EPA is not considering that the application of reasonable controls may control emissions well below the level necessary for attainment; and
  • the EPA should consider in more detail how states should verify continued attainment in maintenance plans that rely on modeling and provide alternatives to the option referenced in the EPA’s redesignation guidance.

The TCEQ also has numerous comments on the technical aspects of Appendix A to this draft guidance – Modeling Guidance for Nonattainment Areas.

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DATE SUBMITTED: 11/22/13

SHORT TITLE: Permitting of Grandfathered Facilities Adobe Acrobat PDF Document

SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

OFFICE PREPARING: Office of Air

STAFF CONTACT: Michael Wilhoit

SUMMARY OF COMMENTS:

TCEQ supports the EPA’s proposed approval of the rules identified in the notice as revisions to the Texas SIP, with the exception of Title 30 Texas Administrative Code (TAC) § 116.803, Additional Requirements for Existing Facility Flexible Permit Applications. On September 24, 2013, the commission withdrew 30 TAC § 116.803 from EPA consideration as a revision to the SIP, as part of a larger set of SIP actions related to the TCEQ’s Flexible Permit Program. Therefore, the commission does not support the proposed approval of 30 TAC § 116.803 as a revision to the Texas SIP.

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DATE SUBMITTED: 10/31/13

SHORT TITLE: NESHAP for Reciprocating Internal Combustion Engines Adobe Acrobat PDF Document

SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

OFFICE PREPARING: Office of Air

STAFF CONTACT: Sean O'Brien

SUMMARY OF COMMENTS:

Criteria for Operation for Up to 50 Hours per Year for Non-Emergency Situations

Certain petitioners expressed concern that the conditions in the final rule for engine operation in non-emergency situations were too broad and would be difficult to enforce, which could lead to engines operating when there is no discernible threat to the grid. The petitions recommended that EPA more clearly define the situations under which the engines could operate to ensure that the engines are only dispatched during genuine grid emergencies.

It is TCEQ’s position that EPA’s reconsideration of these exceptions (40 CFR §§60.4211(f)(3)(i), 60.4243(d)(3)(i), and 63.6640(f)(4)(ii)) is unnecessary, and that it is not practical to further define or restrict the conditions necessary to use the exceptions. The conditions and restrictions in the January 30, 2013 rule already require the engine dispatcher to follow appropriate standards or guidelines, and require the owner or operator using the exception to maintain records of what entity dispatched the engine and what specific standard or guideline was followed. TCEQ comments that these portions of the rules under reconsideration should remain unchanged.

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DATE SUBMITTED: 10/08/13

SHORT TITLE: Attainment Demonstration for the Houston-Galveston-Brazoria 1997 8-Hour Ozone Nonattainment Area Adobe Acrobat PDF Document

SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

OFFICE PREPARING: Office of Air

STAFF CONTACT: Daphne McMurrer

SUMMARY OF COMMENTS:
The comment document addresses the following items:

  • support for the EPA’s proposed approval of these SIP revisions and appreciation for the EPA’s analysis, which concludes that the HGB area will reach attainment of the 1997 eight-hour ozone standard by the end of the 2018 ozone season;
  • request that the EPA not take action on revisions to §101.396(b) related to the HECT Program to prevent a conflict with §115.722(c) and §115.761(c); and
  • clarifications needed to support consistency across TCEQ and EPA documents.

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DATE SUBMITTED: 08/23/13

SHORT TITLE: 8-Hour Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standard Implementation Rule Adobe Acrobat PDF Document

SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

OFFICE PREPARING: Office of Air

STAFF CONTACT: Daphne McMurrer

SUMMARY OF COMMENTS:
The proposed cost associated with the EPA’s estimated burden to implement additional SIP activities under the 1997 eight-hour ozone NAAQS during this time period is too low.

  • The EPA has indicated that the 1997 eight-hour ozone NAAQS will be revoked upon finalization of the 2008 eight-hour ozone NAAQS. If this happens as expected, then there would be no additional burden to states in developing submittals for the 1997 eight-hour ozone standard. However, there could be responsibilities and costs for activities that remain applicable for the revoked standard.
  • If the 1997 eight-hour ozone NAAQS is not revoked or is delayed, then the TCEQ disagrees with the methodology that the EPA used to account for the estimated agency burden in fulfilling the SIP activities associated with 1997 eight-hour ozone nonattainment in the Dallas-Fort Worth nonattainment area.
  • Instead of 5,000 hours of additional burden for the Dallas-Fort Worth 1997 eight-hour ozone nonattainment area, the TCEQ recommends that the EPA use a more realistic estimate of burden in the range between 45,000 to 55,000 hours based upon historical level of effort.

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DATE SUBMITTED: 08/19/13

SHORT TITLE: Air Emissions Reporting Requirements (AERR) Adobe Acrobat PDF Document

SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

OFFICE PREPARING: Office of Air

STAFF CONTACT: Daphne McMurrer

SUMMARY OF COMMENTS:

  1. Point source thresholds for lead: This element of the EPA proposal would place an unnecessary reporting burden on small emissions sources and place additional demands on limited state resources. The TCEQ recommends that the EPA revise the proposed point source emissions inventory reporting threshold to 0.5 tons per year (tpy) potential lead emissions for areas designated nonattainment for lead and 0.5 tpy of actual lead emissions for all other areas.
  2. Elimination of wildfire and prescribed fire reporting: The TCEQ agrees with this change and feels it will be beneficial.
  3. Elimination of emissions reporting for on-road mobile sources: The TCEQ recommends allowing states the option to report on-road emissions from the EPA-approved model similar to California and tribes rather than requiring reporting model inputs.
  4. Elimination of emissions reporting for non-road mobile sources: The TCEQ recommends allowing states the option to report on-road emissions from the EPA-approved model similar to California and tribes rather than requiring reporting model inputs.
  5. Establishment of first applicable triennial inventory per the proposed revision: The TCEQ recommends changing Section 51.30 of the proposed rule, which currently states that the first triennial inventory affected by this change will be the 2011 inventory. The TCEQ recommends changing this section to read that the first triennial inventory affected by this change will be the 2014 inventory, which must be submitted 12 months later by December 31, 2015.
  6. Removing requirements for agencies to report daily and seasonal emissions associated with carbon monoxide and ozone nonattainment areas and also for areas subject to the nitrogen oxides state implementation plan (NOx SIP Call): Although the TCEQ supports the streamlining efforts of the EPA in regards to states’ requirements, the TCEQ recommends keeping the requirement to submit summer day emissions, ozone season emissions, and carbon monoxide winter work weekday emissions for demonstrating milestone year compliance as well as for use when developing reasonable further progress SIPs and transportation conformity.
  7. Requirement to use shape file formatting for the locomotive and commercial marine vessel inventories: The TCEQ recommends continuing the use of current approved file formats since the use of shape files would result in additional cost, time, and resources to implement with little benefit.
  8. Proposed clarification of element names and usage for controls between the AERR and the EPA’s Emissions Inventory System (EIS): The TCEQ recommends continuing the existing file formatting for emissions calculation method, the emission factor, and the five data elements for controls. Requiring additional data elements for EIS validation would impose additional resources strain and implementation costs on states.

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DATE SUBMITTED: 08/19/13

SHORT TITLE: Implementation of the 2008 NAAQAS for Ozone: SIP Requirements Adobe Acrobat PDF Document

SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

OFFICE PREPARING: Office of Air

STAFF CONTACT: Steve Hagle, P.E.

SUMMARY OF COMMENTS:

The TCEQ responded to requests for comments to EPA-HQ-OAR-2010-0885.

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DATE SUBMITTED: 07/18/13

SHORT TITLE: Sulfur Dioxide (SO2) National Ambient Air Quality Standards Designations Modeling Technical Assistance Document Adobe Acrobat PDF Document

SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

OFFICE PREPARING: Office of Air

STAFF CONTACT: Dom Ruggeri, P.E.

SUMMARY OF COMMENTS:

General: TCEQ continues to disagree with EPA’s proposal to use air dispersion modeling to determine existing air quality that demonstrates attainment for designation purposes. Any modeling comments provided in this document are not an endorsement of modeling unclassifiable or attainment areas for designation purposes but are intended as input in the event that the EPA chooses to proceed with such a requirement.

Costs: EPA should consider the costs related to the implementation of its SO2 Strategy. Based on information discussed during the 2012 EPA stakeholder meeting, TCEQ advised EPA of significant modeling-related information, resource, and time costs.

Impractical Implementation Schedule: The guidance in the TAD is based on EPA's February, 2013 SO2 Strategy Paper and future data requirements rulemaking in 2014. The anticipated timeline is impractical. For example, one year is not enough time to develop a modeling or monitoring strategy, consult with sources and EPA, develop modeling protocols, get EPA approval, and complete the preliminary monitor deployment plan. In addition, the schedule does not provide enough time to prepare, conduct and complete required modeling.

Other-Party Participation: TCEQ disagrees with EPA's plan to require consideration of "credible" modeling presented by others ahead of any TCEQ SIP proposal. Accelerating a schedule that is not appropriate or further slowing the SIP development process by diverting resources would not benefit the public. This approach is unnecessary because states give due consideration to comments received once SIPs are proposed to the public.

Alternative Models and Approaches: The TAD states that AERMOD is the preferred model and does not explicitly allow the use of photochemical grid models. EPA should allow the use of these models and alternative modeling approaches because the required procedure to justify their use is unnecessarily time-consuming and would affect TCEQ's ability to meet the planned timeline.

AERMOD Updates: Many of the recommended modeling approaches are those used in the air permitting process and may not be appropriate for SIP designations. EPA should provide information regarding all technical issues that have been identified with the AERMOD Modeling System that could affect the determination of existing air quality.

Ambient Air: TCEQ disagrees with EPA's fence-line approach that requires a modeled concentration for areas where public access is not blocked. This approach is inconsistent with the guidance in the Monitoring TAD that does not require modeled concentrations at locations where a monitor could not be sited to determine NAAQS compliance, such as on roads or over water.

Protocol Review: EPA recommends a meeting with the Regional Modeling Contact and other technical and planning staff to discuss modeling and analysis protocols before the state starts any refined modeling. TCEQ suggests that the data requirements rule include an EPA commitment to review and comment on modeling and analysis protocols in a timely manner.

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DATE SUBMITTED: 07/18/13

SHORT TITLE: SO2 NAAQS Designations Source-Oriented Monitoring Technical Assistance Document Adobe Acrobat PDF Document

SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

OFFICE PREPARING: Office of Compliance and Enforcement

STAFF CONTACT: Stephanie Ma

SUMMARY OF COMMENTS:

  • The TCEQ supports the use of ambient air quality monitoring data for SO2 as the only valid basis for making attainment or nonattainment designations and does not support the use of modeling as the basis for designations. The TCEQ also does not support the required use of modeling to determine placement of monitors. Modeling could be useful for determining monitor placement in some cases, but should be a tool to be used at the discretion of states, locals and tribal areas.
  • The EPA should reconsider its implementation strategy timeline. The TAD refers to a planned data requirements rulemaking that will be finalized in late 2014 that will define the threshold criteria for SO2 sources that require either modeling or monitoring. The modeling protocols are due in January 2016 and the monitoring plan is due in June 2016. This only allows one year for states to determine the sources requiring modeling or monitoring, gather information, consult with the sources and the EPA, develop modeling protocols, and develop a monitoring deployment plan.
  • The TCEQ disagrees with the statement that meteorological data collected from nearby locations may not be sufficient and that one or more meteorological stations should be deployed to assist with locating a new SO2 monitor. Installing meteorological stations to locate new SO2 sites would be resource intensive and would not allow sufficient time to meet the timeline outlined in the SO2 Strategy Paper.
  • The EPA would need to provide additional funding to meet the monitoring requirements in the TAD. It could cost approximately $2 million for the initial deployment and $1.125 million annually to operate and maintain the sites, assuming just 25 monitors would be needed.
  • The EPA should exercise caution when using existing modeling data for determining monitoring locations. Past modeling data represent worst case emissions and are not indicative of actual air quality. Past modeling data may have also been executed on outdated models that may not agree with current modeled results.
  • The EPA should emphasize emissions thresholds in determining whether existing SO2 sources above a given threshold have potential to cause nonattainment of the NAAQS. The lead NAAQS rule, the only rule requiring source-oriented monitoring for criteria pollutants, requires at least one maximum-concentration, source-oriented ambient air quality monitor for each lead source or cluster of sources with actual annual emissions above the specified threshold.
  • The EPA should clarify whether a modeling protocol is required for modeling conducted to assist in siting a new air monitoring site. If a modeling protocol is required, the timeline in the SO2 implementation strategy must be adjusted to accommodate the process for identifying and analyzing potential sources.
  • The EPA should explicitly state that it is not necessary to model in locations around a source that are not feasible for monitor placement. The TAD discusses this strategy but then implies that this approach may not be acceptable.
  • The EPA’s discussion of using exploratory monitoring for permanent monitoring placement is too resource intensive and does not allow sufficient time to meet the deadlines outlined in the SO2 implementation strategy paper. The TAD requires year-round collocated monitoring at each of the proposed sites using non-reference or equivalent method equipment.

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DATE SUBMITTED: 05/31/13

SHORT TITLE: EPA Draft Guidance for PM2.5 Permit Modeling Adobe Acrobat PDF Document

SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

OFFICE PREPARING: Office of Air

STAFF CONTACT: Dom Ruggeri, P.E.

SUMMARY OF COMMENTS:
While TCEQ commented on the entire guidance document, comments are focused on three areas: technical challenges; hybrid compliance demonstrations; and screening tools.

Significant Technical Challenges Remain

Applicants with major New Source Review (NSR) PM2.5 projects must demonstrate compliance with applicable NAAQS and PSD increments. The demonstration must address both direct PM2.5 emissions and PM2.5 formed secondarily through chemical interaction of precursor pollutants (currently NOx and SO2).

Meeting the NAAQS and PSD increment compliance requirements is complicated because significant technical challenges remain for PM2.5 implementation into the NSR permitting program, and EPA has not provided the necessary technical tools to quantify PM2.5 emissions or predict ambient air concentrations. The guidance recommends certain interim procedures to address the fact that compliance with the PM2.5 NAAQS is based on a statistical form, and that no existing single-source dispersion model can estimate the impacts of secondarily formed PM2.5 in the atmosphere resulting from emissions of PM2.5 precursors. The PM2.5 modeling guidance provides a screening approach to meet compliance demonstration requirements until EPA can provide effective screening tools and models and adopt implementation rules over the next 3 years. In the meantime, EPA plans to rely on interim policy and guidance and plans to use a case-by-case approach that may result in more uncertainty, inconsistent implementation, and significantly increased permit review time.

Hybrid Quantitative and Qualitative Approach

The guidance outlines four approaches based on the amount of direct PM2.5 and precursor emissions. However, because of the lack of single-source models and techniques to provide numerical concentrations for secondarily formed PM2.5, EPA suggests a hybrid approach to estimate impacts that combine numerical concentrations from direct emissions, monitored background concentrations, and secondarily formed concentrations obtained using a photochemical model or a qualitative narrative that estimates secondarily formed PM2.5.

TCEQ is concerned that the hybrid approaches will lead to inconsistent implementation and not meet NSR NAAQS and PSD increment requirements. For example, without a numerical concentration, an applicant could not clearly demonstrate that a project would not contribute to a PM2.5 NAAQS violation or increment exceedance. In addition, an applicant must provide the degree of increment consumed by the project in its public notice. It is not clear how a qualitative approach would meet this requirement.

Screening Tools

Basic screening tools that TCEQ uses to streamline the permitting process have been questioned by EPA or vacated by court decisions. One tool, the significant emission rate (SER), is used to determine if a project is a major modification. The SER is important because once a source is major for one pollutant an increase in a precursor pollutant’s emissions above the SER requires a PM2.5 compliance demonstration. Based on the National Association of Clean Air Agencies Workgroup report referenced by EPA in the guidance, the current SERs are too low and TCEQ requests that EPA consider conducting an evaluation to support increasing the SERs for NOx and SO2 from 40 tons per year (tpy) to 1000 and 400 tpy, respectively.

TCEQ agrees with EPA’s guidance to “replace” the two vacated tools, significant monitoring concentration (SMC) and significant impact levels (SILs) in the permitting process until new rules are adopted. TCEQ agrees that an applicant can use available representative monitoring data to determine existing air quality instead of source-specific preconstruction monitoring. In addition, TCEQ asks EPA to consider adding the use of conservative monitoring data to the guidance as well.

TCEQ agrees that PM2.5 SILs that were not vacated can be used and requests that EPA provide concrete examples for their use to ensure states compare impacts consistently.

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DATE SUBMITTED: 05/28/13

SHORT TITLE: Oil and Natural Gas Sector: Reconsideration of Certain Provisions of New Source Performance Standards Adobe Acrobat PDF Document

SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

OFFICE PREPARING: Office of Air

STAFF CONTACT: Anne Inman, P.E.

SUMMARY OF COMMENTS:

Applicability and Control Requirements

In this proposal, EPA acknowledges its underestimation of the number of affected sources, and the lack of availability of controls required to comply with the rule. EPA estimates that sufficient controls may not be available until 2016. If drilling continues at the current pace, it is predicted that between 8,000 and 16,000 new wells will come on line in Texas alone in each of the next few years. This activity will keep control devices in short supply much longer than EPA anticipates.

EPA proposes two approaches to address the lack of available control equipment, but these approaches are flawed. First, EPA’s approach to use an “event” as a trigger for the requirement to install controls may create a disincentive for companies to perform certain actions (including maintenance activities) and may greatly constrain the operational flexibility needed to manage the site. This approach may also have the effect of slowing production in the US at a time when increasing energy independence is a priority. In addition, the complex applicability and exemption thresholds, and the ongoing need to recheck and document emission changes, would make evaluating compliance difficult for affected facilities and for regulatory agencies.

Second, EPA's proposed strategy for the removal and reinstallation of controls is flawed in at least three respects. First, if controls are not available or are in short supply, companies are not likely to remove them, for fear of future non-compliance should the company be required to reinstall controls. Second, companies will not likely remove controls if the need to reauthorize or update permit representations presents an administrative burden. Finally, the proposed 30-day time allotted for reinstallation of controls is unreasonably short. TCEQ suggests that 180 days would be sufficient time for a site to obtain and install a control device.

Furthermore, EPA’s choice of an uncontrolled 4 tpy threshold for removal/reinstallation of control is arbitrary and unsupported. This approach could create situations of inequity where neighboring or similar facilities may have nearly identical uncontrolled VOC emissions, but very different regulatory burdens. EPA's approach may drive companies to design sites with a larger number of uncontrolled small tanks, such that no single tank will exceed the 6 tpy applicability threshold. This outcome would undermine the goal of reducing emissions from this industry sector.

TCEQ also requests that EPA confirm that the 95% control requirement is based on the uncontrolled potential to emit (PTE) for the storage vessel. If EPA does not agree with this interpretation, EPA should provide justification and explanation of how compliance with the control requirement should be determined.

Monitoring and Testing Requirements

TCEQ has several suggestions to improve the flexibility of certain testing requirements. Section 60.5413 (d)(6)(i)(B) states that flow must be measured using Methods 1 and 2, but due to the potential for measurement error and safety concerns, TCEQ recommends that Method 19 be considered as an alternative flow measurement method. Section 60.5413 (d)(7)(i) specifies collecting the gas sample in a bag for analysis, but TCEQ recommends that the rule allow the option of pulling the sample directly from the source into the instrument via a heat-traced sample line. Finally, §60.5413 specifies the use of Method 4 for determining moisture, but TCEQ notes that there are several instrumental methods available that can monitor stack moisture, which may be more efficient. See full comment document for details.

EPA requested comment as to whether enclosed combustors could be sold as “compliance ready,” and whether such an approach would ease compliance. TCEQ generally supports the concept of certifying a unique control device model based on a single set of tests as stipulated in proposed §60.5413(d). The model of control device that will receive a certification should have the same physical and operational characteristics as the unit which was successfully tested.

Storage Vessel Design Requirements

EPA solicited comment on the potential establishment of requirements for proper design of storage vessels and associated closed vent systems and control devices. TCEQ does not recommend that EPA establish specific requirements for proper design of storage vessels and associated control systems. There is a high variability of materials and conditions in the field, and practices or technology that may work in one area or application may not be effective or possible or in a different area or application. Flexibility in design is key to promoting innovation and proper management of equipment.

Applicability Clarification Relating to Custody Transfer

TCEQ requests clarification on the applicability of the NSPS to storage tanks beyond the point of initial custody transfer. It appears the NSPS states that storage vessels downstream of the point of custody transfer are no longer subject to the rule. TCEQ requests that EPA confirm or clarify this interpretation.

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DATE SUBMITTED: 05/13/13

SHORT TITLE: State Implementation Plans: Response to Petition for Rulemaking; Findings of Substantial Inadequacy; and SIP Calls To Amend Provisions Applying to Excess Emissions During Periods of Startup, Shutdown, and Malfunction Adobe Acrobat PDF Document

SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

OFFICE PREPARING: Office of Compliance and Enforcement

STAFF CONTACT: Joseph A. Janecka, P.E.

SUMMARY OF COMMENTS:

    1. We generally support the policy expressed in the FR notice. Our SIP approved rules are consistent with that policy.
    2. The EPA should not require the consideration of all start-ups as planned.
    3. EPA should provide the means for a state to request and obtain a state-alternative to affirmative defense criteria for recent New Source Performance Standards. This FR notice illustrates differences between the expectations of the state and the federal rules.
    4. We generally support the use of interpretive letters to clarify perceived ambiguities found in SIP submissions and believe it is permissible under the Federal Clean Air Act.
    5. We generally support the definition of the term “director’s discretion provision” included for the specific purpose in this notice. However, we do not agree that this definition would be the same where the use of director discretion is included in other rules. In addition, federal courts have upheld the use of this discretion in TCEQ’s rules.
    6. TCEQ has authorized emissions from startup and shutdown activities.

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DATE SUBMITTED: 05/07/13

SHORT TITLE: National Program Manager Guidance Adobe Acrobat PDF Document

SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

OFFICE PREPARING: Office of Air

STAFF CONTACT: Steve Hagle, P.E.

SUMMARY OF COMMENTS:

Introduction: EPA should identify and discuss in more detail the guidance that is applicable to state and local programs. Texas is a State Implementation Plan (SIP) - approved state, and the guidance is not clear as to which measures, if any, EPA believes to apply to TCEQ’s air permitting program. States with SIP-approved programs may have their own permitting targets and goals, and it would not be appropriate for such programs to be subject to duplicative or conflicting performance measures.

The prioritization within the guidance was established by the EPA/State Priorities Workgroup, which consisted of representatives from ECOS, NACAA, and EPA. Many states do not belong to ECOS or NACAA. All affected states and programs should have the opportunity to be involved in the guidance’s creation.

In addition, the guidance should specifically direct EPA regions to tailor expectations to consider state resources, reflect a state's status (delegated or approved), and acknowledge requirements adopted into approved SIPs.

EPA should address the increasingly complex issue of background ozone, the definition and the impact background may have on attaining the lowered ozone standard. International background is a complicated matter that has significant impact on how states proceed and how this issue is addressed with stakeholders.

Program Guidance: National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS): The guidance states that EPA will work closely with air agencies on all aspects of implementing the NAAQS. TCEQ finds that past engagement to develop regulations and guidance has not been effective. EPA has not provided sufficient guidance for states to implement the PM2.5 standards into new source review (NSR) permitting programs, yet continues to include performance measures in Performance Partnership Grant (PPG) agreements. EPA should not require performance measures for new NAAQS until necessary implementation rules and guidance documents are provided.

Regional Offices should prioritize review of exceptional event flagging, especially when making final designations. The length of time it takes EPA to review and provide a decision to states on the acceptance of flagging has been an ongoing issue.

It is critical that the guidance documents and rules for exceptional events flagging receive continued input for revision. Predicted drought conditions can likely lead to more uncontrolled wildfires and the impact on areas reaching the ozone standard will be increasing critical. The Guidance/Rulemaking statement must be more inclusive.

In addition to implementing the good neighbor provision of the Clean Air Act, HQ should prioritize providing guidance on how states should address CAIR in their existing SIPs and how CAIR will be administered moving forward.

Title V and New Source Review Permitting and Appendix A Measure Text: EPA should identify and clearly address the measures and national targets that apply to state and local programs. SIP-approved states expect that they will be able to develop specific language with their respective EPA regional office, and will not be held to a double standard of meeting an EPA requirement in addition to their own requirements. If EPA does not agree with this viewpoint, EPA should explicitly address this in the guidance, and provide justification as to why these types of performance measures should apply to SIP-approved states.

Program Guidance: Air Toxics Program Implementation: The guidance should specifically reflect a state's status (delegated or approved), and acknowledge requirements adopted into approved SIPs. Under “Expected State and Local Agency Activities,” items 2 and 3 should clearly provide flexibility to assume implementation of toxic standards and residual risk standards in recognition of state resources and applicable laws and rules. In addition, EPA should provide guidance concerning specific delegation responsibilities for these programs before they can be accepted and incorporated into a state's SIP.

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DATE SUBMITTED: 03/31/13

SHORT TITLE: Notice of Availability of the EPA’s 2011 Emissions Modeling Platform Adobe Acrobat PDF Document

SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

OFFICE PREPARING: Office of Air

STAFF CONTACT: Daphne McMurrer/Guy Hoffman

SUMMARY OF COMMENTS:

    • The EPA should use state-submitted inventory and projection data where available.
    • When implementing national consistency for NEI projection values, the EPA should not select the most conservative assumptions to predict future emissions growth when more specific information is available.
    • The EPA’s release of the TSD late in the comment period did not give states sufficient time to review it before the close of the comment period for the 2011 Modeling Platform.
    • The EPA should formally acknowledge that 2011 is not representative of normal ozone formation for Texas and surrounding states because of the atypical meteorology (e.g. extreme temperatures) and related events (e.g., wildfires, exceptional drought), and that 2011 may not be conducive to good model performance.
    • The EPA should be more specific about the procedures being proposed for creating temporal profiles for electric generating units.
    • The EPA should not rely on Biogenic Emission Inventory System (BEIS) model results for biogenic emissions and should use the most recent and highly resolved land use and cover data.
    • The EPA should provide further information regarding the BEIS model and provide a comparison of BEIS output to isoprene measurements in order to gauge model performance.
    • The EPA should verify that the biogenic nitrogen oxide emissions estimates from BEIS for portions of south Texas for 2011 are accurate.
    • The EPA should address how it is accounting for a season of exceptional wildfires and drought, and their aftereffects, in its biogenic emissions modeling.
    • The EPA should clarify and take specific public comment on certain other aspects of the modeling platform, including:
      • the use of spatial surrogates;
      • the use of its fire-averaging tool;
      • the modeling of shipping lanes in the Gulf of Mexico;
      • the use of certain chemical mechanisms for ozone modeling; and
      • which inventories it is using for on-road and non-road mobile sources for Texas.

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    DATE SUBMITTED: 03/18/13

    SHORT TITLE: EPA Responses to State and Tribal 2010 Sulfur Dioxide Designation Recommendations Adobe Acrobat PDF Document

    SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

    OFFICE PREPARING: Office of Air

    STAFF CONTACT: Daphne McMurrer

    SUMMARY OF COMMENTS:
    The TCEQ continues to support Governor Perry’s attainment designation recommendation:

      • ten Texas counties (Jefferson, Gregg, Ellis, Harris, Galveston, Nueces, Kaufman, El Paso, Dallas, and McLennan) should be designated attainment for the 2010 SO2 NAAQS; and
      • all remaining counties in Texas should be designated unclassifiable.

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      DATE SUBMITTED: 03/07/13

      SHORT TITLE: Emergency Orders Adobe Acrobat PDF Document

      SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

      OFFICE PREPARING: Office of Air

      STAFF CONTACT: Steve Hagle, P.E.

      SUMMARY OF COMMENTS:

      The TCEQ responded to requests for comments to EPA-R06-OAR-2006-0600.

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      DATE SUBMITTED: 02/08/13

      SHORT TITLE: Public Participation for Air Quality Permits Applications Adobe Acrobat PDF Document

      SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

      OFFICE PREPARING: Office of Legal Services

      STAFF CONTACT: Janis Hudson

      SUMMARY OF COMMENTS:

          1. TCEQ is pleased that EPA is proposing approval of most of the public participation rules submitted in 1998, 1999, 2010 and 2011.
          2. EPA acknowledges TCEQ’s submittal addressed concerns previously identified, and that TCEQ’s rules meet, and in some cases exceed, minimum federal requirements for public participation.
          3. TCEQ acknowledges EPA’s position of taking no action on certain rules at this time, which include: (a) delay due to need for coordination with rules scheduled for review at a future date (portable facilities and Future Gen permitting programs); (b) the public participation rules for flexible permit applications which are also pending EPA re-review; (c) two rules which EPA already returned to TCEQ; and (d) § 39.405(h)(1)(B), which EPA erroneously listed as a submitted rule.

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      DATE SUBMITTED: 01/07/13

      SHORT TITLE: National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants from Coal- and Oil-fired Electric Utility Steam Generating Units and Standards of Performance for Fossil-Fuel-Fired Electric Utility, Industrial-Commercial-Institutional, and Small Industrial-Commercial-Institutional Steam Generating Units Adobe Acrobat PDF Document

      SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

      OFFICE PREPARING: Office of Air

      STAFF CONTACT: Vincent Meiller

      SUMMARY OF COMMENTS:

        • The HAP-by-HAP approach used by the EPA to develop numerical emission standards does not consider overall technical feasibility. The EPA’s arbitrary acceptance of the results of the HAP-by-HAP analysis when establishing MACT emission standards is contrary to the federal Clean Air Act (FCAA) Section 112. The TCEQ suggests an alternate MACT analysis approach using the HAP-by-HAP approach initially to screen facilities to determine the "best controlled similar source" while basing the final MACT floor determination on a holistic approach.
        • The EPA has not properly considered the impacts of its approach for establishing MACT emission standards on reconstructed units.
        • The TCEQ continues to have feasibility concerns with some of the emission standards for new and reconstructed units under the MATS rule, particularly the mercury emission standard for coal-fired EGUs designed to burn coal with ≥ 8,300 British thermal units per pound (Btu/lb). Further subcategorization of coal-fired EGUs is necessary to account for inherent performance differences between fluidized bed units and conventional boilers. The EPA should also reevaluate the MACT floor analysis for HCl on petroleum coke-fired EGUs.
        • The TCEQ disagrees with the EPA’s unsupported assertion regarding its authority to utilize sources in different source categories to establish any MACT limits for other sources.
        • The EPA’s approach of setting MACT emission standards based on three times the representative detection limits (RDL) of the reference methods is arbitrary and capricious. The EPA has failed to consider the practical enforceability of emission standards set at levels so close to the method detection limits (MDL).
        • The EPA’s own technical experts on emission test methods have indicated that the margin between an emission standard and the MDL of a method should be greater than the arbitrary factor of three that the EPA is using for three-times-RDL approach.
        • The EPA has made significant errors in the analysis provided in the technical support document for the determination of the reference method RDL values used to set MACT emissions based on the three-times-RDL approach for the MATS rule.
        • The EPA is misrepresenting the results of the Reference Method Accuracy and Precision (ReMAP): Phase 1 study. The results of the ReMAP study do not support the EPA’s claims of the accuracy and precision of the EPA reference methods at a level three times the method detection limit.
        • The requirement regarding operation of pollution control equipment during startup operations (Table 3 to Subpart UUUUU of Part 63 – Work Practice Standards) should be revised to be more general or provide for case-by-case exemptions beyond the specific list of equipment EPA has exempted. The EPA may not have accounted for all equipment and scenarios requiring exemption. Additionally, the EPA cannot predict future control technology development and the provision may become a disincentive to the deployment of newer technology.
        • The EPA is not providing adequate notice on potential revisions to the rule under consideration and not being sufficiently transparent with the information that the EPA relied upon for the proposed revisions to the MATS rule.
        • The EPA has ignored impacts to electric power grid in the proposed rule.

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        DATE SUBMITTED: 12/20/12

        SHORT TITLE: Section 610 Review of Heavy-Duty Engine and Vehicle Standards and Highway Diesel Fuel Sulfur Control Requirements Adobe Acrobat PDF Document

        SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

        OFFICE PREPARING: Office of Air

        STAFF CONTACT: Morris Brown

        SUMMARY OF COMMENTS:

        Staff recommends that the agency provide comments to the EPA supporting the continuation of the Heavy-Duty Engine and Vehicle Standards and Highway Diesel Fuel Sulfur Control Requirements rule. The TCEQ has incorporated the air quality benefits from the implementation of the Heavy-Duty Engine and Vehicle Standards and Highway Diesel Fuel Sulfur Control Requirements rule into the state implementation plan (SIP) for the state’s ozone nonattainment areas. The Heavy-Duty Engine and Vehicle Standards and Highway Diesel Fuel Sulfur Control Requirements rule continues to ensure improvements to air quality as older engines and vehicles are retired and replaced with newer engines and vehicles certified to the rule’s stricter exhaust emissions standards. The outcome of the EPA’s Section 610 review of this rule could have a major impact on the SIP if the EPA determines to withdraw the rule or significantly modify the rule to relax any of the rule’s requirements.

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        DATE SUBMITTED: 10/18/12

        SHORT TITLE: Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans; Texas; Beaumont/Port Arthur Ozone Maintenance Plan Revision to Approved Motor Vehicle Emission Budgets

        OFFICE PREPARING: Office of Air

        STAFF CONTACT: Daphne McMurrer

        SUMMARY OF COMMENTS:

        The TCEQ supports the EPA’s approval of this revision to the BPA SIP as it is based on use of the latest available tool for estimating on-road mobile source emissions. In addition, the TCEQ supports the parallel processing approach that is being used to accomplish review and approval of this SIP revision. Parallel processing allows amendments to the BPA Transportation Plan and transportation improvement program to proceed more rapidly. In this instance, the EPA is exhibiting flexibility on the SIP revision to provide consideration of state and local needs.

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        DATE SUBMITTED: 10/18/12

        SHORT TITLE: Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans; Texas; Reasonably Available Control Technology for the 1997 Eight-Hour Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standard

        OFFICE PREPARING: Office of Air

        STAFF CONTACT: Vincent Meiller

        SUMMARY OF COMMENTS:

        The TCEQ submits the following comments:
        • The TCEQ supports the EPA’s proposed approval of the HGB area RACT SIP revisions submitted on June 13, 2007, and April 6, 2010, and requests that the EPA expedite review and approval of the remaining CTG RACT SIP submittals and associated rules for the HGB area.

        • The TCEQ requests that the EPA provide clarification on the how long the VMEP measures submitted on June 13, 2007, must remain in place.

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        DATE SUBMITTED: 09/24/12

        SHORT TITLE: National Uniform Emission Standards for Storage Vessels and Transfer Operations, Equipment Leaks, and Closed Vent Systems and Control Devices; and Revisions to the National Uniform Emission Standards General Provisions

        OFFICE PREPARING: Office of Air

        STAFF CONTACT: Michael Wilhoit

        SUMMARY OF COMMENTS:

        General Comments: While TCEQ supports the concept of providing uniform requirements for similar types of facilities and processes, it is difficult to provide substantive comments without knowing more about the circumstances under which these standards may apply. TCEQ reserves the right to comment on the appropriateness of the inclusion of the proposed uniform standards in any future standard which references the NUES.

        Storage Vessels and Transfer Operations: Under 40 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) §65.315(b)(1)(iii), the proposed standards provide an exemption from the restrictions on landing a floating roof when a change of service to the material contained in the storage vessel is necessary due to an incompatible liquid. However, the term “incompatible liquid” is not defined in §65.295, or elsewhere within EPA’s proposal. TCEQ suggests that EPA define the term “incompatible liquid”, and further suggests using the established definition in Title 30 Texas Administrative Code (TAC) §115.110(b)(3).

        Equipment Leaks: In the preamble of the proposed NUES for equipment leaks, EPA indicates plans to propose a revised protocol for using optical gas imaging technology for the LDAR requirements, and plans to allow optical gas imaging as a standalone technique for LDAR monitoring. TCEQ supports the use of optical gas imaging as an effective means of detecting leaks, when the technology is used appropriately. Using optical gas imaging as a standalone alternative to traditional Method 21 instrument monitoring for LDAR purposes might be appropriate in some circumstances, but is dependent on the effectiveness and enforceability of EPA’s revised protocol, which has not yet been proposed. EPA should delay the use of optical gas imaging for LDAR until the new Appendix K protocol for optical gas imaging has been finalized.

        Closed Vent Systems and Control Devices: The type and level of monitoring appropriate for a specific type of control device may depend on the size of the device and the type of compounds or streams routed to the control device. The level of monitoring and recordkeeping deemed necessary for a large control device handling a number of compounds may not be necessary for a small device handling a single consistent waste stream.

        General Provisions: As previously stated under the section for Storage Vessels and Transfer Operations, TCEQ recommends that EPA provide a definition for the term “incompatible liquid” in 40 CFR §65.295. TCEQ suggests that EPA use the definition in TCEQ rules at 30 TAC §115.110(b)(3).

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        DATE SUBMITTED: 09/07/12

        SHORT TITLE: Draft Guidance to Implement Requirements for the Treatment of Air Quality Monitoring Data Influenced by Exceptional Events

        OFFICE PREPARING: Office of Air

        STAFF CONTACT: Erik Gribbin

        SUMMARY OF COMMENTS:

        The TCEQ submits the following comments:
        1. The EPA needs to move beyond particulate matter (PM) issues such as dust storms, wildfire, and fireworks and establish specific guidance for exceptional events that impact levels of other criteria pollutants.
        2. The EPA needs to establish guidance specifically to address exceptional events that may occur in the aftermath of natural or human disasters.
        3. The EPA should make a concerted effort to consolidate the disparate pieces of exceptional events guidance into a single document like it has done with some of its established modeling guidance (e.g. “Guidance on the Use of Models and Other Analyses for Demonstrating Attainment of Air Quality Goals for Ozone, PM2.5, and Regional Haze”). The EPA should also commit to a specific date by which it will complete this guidance.
        4. The EPA provides a mixed message regarding time lines for its review of exceptional event demonstrations. It should make an unequivocal statement regarding its willingness and ability to work with states on developing and reviewing exceptional event demonstrations in addition to committing fully to an expedited review within a specific timeframe.
        5. The EPA has proposed an overly complex and burdensome demonstration and review process that is overly ambitious within the time constraints proposed in Section 5.2 of Attachment 2.
        6. The EPA should continue posting all exceptional event demonstrations along with a reasoned description of its concurrence/lack of concurrence with the state’s analysis (including any Federal Register notices published in conjunction with its decisions).
        7. The EPA should establish the reasonableness of an area’s control strategies based on what that area is required to do under its SIP or maintenance plan.
        8. The EPA should not review existing control strategies as part of its review of whether an exceptional event was reasonably controllable or preventable.
        9. The EPA should extend the applicability of voluntary, proactive exceptional events plans from three years to ten and actively use these agreements to help streamline the exceptional events process.
        10. The EPA should work with states to develop additional methodologies for characterizing the difference between normal historical fluctuations and exceptional events.
        11. The EPA should reconsider the fairness of its “no exceedance but for” requirement in the Proposed EER Guidance. This requirement treats exceptional events in two different ways depending on whether an area has already been designated as nonattainment or not.
        12. The EER guidance needs to address issues such as seasonal fires in Mexico and Central America and extreme drought and provide a mechanism for the EPA to address state specific issues.
        13. The TCEQ supports the use of the exclusion policy for New Source Review (NSR) permitting.

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        DATE SUBMITTED: 08/31/12

        SHORT TITLE: National Ambient Air Quality Standards for Particulate Matter

        OFFICE PREPARING: Office of Air

        STAFF CONTACT: David Brymer

        SUMMARY OF COMMENTS:
        The TCEQ submits the following comments:

        • The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) does not support revision of the NAAQS as the proposal is based on flawed and incomplete analysis.
        • The EPA has failed to explain adequately the methods by which it has identified its recommended range of revised and alternative PM2.5 NAAQS.
        • The distinct secondary standard as proposed by the EPA addressing PM-related visibility impairment is very poorly justified, not supported by quantitative data, and duplicative and any efforts to address any PM-related visibility concerns in urban areas should be done in other programs, such as the Regional Haze Program, the PM2.5 permitting program, and other initiatives like the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule.
        • The TCEQ disagrees that a calculated visibility index should be used in comparison to the PM2.5 visibility NAAQS. A direct measurement of light extinction should be used instead (77 FR 39003).
        • The TCEQ disagrees that historic monthly average relative humidity should be used in the visibility index calculation and believes that direct measurements of relative humidity should be used in the calculation instead (77 FR 39003).
        • The TCEQ requests that the instructions on calculating the visibility index for the secondary PM2.5 NAAQS should be written more clearly (77 FR 39003).
        • The TCEQ recommends that the EPA include a mechanism in rule to address exceptional events related to relative humidity and other meteorological factors that could affect the compliance with the proposed visibility-based secondary standard.
        • The TCEQ disagrees with the placement of monitors used to represent long-term public exposure at near-road sites because the data is not representative enough to compare to a national standard.
        • The EPA should issue all implementation guidance in the form of an official implementation rule on which the public will have the opportunity to comment.
        • The EPA should issue formal implementation guidance to address near-road nonattainment areas.
        • The TCEQ concurs with the EPA’s proposed grandfathering provision for pending Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) permit applications. The TCEQ also suggests that the EPA amend its policy requiring that any PSD permit issued on or after the effective date of a NAAQS must have a demonstration of compliance.
        • The TCEQ concurs with using a surrogate approach to demonstrate compliance of the visibility-based secondary standard under the PSD program.
        • The TCEQ does not agree with the use of the metropolitan area as the presumptive boundary for nonattainment areas for the proposed revised primary annual PM2.5 NAAQS and the proposed secondary PM2.5 visibility index NAAQS.
        • The TCEQ agrees with the EPA’s decision to not establish classifications for nonattainment areas for the proposed revised primary annual PM2.5 standard.
        • The EPA should commit to firm deadlines for the proposed and finalized implementation rule for addressing the revised PM2.5 NAAQS and revised monitoring regulations. Specifically, the EPA should commit to providing timely implementation guidance for reasonably available control technology (RACT) and reasonably available control measures (RACM) and Federal Clean Air Act (FCAA), §110 infrastructure requirements.
        • The EPA’s FCAA, §110 infrastructure guidance should include detailed guidance on how states should address the interstate transport obligations in FCAA, §110(a)(2)(D).
        • The EPA should extend the deadline to submit the secondary PM2.5 visibility index NAAQS infrastructure SIP (77 FR 39018).
        • The TCEQ agrees that a reasonable further progress (RFP) demonstration should not be required for areas that are able to demonstrate attainment within five years but encourages the EPA to seek further flexibility in demonstrating RFP for areas that cannot demonstrate attainment within five years.
        • The EPA should not prescribe the amount of reductions required for contingency.
        • The risk of exposure to PM2.5 to public health is overstated.
        • The estimated benefits of the proposed standards are overstated.
        • The presentation of available data is limited and, in some cases, misleading.
        • There are errors in the RIA.
        • The fraction of benefits that occurs in projected nonattainment areas has not been estimated.
        • There appears to be double counting of benefits across multiple rules.
        • Including PM2.5 co-benefits in multiple non-PM2.5 NAAQS is redundant.
        • Baseline calculations for proposed rules are inconsistent with best practices.
        • The consequences of overlapping rules include lack of transparency and miscommunication with the public and policy makers.
        • The EPA should demonstrate a peer-review process that reflects transparency and commitment to representing all data, not just data that supports its policy goals.
        • An apparent conflict of interest exists in recent EPA activities related to the hand-picking of experts.
        • The rule should state that the air quality index (AQI) will be based on primary NAAQS.
        • The EPA should consider the states’ obligation to have a minor source permitting program and resulting economic impact on small businesses when developing rules and implementation guidance.

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        DATE SUBMITTED: 08/20/12

        SHORT TITLE: Third External Review Draft Integrated Science Assessment for Ozone and Related Photochemical Oxidants

        OFFICE PREPARING: Chief Engineer's Office

        STAFF CONTACT: Neeraja Erraguntla, Ph.D.

        SUMMARY OF COMMENTS:

        There is great complexity associated with multiple issues relevant to the assessment of health effects of ozone, especially at low exposure levels close to background ozone levels. Several reports have indicated Texas background ozone levels to range from 25 to 58 parts per billion (ppb) and U.S. background ozone concentrations in some regions to be up to 60 -70 ppb.

        The TCEQ developed comments based on a cursory review and additional time would have allowed the TCEQ to: (1) perform a more detailed review of the volumes of relevant information; (2) more fully examine statistical procedures and the rationale and scientific support for key EPA decisions and analyses; and (3) provide more detailed specific comments on all problematic issues associated with the ISA. The EPA does not clearly indicate what the updates were from the second ISA. To make the review more efficient, EPA should provide its stakeholders a clear description of the revisions.

        While the available scientific evidence supports a casual relationship between short-term acute ambient ozone exposures and respiratory effects, these effects are dose dependant, and the weight of evidence does not suggest a causal relationship at concentrations below the current NAAQS of 75 parts per billion (ppb).

        Further, the TCEQ disagrees with the EPA that the available scientific evidence supports a likely to be causal relationship between long-term exposures to ozone and respiratory effects. EPA needs to consider and discuss the different environmental triggers for asthma (e.g., allergens, tobacco smoke, dust, and animal dander). The ISA lacks a discussion of these important factors and their role in the development of asthma. EPA does not provide a discussion of how other environmental triggers and indoor pollution levels can contribute to respiratory ailments. TCEQ further disagrees with the suggestive determination between short-term and long-term ozone exposures to ozone and cardiovascular, central nervous system, reproductive effects, and mortality. Whether adverse cardiovascular effects related to both short-term and long-term ozone exposures were observed in the animal studies discussed in the ISA is uncertain, as there are only limited studies with unknown relevance to humans.

        It is crucial that EPA distinguish true risk from just causal association because associations are not causations. Statistically, one can find associations by making many comparisons. This does not necessarily demonstrate causation.

        The roles of uncertainty and bias in EPA’s assessments have been severely downplayed and should be clearly and transparently presented. For ozone, EPA relies on studies that estimate personal exposure (the amount of ozone a person actually breathes) by using ambient monitoring data as a surrogate for personal exposure. However, it is very unlikely that people would ever be exposed to those pollutants at concentrations measured at outdoor monitors for very long periods of time.

        Additionally, the TCEQ questions the need for a separate secondary ozone standard that is different in form and level from the primary standard.

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        DATE SUBMITTED: 08/17/12

        SHORT TITLE: NESHAP for the Portland Cement Manufacturing Industry and Standards of Performance for Portland Cement Plants Adobe Acrobat PDF Document

        OFFICE PREPARING: Office of Air

        STAFF CONTACT: Vincent Meiller

        SUMMARY OF COMMENTS:

          • The EPA's approach of setting MACT emission standards based on three times the representative detection limits (RDL) of the reference methods is arbitrary and capricious. The EPA has failed to consider the practical enforceability of emission standards set at levels so close to the method detection limits (MDL).
          • The EPA’s own technical experts on emission test methods have indicated that the margin between an emission standard and the MDL of a method should be greater than the arbitrary factor of three that the EPA is using for three-times-RDL approach. The EPA has not considered the practical limitations of the methods required to demonstrate compliance with the emission standards.
          • The EPA has made significant errors in the analysis provided in the technical support document for the determination of the reference method RDL values used to set MACT emissions based on the three-times-RDL approach for the Portland cement NESHAP and the MATS rule.
          • The EPA is misrepresenting the results of the Reference Method Accuracy and Precision (ReMAP): Phase 1 study. The results of the ReMAP study do not support and in some instances contradict the EPA’s claim that the EPA reference methods are accurate to within 10 – 20% at a level three times the method detection limit. It is misleading, inappropriate, and not scientifically valid for the EPA to rely upon the ReMAP study for its claims of accuracy of the reference methods in setting the organic HAP emission standard using the three-times-RDL approach for Method 18 and Method 320 because neither of these methods were included in the ReMAP study.

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          DATE SUBMITTED: 08/09/12

          SHORT TITLE: NESHAP for Reciprocating Internal Combustion Engines; New Source Performance Standards for Stationary Internal Combustion Engines

          OFFICE PREPARING: Office of Air

          STAFF CONTACT: Vincent Meiller

          SUMMARY OF COMMENTS:
          The TCEQ offers the following comments:

          • The EPA should not be attempting to address the negative consequences from the MATS rule indirectly through separate rules such as the current proposal. Instead, the EPA should grant the various petitions for reconsideration before the agency regarding MATS and repropose 40 CFR Part 63, Subpart UUUUU to directly address the issues created by the MATS rule.
          • The EPA’s proposed allowance for peak shaving for emergency stationary compression ignition engines at area sources is not likely to provide the benefit that the EPA claims for relieving electric reliability issues created by the MATS rule.
          • The TCEQ supports the EPA’s expansion of the amount of time allowed for emergency demand response programs under 40 CFR Part 63, Subpart ZZZZ, and the extension of the demand response provisions to 40 CFR Part 60, Subparts IIII and JJJJ.
          • The EPA should not be including temporary provisions in 40 CFR Part 63, Subpart ZZZZ based on negative consequences from a separate EPA rule on a separate source category. Peak shaving must be considered within the context of Subpart ZZZZ and the EPA’s determination of generally available control technology (GACT) for area source emergency engines.
          • If the EPA finds 100 hours of non-emergency operation including maintenance, testing, demand response, and voltage stabilization acceptable through its analysis of the rule, then there should be no limitation on how the 100 hours of non-emergency operation are used for area or major sources.

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          DATE SUBMITTED: 07/26/12

          SHORT TITLE: Proposed Consent Decree

          SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

          OFFICE PREPARING: Office of Air

          STAFF CONTACT: Shelley Naik

          SUMMARY OF COMMENTS:

          General Comments
          The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a proposed consent decree to resolve lawsuits alleging that the EPA violated a nondiscretionary duty under the Federal Clean Air Act to complete a five-year review of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for particulate matter (PM). Under the proposed consent decree, the EPA will sign a notice of final rulemaking concerning its review of the PM NAAQS, promulgating revisions to the PM NAAQS no later than December 14, 2012. The EPA should not bind itself to a deadline for final action on the PM NAAQS prior to the expiration of the comment period while PM NAAQS revisions are pending.

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          DATE SUBMITTED: 06/25/12

          SHORT TITLE: Standards of Performance for Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions for New Stationary Sources: Electric Utility Generating Units

          SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

          OFFICE PREPARING: Office of Air

          STAFF CONTACT: Michael Wilhoit

          SUMMARY OF COMMENTS:

          General Comments
          These comments are being submitted jointly with the Public Utility Commission of Texas.

          Legal Basis for the Rulemaking
          The proposed NSPS rule violates federal Clean Air Act (FCAA) Section 111(b)(5), because it effectively requires a particular fuel (natural gas) and a particular type of operation (NGCC) in order for an EGU to meet the standards. EPA’s proposal to combine existing NSPS source categories Subparts Da and KKKK exceeds FCAA authority and is inconsistent with long-held precedent relating to consideration of fuel type and unit type for development of NSPS.

          EPA has not adequately demonstrated the need for the proposed GHG NSPS rule for EGUs, and EPA’s own arguments to support the rule actually indicate the rule has no true regulatory purpose. EPA’s own projections show the rule is not expected to reduce emissions of GHG. EPA should reconsider the efficacy of the proposed rule and withdraw it.

          EPA goes beyond the scope of the settlement agreement, yet claims the settlement agreement is litigation directly leading to this rule.

          The proposed rule does not comply with Executive Order 12866 or 13563, because EPA failed to perform a reasonable cost evaluation for the proposed rule.

          EPA’s Integrated Planning Model (IPM) predictions regarding new coal-fired generation are the result of EPA’s own actions, which place extreme regulatory pressure on new coal-fired generation. It is not appropriate for EPA to use a hypothetical future scenario to avoid performing a proper economic evaluation of the proposed rule when the scenario relies upon the outcome of EPA rules subject to ongoing litigation.

          Feasibility of the Proposed Rules
          EPA has not demonstrated the feasibility or cost-effectiveness of the proposed CO2 standard for new EGUs other than NGCC EGUs. Section 111 of the FCAA requires EPA to consider costs and achievability when establishing a standard of performance.

          It is inappropriate for EPA to rely upon current low natural gas prices to justify the proposed GHG NSPS rule. Natural gas prices have historically been highly volatile, and EPA cannot be certain that natural gas will remain at current pricing.

          The proposed exemption of Hawaii and other non-continental areas from the proposed NSPS regulation is a biased regulatory action and further supports that the proposed CO2 standard is not feasible for coal-fired plants and other non-NGCC EGUs. If the proposed standards and CCS are feasible as EPA claims, EPA has no justification for holding Texas and the other continental states to a different regulatory standard than non-continental areas.

          EPA’s reliance on government subsidies to justify imposing a cost-prohibitive NSPS standard on particular source categories is not appropriate. EPA has a legal obligation to demonstrate the economic feasibility of NSPS standards, and future government funding for the subsidies is not a certainty.

          EPA’s noncommittal statements regarding a review of the GHG NSPS rule in eight years as provided in FCAA Section 111(b)(1)(B) only serve to further support that EPA is proposing a standard that is not feasible by current measures. The FCAA provides EPA with discretion on performing an NSPS review every eight years, and EPA has routinely missed statutory deadlines. If EPA adopts the final rule without providing design- and fuel-type specific standards, EPA should incorporate a default clause that revokes the second phase of the 30-year averaging approach and allows new coal-fired EGUs to continue to meet the 1,800 lb/MWh standard should EPA fail to perform and publish in the Federal Register a comprehensive review of the GHG NSPS.

          If EPA decides to proceed with a GHG NSPS for EGUs, EPA should repropose the rule with design- and fuel-type specific standards based on demonstrated technology as intended by the FCAA, not a single standard based on NGCC EGUs. The feasibility of CCS on coal-fired EGUs has not been adequately demonstrated for EPA to rely upon CCS technology as a means for coal-fired EGUs to comply. The proposed 1,800 lb/MWh standard for the first phase of the 30-year averaging option is not feasible for all coal-fired EGUs.

          Impact to Reliability, Affordability, and Public Health
          EPA should conduct a thorough analysis of the long-term impacts of the proposed rule on energy supply, distribution, and use. Decreased fuel diversity in the electric power generation industry will have adverse consequences for affordable and reliable electric power. These adverse impacts in turn have serious impacts on public health, especially in vulnerable low-income populations.

          Applicability to New, Modified, and Reconstructed Sources
          EPA is inconsistent in the interpretation of the FCAA definition of “new source” as it applies to transitional sources, modifications, and reconstructions. This could unintentionally lead to a situation where transitional sources, modified sources, and reconstructed sources become subject to the standards for new sources.

          EPA Setting Energy Policy
          In practical effect, EPA is ending the coal-fired power generation option. This approach effectively bars utilities from establishing a diverse energy portfolio necessary to meet use demands. FCAA Section 111 does not give EPA the authority to establish air regulations that make EPA the energy policymaker for the country.

          Implications for PSD and Title V Programs
          TCEQ urges EPA to delay promulgation of this NSPS until litigation over the several GHG regulatory actions being challenged, in particular the Tailoring Rule, is final.

          EPA’s adoption of the proposed NSPS would preclude applicants for PSD permits for coal-fired power plants without CCS from making an economic reasonableness argument, because the proposed NSPS establishes a floor for BACT.

          Rationale for Proposed Standards for New Sources
          EPA must conduct a new endangerment and cause or contribute finding, as required under FCAA Section 111, for this newly created source category, and cannot rely on the 2009 finding for mobile sources of GHG.

          EPA’s rationale for not performing a separate, pollutant-specific endangerment finding for GHG emissions from EGUs is inadequate. EPA assumes that because an existing source category is already listed, because sources in that category emitted a particular pollutant, that the source category must cause or contribute to an endangerment of public health and welfare for a different pollutant. GHGs are newly regulated pollutants by EPA and have never been evaluated for impacts on a source category by source category basis.

          Other Comments
          Under startup and shutdown conditions, EGUs are generally not producing power (they have no output), or are producing it less efficiently, than under normal operating conditions. During these periods, it will be difficult for units to comply with the proposed output-based standard. EPA should provide a standard that is appropriate for startup and shutdown emissions.

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          DATE SUBMITTED: 05/15/12

          SHORT TITLE: Implementation of the New Source Review (NSR) Program for Particulate Matter Less Than 2.5 Micrometers (PM2.5): Amendment to the Definition ‘‘Regulated NSR Pollutant’’ Concerning Condensable Particulate Matter

          SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

          OFFICE PREPARING: Office of Air

          STAFF CONTACT: Michael Wilhoit

          SUMMARY OF COMMENTS:

          General Comments
          The use of the term particulate matter in the Integrated Science Assessment or ISA (previously called the Air Quality Criteria Document) can be confusing in light of the changes made to the indicators used to measure PM air quality standards over the years. It is unclear to TCEQ how the proposed rule change will affect major source applicability determinations under the PSD, nonattainment, and minor NSR permitting programs, since the state implementation plan (SIP) includes condensable emissions for total PM.

          Applicability Determinations
          TCEQ is confused by EPA’s statement “... there is no compelling reason for requiring that the condensable PM portion be counted toward the measure of “particulate matter emissions” from stationary sources for PSD applicability determinations and in establishing emissions limitations.” This statement makes it unclear how TCEQ should conduct the major source applicability determination. For example, the PM significant emission rate is 25 tons per year (tpy). Is EPA’s intent to limit the emissions for PM to only the fraction larger than PM10 and PM2.5? Or, is EPA’s intent to limit the emissions for PM to only the filterable fraction larger than PM10 and PM2.5, but include the filterable and condensable emissions for PM10 and PM2.5? TCEQ requests clarification as the answer directly impacts the applicability determination.

          Source Impact Analysis and Emissions Control
          TCEQ understands that no source impact analysis under PSD is required for PM because EPA considers PM -- as total suspended particulates -- to be a non-criteria indicator pollutant similar to sulfuric acid mist. Thus, TCEQ would evaluate impacts under the state’s minor NSR program. In addition, TCEQ understands that EPA would only require a control technology review for the filterable fraction of PM. TCEQ requests confirmation of this understanding.

          Pollutants Regulated Under Section 111 of the Act
          EPA indicates that the reviewing authority may establish a policy to apply the PSD requirements for particulate matter emissions to sources for which a New Source Performance Standard (NSPS) does not apply. Since the concern with PM rests with NSPS applicability and control technology review, TCEQ recommends that EPA remove the major modification significant emission rate (25 tpy) for PM from the PSD major modification portion of the PSD rules, and rely on the state’s minor NSR program to conduct the technology review under the NSPS program. The major source thresholds of 100 tpy for named sources and 250 tpy for un-named sources would still apply. The significant emission rates for PM10 and PM2.5 would remain intact and emissions would still include filterable and condensable requirements, as well as control technology and source impact analyses.

          Structure of Proposed Rule
          EPA indicates (77 FR 15661) that there are three cases where condensable PM should still be counted:
          a. Where the applicable NSPS requires that the condensable PM fraction be included in the determination of compliance;
          b. Where the applicable SIP already requires that the condensable PM fraction be included in the measurement of PM; or,
          c. Where a source emits a pollutant regulated under Section 111 of the FCAA but the source itself is not subject to the NSPS regulation.

          However, in the proposed rule language in 40 CFR §51.166(b)(49)(ii) and §52.21(b)(50)(ii), EPA appears to have only accounted for the first and third cases. TCEQ suggests that EPA specifically list the SIP requirement case in the rule language to avoid confusion in regulatory intent. EPA’s preamble description of these three cases is clear and the rule language should be revised to accurately reflect that intent.

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          DATE SUBMITTED: 04/20/12

          SHORT TITLE: Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) and Title V Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Tailoring Rule Step 3, GHG Plantwide Applicability Limitations and GHG Synthetic Minor Limitations

          SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

          OFFICE PREPARING: Office of Air

          STAFF CONTACT: Michael Wilhoit

          SUMMARY OF COMMENTS:

          TCEQ offers the following comments:
          General Comments
          TCEQ opposes EPA’s GHG regulatory program, and has challenged EPA’s GHG actions in federal court. It is TCEQ’s position that Steps 1 and 2 of EPA’s Tailoring Rule are not consistent with the purposes of air quality planning and major stationary source permitting requirements of the federal Clean Air Act (CAA); violate statutory thresholds established under the Act; and significantly raise the cost of implementing PSD and Title V programs without meaningful reductions of GHGs on a worldwide level. TCEQ agrees with EPA’s conclusion in the Step 3 proposal that any reduction of the Step 1 and 2 applicability thresholds would not result in significant additional reductions of GHGs, and would only increase the burden on regulated entities and permitting authorities. Nevertheless, TCEQ is encouraged that EPA is supporting the types of streamlined permitting processes that TCEQ has implemented for years, namely plant-wide applicability limits, minor new source review (NSR) PTE limitations, and standard permits.

          Plantwide Applicability Limitations
          TCEQ is opposed to EPA issuing PALs that include non-GHG pollutants in states which have an approved PSD program. Lack of a clear division of permitting authority will lead to confusion among sources over where to submit applications, and could lead to other jurisdictional and enforcement issues. Any action by EPA to issue non-GHG permits at a GHG-only major source clearly usurps Texas’s authority to issue minor NSR permits under state law and the federal CAA. In addition, EPA proposes to allow a source to “Opt-In” to major source status to receive a PAL. Minor sources are not currently eligible to obtain a PAL. Allowing a source to "Opt-In" essentially allows a source to be considered a major source voluntarily, and to obtain a PAL without any new construction or modification. Nevertheless, TCEQ supports the issuance of PALs for sources that “Opt-In” to major source status where EPA issues the PAL for GHGs only, and states issue the PALs for all other non-GHG pollutants under their approved PSD program. Under EPA’s proposed Minor Source Approach, EPA proposes to amend the PSD regulations to allow a GHG-only source to submit an application for a GHG PAL and maintain its minor source status. TCEQ does not agree that the imposition of the Tailoring Rule is ample justification for the Minor Source Approach. EPA should not use the burden created by the Tailoring Rule as justification for giving GHG sources special treatment under a PAL. Furthermore, TCEQ has a minor source PAL program and is currently working with EPA Region VI to have these rules approved into the SIP. TCEQ does not agree that prohibiting extension of PALs to non-GHG minor sources would burden a state’s permitting resources.

          Synthetic Minor Source Permitting Authority for GHG
          The federal CAA and current federal rules do not provide EPA with the authority to issue minor source permits. If EPA proposes to move in the direction of authorizing synthetic minor source permits for GHG, EPA must clarify its authority to issue synthetic minor source permits by providing a legally sufficient basis under the CAA. It must be clear that any synthetic minor source permit issued by EPA must be limited to areas subject to a GHG FIP, and be limited to GHG emissions only. TCEQ does not regulate minor GHG sources and does not intend to do so. GHGs are not considered air pollutants under the Texas CAA or TCEQ rules. TCEQ does not believe it would be the best use of limited resources to engage in regulating minor (or major) stationary sources of GHGs until the scope of EPA’s authority to do so under the CAA is fully vetted through the courts.

          Redefining Potential to Emit and Source Category Specific PTE
          EPA requested comment on the time period that reflects a source’s maximum historical operations, which could be used to establish (through rule or guidance) the PTE for sources in certain source categories. EPA also requested comments on how states enforce maximum hourly limits, and whether states have limits on the hours of operation of permitted facilities. TCEQ provided brief comments to explain that TCEQ does authorize an hourly maximum emission rate (pounds per hour, lb/hr), which is based on design parameters (throughput, fill rates, firing rates, etc), and is enforceable. TCEQ confirms that, although TCEQ permits typically do not have limits on hours of operation, some permits do specify an operating schedule in the permit conditions.

          General Permits and Presumptive BACT for GHGs
          TCEQ is concerned that the precedent for EPA to authorize non-GHG emissions under a general permit may be established through this or future rulemaking. TCEQ has been using general permits for both Title V and minor NSR purposes for a number of years. EPA should not interfere with state authority to authorize minor sources through a GHG-only general permit. TCEQ does not support the use of general permits by EPA in situations where a state has an approved program for non-GHG pollutants. However, TCEQ is not opposed to the use of general permits by states where appropriate. With respect to presumptive BACT, TCEQ is concerned that EPA lacks clear authority to implement presumptive BACT for any PSD source or source category. Section 169 of the federal CAA clearly defines BACT to be established on a case-by-case basis. Permitting of GHGs was never contemplated by Congress to be carried out under PSD, and EPA cannot now say that its self-created case-by-case GHG PSD permitting burden creates some implied authority to resolve a problem of its own making.

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          DATE SUBMITTED: 03/14/12

          SHORT TITLE: Implementation of the 2008 NAAQS for Ozone: Nonattainment Area Classifications Approach, Attainment Deadlines and Revocation of the 1997 Ozone Standards for Transportation Conformity Purposes

          SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

          OFFICE PREPARING: Chief Engineer's Office

          STAFF CONTACT: Shelley Naik

          SUMMARY OF COMMENTS:
          The TCEQ offers the following comments:

          • The TCEQ supports not applying Texas’ voluntary reclassification request for the Houston-Galveston-Brazoria (HGB) area for the 1997 eight-hour ozone NAAQS to the area’s classification for the 2008 eight-hour ozone NAAQS.
          • The TCEQ supports the EPA’s preferred option of specifying the attainment date as a certain number of years from the end of the calendar year in which the area’s nonattainment designation is effective.
          • The TCEQ supports the proposed revocation of the 1997 eight-hour ozone NAAQS for transportation conformity and other purposes and requests that the EPA provide a timeline for other 1997 eight-hour ozone NAAQS revocation actions.

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          DATE SUBMITTED: 02/21/12

          SHORT TITLE: National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants for Area Sources: Industrial, Commercial, and Institutional Boilers

          SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

          OFFICE PREPARING: Chief Engineer's Office

          STAFF CONTACT: Vincent Meiller

          SUMMARY OF COMMENTS:
          The TCEQ offers the following comments:

          • The TCEQ supports the proposed new exemptions for temporary, residential, and electric boilers to clarify the rule and exempting sources with insignificant emissions. However, the EPA should include a de minimis size-based exemption for very small oil-fired and biomass-fired boilers.
          • While the TCEQ supports voluntary energy efficiency measures, mandating energy efficiency evaluations through regulatory action, such as the energy assessment required in 40 CFR 63 Subpart JJJJJJ, is beyond the EPA’s authority under FCAA, Section 112. An energy assessment is neither a work practice nor an operational standard; it is merely a requirement to evaluate possible improvements in work practices and operations. The EPA has not justified the energy assessment as a “beyond the floor” measure and the requirement for the energy assessment should be removed from the final rule.
          • The definitions of startup and shutdown should be clarified to specify that the 25% load threshold refers to a percentage of normal operating load.
          • The definition of hot water heater should be expanded to include tankless water heaters and needs to be clarified regarding the 1.6 MMBtu/hr heat input threshold and 120 gallon capacity threshold.
          • The definition of qualified energy assessor should be substantially stream-lined and made more general. Some of the qualification criteria in the definitions are more applicable to large industrial facilities, and the inclusion of these criteria in the definition may force small businesses to contract over-qualified and more expensive energy assessors to evaluate simple boiler applications.

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          DATE SUBMITTED: 02/21/12

          SHORT TITLE: National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants for Major Sources: Industrial, Commercial, and Institutional Boilers and Process Heaters

          SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

          OFFICE PREPARING: Chief Engineer's Office

          STAFF CONTACT: Vincent Meiller

          SUMMARY OF COMMENTS:
          The TCEQ offers the following comments:

          • The TCEQ supports the proposed new exemptions for temporary and residential boilers to clarify the rule and exempting sources with insignificant emissions. However, the EPA should include a de minimis size-based exemption for very small boilers and process heaters. The EPA should also include an exemption for electric boilers similar to the exemption proposed for 40 CFR 63 Subpart JJJJJJ for boilers at area sources.
          • While the TCEQ supports voluntary energy efficiency measures, mandating energy efficiency evaluations through regulatory action, such as the energy assessment required in 40 CFR 63 Subpart DDDDD, is beyond the EPA’s authority under FCAA, Section 112. An energy assessment is neither a work practice nor an operational standard; it is merely a requirement to evaluate possible improvements in work practices and operations. The EPA has not justified the energy assessment as a “beyond the floor” measure and the requirement for the energy assessment should be removed from the final rule.
          • The EPA uses the term “delegated authority” in the context of submission, review, and approval of the emissions averaging implementation plans in §63.7522 and the emission credit implementation plans in §63.7533. The EPA should use the standard term of “the administrator” used elsewhere in the proposed rule to avoid confusion. The TCEQ also requests that the EPA revise the rule to only require submitting the implementation plans for review and approval upon request by the administrator as the EPA did with a similar emissions average approach for the recently adopted utility NESHAP rule in 40 CFR 63 Subpart UUUUU, §63.10009.
          • If the EPA retains the mandatory review of the implementation plans for the emission averaging option in §63.7522 and use of emission credits in §63.7533, the EPA must provide an estimate of the fiscal impact to state environmental regulatory agencies that receive delegation of the rule. Additionally, if case-by-case review of each plan is necessary, the EPA should reconsider whether the options are appropriate for inclusion in the rule.
          • The TCEQ requests that the EPA revise the terminology used in §63.7533 to refer to efficiency credits or similar terminology rather than emission credits. The term efficiency credit is more appropriate for the approach in §63.7533 and would avoid possible confusion with the emission credit terminology used in emissions banking and trading programs.
          • The definitions of startup and shutdown in §63.7575 should be clarified to specify that the 25% load threshold refers to a percentage of normal operating load.
          • The definition of hot water heater in 40 CFR 63 Subpart DDDDD should be consistent with the definition of hot water heater in 40 CFR 63 Subpart JJJJJJ and needs to be clarified regarding the 1.6 MMBtu/hr heat input threshold and 120 gallon capacity threshold.
          • The definition of qualified energy assessor in §63.7575 should be substantially stream-lined and made more general. Some of the qualification criteria in the definitions are not applicable to some of the industrial facilities subject to the rule, and the inclusion of these criteria in the definition may force businesses to contract over-qualified and more expensive energy assessors to evaluate applications at their site or even prohibit a company from using its own staff that are more qualified for the facility’s applications.

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          DATE SUBMITTED: 02/16/12

          SHORT TITLE: Regional Haze: Revisions to Provisions Governing Alternatives to Source-Specific Best Available Retrofit Technology Determinations, Limited SIP Disapprovals, and Federal Implementation Plans

          SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

          OFFICE PREPARING: Chief Engineer's Office

          STAFF CONTACT: Margaret Earnest

          SUMMARY OF COMMENTS:
          The TCEQ submitted the following comments:

          • Texas supports the EPA’s acknowledgement that emission reductions made by electric generating units to comply with other federal requirements will suffice to meet the obligation to implement BART.
          • The EPA should withdraw the proposed rule or re-propose after resolution of the CSAPR litigation.
          • The EPA’s proposed limited disapprovals and FIPs are inappropriate since the District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals granted a stay of CSAPR, requiring CAIR to continue to be implemented.
          • The EPA should negotiate an extension of the Regional Haze SIP consent decree deadlines, due to the uncertainty resulting from the CSAPR stay.
          • Texas requests the EPA extend the deadline for five-year progress reports under the Regional Haze Rule (40 CFR § 51.308(g)).
          • The proposed rule reinforces the CSAPR requirements that will require substantial reductions in sulfur dioxide emissions in an unprecedented short period of time.
          • The basic information EPA used in the Integrated Planning Model runs was not thoroughly evaluated by the states and should not be used for regulatory decisions.
          • The proposed rule should identify if and how state air quality planning obligations are impacted as a result of the state’s inclusion in CSAPR if the basis for the state’s inclusion in CSAPR is different than the basis for the state’s inclusion in CAIR.

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          DATE SUBMITTED: 01/11/12

          SHORT TITLE: EPA Responses to State and Tribal 2008 Ozone Designation Recommendations: Notice of Availability and Public Comment Period

          SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

          OFFICE PREPARING: Chief Engineer's Office

          STAFF CONTACT: Susana M. Hildebrand, P.E.

          SUMMARY OF COMMENTS:

          The comment requests that EPA reverse its plan to expand Texas nonattainment areas in the HGB and DFW areas because there is no scientific justification for the proposed expansion. The counties in question neither measure nonattainment at a federal regulatory monitor nor do they significantly transport ozone precursors to violating monitors. The EPA said the counties should be designated nonattainment because of high emissions and back trajectories that indicate emissions could at times impact violating monitors. TCEQ technical staff disagrees with the EPA’s analysis because the most current emissions inventory data show that emissions are in fact substantially lower than those cited by the EPA and because the model used by the EPA, i.e., the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Single Particle Lagrangian Integrated Trajectory Model (HYSPLIT), was unsoundly applied by EPA as corroborative support for expanding the HGB and DFW nonattainment areas. HYSPLIT cannot provide evidence directly linking emissions from one area to ozone formation in another area. Furthermore, HYSPLIT does not have the ability to calculate pollutant concentrations, the types of pollutants added along the transport path from different areas, pollutant dispersal rates along the transport path, or ozone formation rates that may result from different pollutant interactions.

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          DATE SUBMITTED: 12/02/11

          SHORT TITLE: Proposed Guidance for 1-Hour Sulfur Dioxide (SO2) National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) SIP Submissions

          SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

          OFFICE PREPARING: Office of Air

          STAFF CONTACT: Michael Wilhoit

          SUMMARY OF COMMENTS:

          The TCEQ commented previously on various concerns related to the 1-hour primary SO2 standard1 and continues to disagree with EPA’s proposal to use air dispersion modeling results to determine attainment status for designations in an air quality control region. In addition, TCEQ does not agree with EPA’s requirement to set attainment dates for unclassifiable areas, proposals to develop criteria for re-designating areas from unclassifiable to attainment, or the requirement for maintenance plans for unclassifiable and attainment areas.

          The TCEQ does not agree with EPA’s plan to require both monitoring data and refined modeling results showing no violations for an attainment designation. States should not have to expend resources to utilize modeling to demonstrate what a monitor is already documenting. The TCEQ maintains that monitoring is required to determine attainment status, and modeling should not generally be required unless monitored violations of the NAAQS are seen. EPA’s requirement is not appropriate for section 110(a) SIPs for all attainment and unclassifiable areas. Implementation guidance should be finalized and issued at least two years prior to the SIP due date to allow states enough time to develop a SIP revision utilizing the guidance and time for adequate public participation. Because SIP deadlines were not extended by at least the amount of time this guidance has been delayed, states are placed under extreme requirements within unrealistic timelines.

          EPA’s proposed modeling guidance appears to be largely based on NSR permit modeling guidance. The TCEQ believes that SIP modeling should allow for more flexibility, including alternative approaches to determining the sources that should be modeled with “refined” dispersion modeling. The proposed guidance states that AERMOD is the preferred model for SO2 SIP evaluations; the TCEQ questions whether AERMOD is the only suitable model for analyzing emission control strategies. TCEQ requests that EPA provide a list of other models, such as CAMx and CMAQ, that states can use without being required to submit lengthy justification and model performance studies. TCEQ also provides numerous additional comments relating to modeling source inputs, parameters, and meteorology.

          EPA’s guidance suggests that the state SIP submittal must apply PSD to sources that emit greenhouse gases (GHG). The TCEQ reiterates that the section 110(a)(2)(C)and (J) elements of an infrastructure SIP for a NAAQS are totally unrelated to control or enforcement of GHG emission limits. GHG PSD program requirements do not provide the infrastructure for implementing the SO2 NAAQS because GHG emissions controls are not required to meet this standard, and EPA has not demonstrated that GHG affect SO2 concentrations in the atmosphere.

          1TCEQ Petition for Reconsideration of Final Rule: Primary National Ambient Air Quality Standard for Sulfur Dioxide, 75 Fed. Reg. 35520, June 22, 2010 ("Final Rule"). EPA Docket Number EPA-HQ-OAR-2007-0352, August 23, 2010.

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          DATE SUBMITTED: 12/01/11

          SHORT TITLE: Integrated Science Assessment for Ozone and Related Photochemical Oxidants (Second External Review Draft

          SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

          OFFICE PREPARING: Chief Engineer's Office

          STAFF CONTACT: Neeraja Erraguntla, Ph.D.

          SUMMARY OF COMMENTS:

          The conclusions derived by EPA deserve careful scrutiny, especially when they are used for regulatory decisions such as the setting of the NAAQS for ozone. To indicate a health effect having “sufficient evidence of an association”, there must be an observed relationship between the exposure and health outcome in studies in which chance, bias, and confounding variables are ruled out with reasonable confidence. However, some key studies used by EPA in the ISA are inadequate to demonstrate sufficient evidence of an association between short-term and long-term exposures to ozone and cardiovascular and central nervous system effects, and mortality.

          The roles of uncertainty and bias in EPA’s assessments have been severely downplayed and should be reexamined. This is particularly true in EPA’s analysis of personal exposure. For ozone, EPA relies on studies that estimate personal exposure (the amount of ozone a person actually breathes) by using ambient monitoring data, which oversimplifies personal exposure by assuming that ambient monitoring data accurately reflects personal exposure. Further, EPA doesn’t acknowledge or account for this potential overestimate in their standard calculations. Also, it is essential that EPA clearly discuss the uncertainties associated with adverse health effects reported in both ecological epidemiology and clinical studies. These uncertainties should also be clearly communicated in publicly accessible documents in consideration of new standards.

          Below are some of the main issues which, if addressed properly, would result in more accurate estimates to base the ozone NAAQS.
          1) The tenuous connection between the air pollution data and the mortality data.
          2) The difference between imprecise population-wise exposures and more precise individual exposure estimates.
          3) The concerns of the Committee of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) with EPA’s methodology. For example, one key concern of the NAS is EPA’s consistent failure to document how studies are selected for review.
          4) EPA's bias in study selection. For example, the exclusion by EPA of well-conducted studies if their results showed no adverse health effects and the EPA’s policy of discounting or ignoring studies showing no association between ozone exposure and asthma exacerbation.
          5) The exclusion of a recent report showing no association between ozone and cardiovascular morbidity.
          6) EPA acceptance of a positive result for one pollutant from the very same study that was rejected as “notoriously unreliable” for showing a negative result for a second pollutant.
          7) The discounting of multiple no-effect studies in favor of a solitary study showing an adverse health effect.
          8) EPA calculating the “benefits” from reductions in particulate matter and ozone concentrations that are far below those said to be safe by the Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee (CASAC).
          9) A lack of comprehensive analysis of uncertainty and variability (in some cases, an error in one assumption can virtually eliminate all claimed benefits for particulate matter and ozone reduction).
          10) Lack of sensitivity analysis of results to assumptions. Given the highly dependent nature of EPA’s overall benefit analysis on this one assumption, TCEQ questions whether EPA is conducting an objective analysis of the data.

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          DATE SUBMITTED: 11/30/11

          SHORT TITLE: Oil and Natural Gas Sector: New Source Performance Standards and National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants Reviews

          SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

          OFFICE PREPARING: Office of Air

          STAFF CONTACT: Michael Wilhoit

          SUMMARY OF COMMENTS:

          EPA’s assumptions and data underlying the proposed rules dramatically underestimate the number of affected facilities and sources. EPA has seriously underestimated the impact of these rules on industry and regulatory bodies. Specifically, these rules will significantly increase the permitting and enforcement workload for TCEQ as the delegated administrator. Implementation of these rules will dramatically increase the fiscal burden on Texas and other delegated administrators across the nation. The proposed NSPS compliance date is unrealistic and will result in thousands of affected facilities out of compliance on the date the rules are adopted.

          The proposed rules are a departure from EPA’s historical practices regarding regulation of emissions from drilling and well completions. The TCEQ’s historical interpretation of sources applicable to major and minor NSR in accordance with the definitions in the Texas Clean Air Act (TCAA) does not include authority to regulate drilling or wells prior to 72 hours after the well test. The proposed rule would regulate drilling and well completions under NSPS beyond the TCEQ’s statutory jurisdiction under the TCAA.

          The EPA’s control proposal for wells is impractical, confusing, and overly broad. It is not typical that production wells will always be drilled in areas where a pipeline exists or is readily available at the time of drilling. Where pit flaring is proposed to be required, there is substantial concern about fire danger, particularly in urban areas or during drought conditions.

          The TCEQ recommends the EPA provide an emissions-based applicability trigger for certain affected facilities (storage vessels, pneumatic controllers) in addition to the proposed throughput-based triggers.

          The proposed NESHAP and NSPS standards would apply at all times, including startup and shutdown. The entity may petition for an affirmative defense for malfunctions if certain criteria are met and confirmed by the delegated Administrator. The affirmative defense criteria, as proposed, are inconsistent with Texas’ existing EPA-approved rules for Emission Events and Scheduled Maintenance, Startup and Shutdown Activities. This proposal would create a substantial workload issue for TCEQ to process a parallel set of requests under the federal and state regulations. The rules should allow state rules for affirmative defense that are EPA-approved as part of a SIP to be used in lieu of the federal procedures.

          TCEQ has also provided detailed comments relating to the calculation of emissions from produced water ponds, the use of optical gas imaging as a sole compliance tool, and on suggested techniques for outreach and compliance assistance for small operators.

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          DATE SUBMITTED: 11/28/11

          SHORT TITLE: Revisions to Federal Implementation Plans To Reduce Interstate Transport of Fine Particulate Matter and Ozone

          SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

          OFFICE PREPARING: Chief Engineer’s Office

          STAFF CONTACT: Heather Evans

          SUMMARY OF COMMENTS:
          The TCEQ submitted the following comments:

          • The proposed additional 70,067 tons of sulfur dioxide (SO2) allowances for the Texas SO2 emissions budget do not address the TCEQ’s concerns regarding the feasibility of the remaining 120,000 tons per year of reductions in SO2 emissions in an unprecedented short period of time.
          • The TCEQ does not expect that any SO2 allowance trading among the Group 2 states will be sufficient to cover the expected SO2 reductions necessary in Texas to meet the revised Texas SO2 budget by 2012, despite the proposed delay of the assurance provisions and variability limits until 2014.
          • The EPA’s assumption that an emissions banking and trading market can develop within the unprecedented and unreasonable compliance timeline that the EPA is mandating by requiring huge SO2 reductions in some states by next year is flawed.
          • The 1% threshold that the EPA is using to define material impact is arbitrary and biased against states with larger budgets and small utility companies.
          • The EPA’s public claims, in both oral testimony and on its web site, that the rule will not be implemented until March 1, 2013, are misleading and do not reflect the actual rule requirements or the real world implications of the significant SO2 reductions that the EPA is mandating Texas make by 2012.
          • The CSAPR is placing Texas electric grid reliability at risk. The EPA did not properly evaluate the current status of the electrical grid in Texas and did not provide opportunity for comment on the reliability assessment the EPA provided with the final rule.
          • The EPA has failed to adequately assess the full economic impacts of CSAPR on Texas.
          • The justifications that the EPA used for the group classifications and the restriction that limits states to trading within their group classification are arbitrary and faulty.
          • The EPA is still significantly over-predicting point source nitrogen oxides emissions for Texas in 2012 and 2014 by at least 70,000 tons per year, which can lead to faulty conclusions by the EPA concerning Texas’ potential impact on other states.

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          DATE SUBMITTED: 10/24/11

          SHORT TITLE: Infrastructure and Interstate Transport Requirements for the 1997 Ozone and the 1997 and 2006 PM2.5 NAAQS

          SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

          OFFICE PREPARING: Office of Air

          STAFF CONTACT: Michael Wilhoit

          SUMMARY OF COMMENTS:

          TCEQ supports the EPA’s proposed finding that the Texas SIP meets the infrastructure requirements of FCAA, § 110(a)(2)(A), (B), (E), (F), (G), (H), (K), (L), (M), and portions of (C), (D)(i)(II), (D)(ii), and (J). The TCEQ agrees with the EPA’s approval of these infrastructure elements. Texas is committed to implementation of the 1997 eight-hour ozone and 1997 and 2006 PM2.5 NAAQS.

          TCEQ is opposed to the EPA’s proposed finding that the Texas SIP does not meet the infrastructure requirements at FCAA, § 110(a)(2) for portions of (C), (D)(ii), and (J) on the basis that Texas has stated it does not have the authority to regulate GHG. The lack of a GHG PSD program is not an appropriate justification for disapproving an infrastructure SIP, which is a plan that demonstrates a state has all the necessary elements to implement specific NAAQS. The § 110(a)(2)(C) and (J) elements of an infrastructure SIP for ozone or PM2.5 are totally unrelated to control or enforcement of GHG emission limits. Further, EPA guidance on infrastructure SIPs does not include GHG as a required element for approval.

          TCEQ also disagrees with EPA’s finding that portions of Texas’s Interstate Transport SIP do not meet the § 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II) requirement because that infrastructure element of § 110 cannot be met for pollutants such as GHG where no significance level has been established. EPA has not set a standard, increments, or significance levels for GHG. Therefore, no state can meet this requirement without prohibiting all GHG emissions, a requirement that EPA’s own tailoring rule acknowledges is an impossibility. Transport requirements were never contemplated to apply to such pollutants. EPA has not justified how a GHG PSD program is a required element to meet transport obligations for ozone or PM2.5.

          Texas’ infrastructure-specific SIP submittals were made in 2008 and 2009, well before the effective dates of EPA’s April 2010 final reconsideration of its interpretation of pollutants covered by PSD (the Timing Rule) and the June 2010 final PSD and Title V Tailoring Rule. Therefore, no state was on notice of any infrastructure requirement to submit a revision subjecting GHG sources to PSD permitting.

          Finally, EPA cannot partially disapprove Texas submittals for the ozone or PM2.5 infrastructure SIPs based on lack of a GHG PSD program because these submittals are already deemed complete and meet the requirements of the Act for basic program elements.

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          DATE SUBMITTED: 10/10/11

          SHORT TITLE: Secondary National Ambient Air Quality Standards for Oxides of Nitrogen and Sulfur

          SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

          OFFICE PREPARING: Office of Air

          STAFF CONTACT: Michael Wilhoit

          SUMMARY OF COMMENTS:

          TCEQ supports retention of the current NO2 and SO2 secondary standards, but opposes the proposed 1-hour NO2 and SO2 secondary standards, unless the EPA revokes the current standards. Maintaining multiple standards is counterproductive and not necessary to maintain protection of welfare. In addition, TCEQ does not concur that the EPA has the authority to adopt deposition-based NAAQS under the federal CAA. Lastly, TCEQ encourages the EPA to use appropriate authority to meet clean air and clean water goals, and provide the requisite rule, guidance, and technical support to accomplish those goals.

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          DATE SUBMITTED: 08/11/11

          SHORT TITLE: Regulation of Fuels and Fuel Additives: 2012 Renewable Fuel Standards

          SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

          OFFICE PREPARING: Chief Engineer's Office

          STAFF CONTACT: Morris Brown

          SUMMARY OF COMMENTS:

          The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) has implemented a number of regulatory air quality control strategies in its State Implementation Plan (SIP) revisions to reduce NOX emissions in the areas of Texas that have been designated by the EPA as nonattainment for ground level ozone. In addition, the EPA’s proposed rule to lower the NAAQS for SO2 may require the TCEQ to implement additional SIP controls to reduce SO2 in several areas of Texas that could potentially be designated by the EPA as nonattainment or unclassifiable for the revised SO2 standard.

          Staff recommends the TCEQ comment on the potential negative impact that the increased use of biomass-based diesel will have on criteria pollutant emissions that are of critical importance for compliance with the NAAQS for ground level ozone, primarily the expected increase in NOX emissions. As noted in the preamble, Clean Air Act section 211(v) requires the EPA to analyze and mitigate, to the greatest extent achievable, adverse air quality impacts of the renewable fuels required by the RFS2 rule. The EPA has indicated that it intends to address any potential adverse impacts from increased renewable fuel use and will promulgate appropriate mitigation measures in a separate rulemaking. The recommendation is for the EPA to immediately pursue mitigation methods so that states will not have to bear the burden of addressing emission increases caused by federal actions in ongoing state SIP development.

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          DATE SUBMITTED: 08/04/11

          SHORT TITLE: Standards of Performance for Fossil Fuel-Fired Electric Utility, Industrial-Commercial-Institutional, and Small Industrial-Commercial-Institutional Steam Generating Units

          SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

          OFFICE PREPARING: Chief Engineer's Office

          STAFF CONTACT: Minor Hibbs

          SUMMARY OF COMMENTS:

          • In general, the TCEQ supports the EPA’s concurrent approach for the proposed changes to the NSPS rules in 40 CFR Part 60 and the National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) rule for EGUs (40 CFR Part 63, Subpart UUUUU); however, the EPA should consider the complexity of both of these proposed rules and the overlapping impact to the affected regulated community.
          • The proposed total PM limit for new, reconstructed, or modified EGUs in the NSPS is technologically infeasible and is more stringent than current Best Available Control Technology (BACT).
          • The EPA’s approach for determining the proposed total PM limit for the NSPS rule is based on flawed assumptions because the EPA is ignoring total PM regulatory and permit requirements at the state level.
          • The DC Circuit Court decision regarding emission limits during startup, shutdown, and malfunctions periods (Sierra Club vs. EPA, DC Circuit Court, 2008) was specifically regarding NESHAP rules and not the NSPS rules. The EPA has not provided any reasoned explanation or justification for why it is applying the same approach for new, modified, and reconstructed sources in the proposed NSPS rule revisions.
          • The EPA has not appropriately evaluated applying the same emission limits for normal operations and for startup, shutdown, and malfunction periods.
          • The proposed rules should be revised to enable the EPA to allow state rules for affirmative defense that are EPA-approved as part of a state implementation plan (SIP) to be used in lieu of the federal procedures. This flexibility would eliminate duplicative or potentially even conflicting requirements for both state agencies and regulated entities.
          • Certain provisions in the EPA’s proposed affirmative defense rules need clarification or appear to be contradictory.
          • The initial notification is required if a source wishes to claim an affirmative defense and the proposed rules specify notification by telephone or facsimile. An electronic reporting mechanism should be allowed for the initial notifications. However, telephone notifications should not be allowed because such notifications are difficult to verify and enforce.

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          DATE SUBMITTED: 08/04/11

          SHORT TITLE: National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants from Coal- and Oil-Fired Electric Utility Steam Generating Units

          SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

          OFFICE PREPARING: Chief Engineer's Office

          STAFF CONTACT: Minor Hibbs

          SUMMARY OF COMMENTS:

          • The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) staff’s evaluation indicates that the proposed rule is not feasible for coal-fired EGUs. Based on the current state of technology, the TCEQ anticipates that no new coal-fired EGUs will be built in the country if the EPA adopts the rule as proposed and that many existing coal-fired EGUs will be shut down. The TCEQ is very concerned about the severe adverse impacts that the EPA’s proposed NESHAP rule and other EPA regulatory initiatives targeting EGUs may have on the reliability of the electrical power system in Texas. The EPA’s decision to make Texas subject to the annual nitrogen oxides (NOX) and sulfur dioxide (SO2) programs in the recently finalized Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR) will greatly exacerbate this problem because the EPA has placed an unrealistic compliance burden on coal-fired EGUs in Texas to reduce SO2 emissions by almost 50% in less than a year.
          • The EPA should re-propose the utility NESHAP rule due to the multiple and significant errors that EPA made in the MACT analysis for the proposed mercury limits on coal-fired EGUs as well as other aspects of the proposed rule.
          • The EPA’s economic analysis misrepresents the actual costs and benefits of the proposed rule and should be based on the direct health benefits associated with reductions in HAP emissions rather than including co-benefits associated with emission reductions of non-HAP pollutants.
          • Compliance and enforceability problems resulting from the issues identified by the TCEQ and discussed in these comments do not only impact regulated entities. State agencies that receive delegated authority for the NESHAP rule, once finalized and delegated, will also be impacted.
          • The EPA improperly disregards States’ role in protecting air quality.
          • The EPA’s 2000 “Appropriate and Necessary” finding is arbitrary and capricious and contrary to law, and the proposed utility NESHAP rule is not consistent with Section 112(n) of the FCAA.
          • The EPA’s subsequent findings and legal arguments cannot backfill the deficiencies of its 2000 finding.
          • Section 112 regulation of EGU emissions is not “necessary” because other clean air authorities effectively address EGU emissions.
          • Section 112 regulation of EGUs due to mercury emissions is not “appropriate” and EPA’s finding to the contrary is arbitrary.
          • The EPA’s rationale for determining that it is appropriate and necessary to regulate non-mercury HAP is contrary to its 2000 finding, scientifically unsound, arbitrary, and neither appropriate nor necessary.
          • The EPA is inconsistent with its discretionary use of the acceptable margin of safety defined by Congress. The EPA was given the latitude, not the requirement, to regulate cancer risks that are greater than one in one million.
          • The EPA’s MACT floor analysis for existing lignite coal-fired EGU subcategory (designed to burn coal with a caloric value less than 8,300 Btu/lb and a height-to-depth ratio of 3.82 or greater) is flawed and does not include the minimum number of units required by Section 112(d)(3)(A). Furthermore, the beyond-the-floor analysis of this same category is flawed and the EPA has provided no clear technical justification regarding the feasibility of coal-fired EGUs in this subcategory being able to meet the proposed beyond-the-floor mercury limit.
          • The EPA’s multiple approaches to selecting data for the MACT floor analyses are inconsistent and arbitrary. Emission limits should not be based on single test runs.
          • The EPA’s piece-meal approach to developing numerical HAP limits does not consider overall technical feasibility and is contrary the FCAA and to the EPA’s proposed rule. The speciated non-mercury metal HAP limits for new units are derived from eight different coal-fired EGUs with different fuels (lignite, bituminous, and subbituminous fuels) and different designs (conventional boilers and fluidized bed-fired) and are not feasible based on the data that the EPA relied upon to perform the MACT analysis.
          • The feasibility of the proposed total PM limits for new EGUs in the NESHAP is questionable and is more stringent than current Best Available Control Technology (BACT). The surrogate PM limit should not be determined as a HAP limit via a MACT floor analysis as the EPA has proposed. The EPA approach to developing the PM surrogate limit is also legally questionable because the EPA is attempting to establish the PM surrogate limit in the same manner as required by FCAA Section 112; however, PM is not a HAP and should not be treated as such by the EPA.
          • The EPA’s MACT floor analysis for the proposed output-based PM surrogate limit for new coal-fired EGUs is not correct. The power output used to determine the output-based PM emissions limit for new EGUs appears to include both units at the site (AES Hawaii – ORIS Code 10673) which artificially reduces the projected output based emissions by a factor of two. The EPA must reevaluate output-based emission calculations for the facility and all others to ensure that similar error have not been made evaluating the MACT floor values for other pollutants.
          • The proposed hydrogen chloride (HCl) emission limit for new coal-fired EGUs is based on three test runs on a single unit that had non-detects on all three runs. EPA calculated the limit based on three times the minimum detection limit (MDL). In-stack detection limits for HCl using Method 26A can be highly variable from source to source and are greatly affected by factors such as flue gas moisture. Basing the proposed HCl emission limit and some of the other new unit emission limits on the MDL of the methods used for the information collection request is technically unsound and may be impossible for sites to achieve or even demonstrate using the prescribed methods.
          • Subcategorization is only done for coal units for the purposes of the mercury emissions limit. However, the EPA’s proposal preamble acknowledges that coal type and unit design affect emissions performance of some of the other HAPs being regulated by the proposal. Subcategorization for coal-fired EGUs should be extended to other pollutants. The TCEQ suggests that a specific subcategory for subbituminous coal-fired EGUs should be established with different emission limits for all the targeted pollutants.
          • The definitions used for the purpose of coal subcategorization need clarification.
          • Subcategorization and alternative emission limits should be provided for peaking units.
          • The EPA has not appropriately evaluated applying the same emission limits for startup, shutdown, and malfunction periods as for normal operations because the EPA only has emissions data during normal operations for some pollutants. The EPA’s approach to incorporating compliance with the proposed utility NESHAP rule and other NESHAP rules during periods of startup, shutdown, and malfunction is inconsistent and arbitrary.
          • The mandatory output-based emission limits for new units is problematic because the calculated output-based emissions can exponentially increase due to low power production rates during startup and shutdown operations and may become infinite during a malfunction situations. The EPA must re-evaluate the proposed approach of applying exclusively output-based emission limit compliance in combination with requiring compliance with the same emission limits during startup and shutdown operations. The 30-boiler-operating-day average may not be sufficient to account for the exponential spikes caused in calculated output based emissions.
          • The proposed rule needs clarification regarding how to determine emission rates during a startup, shutdown, or malfunction situation.
          • The proposed rule must be revised to provide for proper calculation of emissions during a malfunction.
          • The proposed rules should be revised to enable the EPA to allow state rules for affirmative defense that are EPA-approved as part of a SIP to be used in lieu of the federal procedures. This flexibility would eliminate duplicative or potentially even conflicting requirements for both state agencies and regulated entities.
          • Certain provisions in the EPA’s proposed affirmative defense rules need clarification or appear to be contradictory.
          • The initial notification is required if a source wishes to claim an affirmative defense and the proposed rules specify notification by telephone or facsimile. An electronic reporting mechanism should be allowed for the initial notifications. However, telephone notifications should not be allowed because such notifications are difficult to verify and enforce.
          • The TCEQ supports the proposed emissions averaging approach; however, the EPA uses the term “applicable regulatory authority” exclusively in the context of submission, review, and approval of the emissions averaging implementation plan. The EPA should use the standard term of “the administrator” used elsewhere in the proposed rule to avoid confusion.
          • The proposed emission limits for some of the pollutants are very near and in some cases significantly less than the documented MDL of the required emissions testing and monitoring methods and even contradict certain recordkeeping provisions, which makes it impossible for companies to demonstrate compliance with the emission limits. The EPA must bring the emissions limits into harmony with the capabilities of the prescribed methods and procedures for demonstrating compliance.
          • The proposed rule places an unnecessary burden on affected sources and on investigators overseeing the stack testing events by requiring initial and frequent periodic testing for certain HAP pollutants even if the source is complying with the NESHAP rule using the surrogate emission limit.
          • Clarification is needed regarding the window specified for monthly and bimonthly stack testing. Additional flexibility regarding the testing schedule is needed in the rule for certain situations.
          • The EPA is inappropriately relying on states to provide a one-year extension to the compliance time allowed rather than delay finalization of the NESHAP rule. States are encouraged to begin working with utility company early to assess which sites may need extension; however, the EPA has provided no clear guidance on how states should handle such extensions. Inconsistency in how states handle requests for extensions could create localized grid reliability issues and possible interstate conflicts for EGUs that service multiple states.
          • The TCEQ requests clarification regarding the EPA’s interpretation of FCAA Section 112(i)(3)(B) that the complete reconstruction of a facility could be considered as “installation of controls” and the facility would therefore qualify for a one-year extension. Additional clarification is needed for states to enforce the proposed EGU NESHAP rule as well as other NESHAP rules given this new interpretation of the FCAA by the EPA, especially since Section 112(i)(3) is limited to existing sources.
          • The TCEQ supports and incorporates all comments submitted by the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT) on the proposed utility NESHAP rule. The EPA needs to work with the PUCT and ERCOT to evaluate the impact of the EPA rules rather than rely upon the EPA’s modeling.
          • The TCEQ requests clarification on EPA statements made in the Federal Register regarding the federal government taking action to ensure grid reliability.
          • The TCEQ does not agree with the EPA’s assumptions in their electrical power system reliability assessment or the EPA’s assertions that there is sufficient surplus reserve margin in the electric generating capacity to avoid grid reliability problems from EGU retirements that the EPA anticipates from the proposed rule. The EPA’s assumptions and conclusions are not consistent with recent information from ERCOT. The EPA must reevaluate the impact of their regulatory initiatives on the nation’s electric grid reliability based on regional program information such as ERCOT’s instead of relying on EPA’s IPM to assess reliability. Reliability of the electrical power system cannot be evaluated in the grossly simplistic way that the EPA proposes.
          • If the EPA adopts the utility NESHAP rule as proposed, the TCEQ expects severe consequences to the reliability of the Texas electrical power system in the short term for the existing coal-fired EGU fleet and in the ability of the utility industry to meet the future energy demands of Texas. The consequences of the risks to the electrical power system are beyond the EPA’s superficial analysis of the potential impact to the cost of electricity. In the public health and environmental evaluation for this proposed NESHAP, the EPA must consider the consequences to public health and the environment resulting from unavailable, unreliable, or unaffordable electricity.

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          DATE SUBMITTED: 07/15/11

          SHORT TITLE: Draft Integrated Science Assessment for Lead

          SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

          OFFICE PREPARING: Chief Engineer's Office

          STAFF CONTACT: Gulan Sun

          SUMMARY OF COMMENTS:

          The assessment of the health hazards associated with airborne lead has great implications in a regulatory context. However, the 74-day comment period is insufficient for regulatory agencies and others to provide thorough and meaningful comments on the draft ISA, which alone is over 1,000 pages. EPA should extend the comment period at least 60 days.

          More strictly regulating lead in air accomplishes nothing in terms of any real risk reduction because current typical airborne lead exposure for children (the sensitive population) is insignificant compared to normal exposure by other routes (perhaps no more than about 0.5% of childhood lead exposure is through air). Meeting a new NAAQS for lead, no matter how low, will not significantly improve protection of public health. This is confirmed by USEPA’s lead model for children, which shows that 0% percent of children exceed the blood lead level of concern (10 µg/dL) using background soil/dust lead concentrations and either a lead NAAQS of 1.5 µg/m3 or 0.15 µg/m3 (the geometric mean of blood lead decreases by only 0.27 µg/dL).

          None of the studies selected for estimating slopes for blood-to-air lead relationships in humans are generalizable to current lead exposure scenarios for the general public (children or adults) due to the study lead sources and/or populations (e.g., leaded gasoline, workers, other countries) and limitations of regression models (e.g., exclusion of important parameters). EPA’s interpretation of some studies is also questionable, particularly those that found factors other than lead (e.g., parental education) accounted for the vast majority of poor academic performance. Additionally, since the health outcomes of concern for lead (e.g., IQ loss, poor academic performance) have complex causal origins and all important risk factors (e.g., parental IQ/education, socioeconomics, head circumference at birth, alcohol/drug/tobacco use, home environment) are difficult to obtain data on and adjust for in epidemiology studies, the dose-response assessment for lead specifically is unlikely to be accurate.

          Lastly, the EPA should acknowledge that significant decreases in ambient air lead and child lead exposure are inconsistent with concurrent increases in the prevalence of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) if lead exposure plays any appreciable causal role in ADHD.

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          DATE SUBMITTED: 07/11/11

          SHORT TITLE: National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants: Secondary Lead Smelting; Proposed Rule

          SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

          OFFICE PREPARING: Chief Engineer's Office

          STAFF CONTACT: Jay C. Tonne Jr., P.E.

          SUMMARY OF COMMENTS:
          TCEQ comments on the proposed NESHAP rule for Secondary Lead Smelting include the following:

          • The TCEQ requests clarification on the qualifications, implementation, and enforceability of the EPA’s proposed alternative to full enclosures for fugitive lead-dust generating process areas under §63.544(d).
          • TCEQ requests clarification regarding the definition, status, and purpose of the monitors required under the alternative provision in proposed §63.544(d)(1).
          • The TCEQ requests clarification regarding the proposed 40 CFR §63.544(d)(5) through (d)(8).
          • The EPA is proposing that lead continuous emissions monitoring system (CEMS) be required on all new and modified point source stacks that emit lead, however, the EPA proposes to delay this requirement until the technology is available and the EPA can issue performance specifications. The TCEQ questions the prudence and transparency of this requirement as the EPA has given no indication as to when they intend to finalize the performance standards. The TCEQ therefore recommends removing the CEMS requirement for new or modified sources until they are able to fully implement the rule requirements with available and proven technology.
          • The proposed rules should be revised to enable the EPA to allow state rules for affirmative defense that are EPA-approved as part of a state implementation plan (SIP) to be used in lieu of the federal procedures. This flexibility would eliminate duplicative or potentially even conflicting requirements for both state agencies and regulated entities.
          • Certain provisions in the EPA’s proposed affirmative defense rules need clarification or appear to be contradictory.
          • The initial notification is required if a source wishes to claim an affirmative defense and the proposed rules specify notification by telephone or facsimile. An electronic reporting mechanism should be allowed for the initial notifications. However, telephone notifications should not be allowed because such notifications are difficult to verify and enforce.

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          DATE SUBMITTED: 05/13/11

          SHORT TITLE: Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans; Proposed Disapproval of Interstate Transport State Implementation Plan Revision for the 2006 24-Hour PM2.5 NAAQS

          SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

          OFFICE PREPARING: Chief Engineer's Office

          STAFF CONTACT: Melissa Kuskie

          SUMMARY OF COMMENTS:

          • The September 25, 2009, EPA “Guidance on SIP Elements Required Under Sections 110(a)(1) and (2) for the 2006 24-Hour Fine Particle (PM2.5) National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS)” was published four days after the FCAA-required deadline for submittal of such SIPs, and it did not adequately describe how to complete the required technical analysis, in light of the gap between the remand of CAIR and the finalization of the replacement Transport Rule.
          • If the finalized Transport Rule serves as the FIP that the EPA intends to implement for Texas, the TCEQ strongly objects to the EPA proposing a rule that might apply to Texas at finalization without providing adequate notice and information necessary for meaningful comment in the Transport Rule proposal.
          • Because the Transport Rule is the EPA’s intended remedy for certain states’ §110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) SIP deficiencies, the TCEQ reiterates its request first stated in comments for the proposed Transport Rule that the EPA should provide guidance for states whose participation in the Transport Rule program is fundamentally different from their participation in the CAIR program.

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          DATE SUBMITTED: 04/28/11

          SHORT TITLE: Draft Integrated Review Plan for the National Ambient Air Quality Standards for Lead

          SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

          OFFICE PREPARING: Chief Engineer's Office

          STAFF CONTACT: Jim Price

          SUMMARY OF COMMENTS:

          Lead fits awkwardly into the regulatory structure established for dealing with air pollutants through a NAAQS. For the vast majority of the public, inhalation of lead in ambient air and exposure to contemporary lead deposition from ambient air are minor sources of lead exposure.

          Because there are multiple pathways for lead exposure, meeting a NAAQS for lead, no matter how low the standard cannot alone ensure protection of public health from lead toxicity. Key elements in protecting the public from lead toxicity include protection from: (1) lead in both interior and exterior house paint; (2) lead in household items; (3) lead in food storage and cooking containers, serving containers, and utensils; (4) lead in toys and jewelry; (5) lead in food and water; (6) lead in soil to which children have access; and, (7) lead in ambient air. Since the EPA is now planning its review of the lead NAAQS, now is the time to take the opportunity to conduct an integrated review of programs to protect sensitive members of the public, i.e. children, effectively from the health hazards of lead.

          The TCEQ suggests that the EPA carefully reexamine how the dramatic decreases in ambient air lead and children’s blood lead are consistent with the suggestion made in the previous review of the lead NAAQS that lead is a causal factor in the increased frequency of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

          The EPA Staff Paper (EPA-450/R-07-013 ) for the 2008 revision of the lead NAAQS discusses the Lanphear, et al. (2005) pooled analysis of seven epidemiologic studies. Given the gross differences in IQ level across these studies compared to the much smaller differences shown within the studies, additional discussion is necessary to demonstrate the ability of these studies to accurately identify and quantify adverse effects and to control issues related to the potential for confounding of study effects/responses by non-lead exposure-related factors or variables (e.g. socioeconomic status).

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          DATE SUBMITTED: 04/12/11

          SHORT TITLE: National Ambient Air Quality Standards for Carbon Monoxide

          SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

          OFFICE PREPARING: Office of Compliance and Enforcement

          STAFF CONTACT: Bryan Lambeth, P.E.

          SUMMARY OF COMMENTS:

          TCEQ agrees with EPA that the level of the Carbon Monoxide (CO) standards should remain unchanged and that monitoring should be conducted in areas with the highest population exposure. However, TCEQ disagrees with EPA on the location of the highest population exposure. TCEQ believes that the highest population exposure to ambient CO concentrations will occur in populated areas adjacent to the heaviest traffic areas and that population exposure in highway vehicles does not constitute ambient air. Even if EPA wants to control ambient CO levels related to non-ambient population exposure in highway vehicles, monitoring at a single maximum concentration location would not accurately represent the actual exposure in moving vehicles that traverse much larger areas and would add an unnecessary margin of safety to the standards. TCEQ also notes that the interpretation that sample intake must occur on highway right-of-way in some cases will cause a variety of severe logistical problems and time delays in implementation. TCEQ also does not agree with the broad discretion left to the EPA Administrators in requiring additional CO monitoring locations and would like to see consistent criteria established for any additional monitoring requirements. Finally, TCEQ believes that determination of non-attainment areas and appropriate control strategies will be difficult.

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          DATE SUBMITTED: 03/07/11

          SHORT TITLE: Finding of Substantial Inadequacy of Implementation Plan; Call for Kansas Section 110 SIP for Interstate Transport for the 1997 NAAQS for Ozone

          SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

          OFFICE PREPARING: Chief Engineer's Office

          STAFF CONTACT: Melissa Kuskie

          SUMMARY OF COMMENTS:
          The TCEQ offers the following comments:

          • The EPA’s proposed action is premature prior to a finalized Transport Rule.
          • The Kansas §110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) SIP was based on the same August 15, 2006, EPA guidance that was relied upon for states included in the CAIR rulemaking. It is arbitrary and capricious for the EPA to issue a finding of “substantial inadequacy” for Kansas, yet revert back to the 2005 findings of “failure to submit” for CAIR states. The EPA is providing CAIR states with significantly less or no time to address a finding of inadequacy with their SIP submittals before initiating a Federal Implementation Plan (FIP).
          • Any need for additional emissions reductions between the remand of CAIR and the final Transport Rule should be addressed through the SIP process as envisioned by the FCAA. The delay between the remand of CAIR and the replacement Transport Rule resulted in the need for an expedited schedule, and thereby forces Kansas into a FIP.
          • The EPA is denying states the opportunity to address transport and §110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) of the FCAA appropriately through the SIP process.

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          DATE SUBMITTED: 02/14/11

          SHORT TITLE: Determinations Concerning Need for Error Correction, Partial Approval and Partial Disapproval and Federal Implementation Plan regarding Texas Prevention of Significant Deterioration Program

          SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

          OFFICE PREPARING: Office of Legal Services

          STAFF CONTACT: John Minter

          SUMMARY OF COMMENTS:

          EPA is attempting to usurp permitting authority from Texas without following procedures of the Clean Air Act. EPA’s action arbitrarily finds fault in Texas’ PSD program, even though less than one month prior, EPA gave Texas 12-months to revise its SIP to ‘correct’ this perceived flaw. EPA’s action totally eviscerates the SIP Call and the process that is due Texas to allow time to revise its SIP to avoid a FIP if it so chooses.

          Texas’ PSD program meets all federal CAA requirements for an approvable program. It was not, and is not flawed. Texas has always maintained adequate legal authority to implement the PSD program. And as EPA states clearly in the preamble to the interim final rule, correspondence from Texas and TCEQ bears this out. The history of Texas’ PSD SIP submittals shows that federal rules were incorporated by reference with specific dates that would require subsequent change by the state if federal rules or interpretations changed. In fact, EPA alluded to this in the Interim Final Rule: “It is clear from the record that both Texas and EPA were well aware that the Texas PSD rules’ IBR of EPA PSD regulatory requirements did not automatically update.” EPA has consistently approved SIP submittals based on this understanding. Furthermore, EPA acknowledges it has never asked Texas to provide assurances that its PSD program apply to pollutants subject to regulation in the future.

          Section 110(k)(6) has been used historically by EPA to correct previous actions that were deemed in error, such as removing from the state implementation plan (SIP) out-of-date state rules, correcting an inadvertent listing or omission of SIP-approved rules, correct a designation or classification, removing rules that are not required for attainment/maintenance of a NAAQS. In so doing, EPA has revised its own previous action on a state SIP submittal; but it cannot singlehandedly change what the state has submitted.

          As an alternative to §110(k)(6), EPA proposes to use what it calls “its inherent administrative authority to reconsider” its prior approval actions, as a basis for revising the prior approvals of the Texas PSD SIP under § 301(a). No such clear authority is found in this section. Texas does not agree that the language used in 40 CFR § 52.2303 satisfies EPA’s partial disapproval action. It is quite obvious from EPA’s failure to ‘correct’ its approval for over 18 years that this action and the FIP are about GHG regulation and not any other pollutants and is more clear by reference to the new definition of ‘subject to regulation’ added by the GHG Tailoring Rule only months ago.

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          DATE SUBMITTED: 02/14/11

          SHORT TITLE: Reconsideration of the National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants for Reciprocating Internal Combustion Engines

          SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

          OFFICE PREPARING: Chief Engineer’s Office

          STAFF CONTACT: Vincent Meiller

          SUMMARY OF COMMENTS:
          Comments on the above referenced notice of reconsideration include the following:

          • The TCEQ supports the petitioners’ request for reconsideration to revise the NESHAP regulatory limitation on the hours allowed for emergency demand response operation of emergency engines.
          • Operation of emergency engines under an emergency demand response program should be limited by a definition of what is considered emergency response program operation rather than by a limit on the total hours an engine may operate under such programs. The rule should classify operation of an engine under emergency demand response programs as emergency operation provided the operation is in direct response to an energy emergency declared by the regional transmission or balancing authority and is required by the conditions of the emergency demand response program.
          • The EPA should consider expanding the provisions regarding emergency demand response programs to existing emergency engines rated more than 500 brake horsepower at major sources of hazardous air pollutant that were installed prior to June 12, 2006, under 40 Code of Federal Regulations Part 63, §63.6640(f)(2).

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          DATE SUBMITTED: 02/07/11

          SHORT TITLE: Proposed Rulemaking, Reasonable Further Progress (RFP) Requirements for the 1997 Eight-Hour Ozone NAAQS

          SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

          OFFICE PREPARING: Chief Engineer’s Office

          STAFF CONTACT: Jamie Zech

          SUMMARY OF COMMENTS:

          TCEQ comments on the above-referenced proposal include the following: (1) a recommendation that the EPA conduct a rulemaking regarding specific requirements that states would have to meet to address the policy change; (2) a recommendation that the EPA clarify the RFP planning requirements to which this policy change applies; and, (3) an objection to the solicitation of comments regarding implementation requirements for a NAAQS that does not exist.

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          DATE SUBMITTED: 02/07/11

          SHORT TITLE: EPA Disapproval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; Revisions to the Administrative Rules of Montana-Air Quality

          SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

          OFFICE PREPARING: Chief Engineer’s Office

          STAFF CONTACT: Vincent Meiller

          SUMMARY OF COMMENTS:

          TCEQ comments on the above referenced notice of reconsideration include the following: 1. The TCEQ disagrees with the EPA regarding its determination that sight, sound, and smell leak detection techniques are unenforceable based solely on a perceived lack of sophistication. These techniques should not be unilaterally disapproved by the EPA due to a perceived lack of technological sophistication. 2. If EPA is taking a position that sight, sound, and smell as leak detection techniques are not enforceable in any circumstance, then some of the EPA’s own LDAR regulations would not be enforceable.

          If the EPA has specific reasons why sight, sound, and smell are not appropriate for the purposes of the Montana LDAR rules, then the EPA should cite those specific reasons and not generalize about the sophistication level of sight, sound, and smell inspection techniques.

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          DATE SUBMITTED: 02/07/11

          SHORT TITLE: Notice of Data Availability Supporting Federal Implementation Plans to Reduce Interstate Transport of Fine Particulate Matter and Ozone

          SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

          OFFICE PREPARING: Chief Engineer’s Office

          STAFF CONTACT: Melissa Kuskie

          SUMMARY OF COMMENTS:
          TCEQ comments on the above-referenced NODA for the Transport Rule proposal include the following:

          • objections to the EPA’s release of data and alternatives that may significantly change the original rulemaking with limited comment periods and without re-opening the entire rulemaking for comment
          • objections concerning the EPA’s intent to subject existing units that may not be on the list of existing units to allowance-holding requirements regardless of whether such units are allocated allowances, and a request that the EPA provide a mechanism for such units to receive allocations
          • a critique of the two allocation methodology alternatives in the NODA: Option One does not consider technological feasibility of available pollution controls, and Option Two is not clearly explained in terms of the logic and rationale behind the allocation methodology and appears to favor uncontrolled sources in allowance allocation
          • objections concerning potential allocations for the annual trading program, to which Texas may become subject, because Texas has not been provided a proposed budget for the annual program and so is effectively denied the opportunity to comment on potential allocation methodologies
          • comment noting that the TCEQ has already submitted SIP revision addressing 1997 eight-hour ozone transport obligations
          • a critique of the EPA’s unrealistic timeline regarding the SIP submittal deadline for states seeking to allocate allowances for the 2014 control period and a request for clarification of the submittal date discrepancy in the Federal Register publication

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          DATE SUBMITTED: 12/20/10

          SHORT TITLE: Finding of Substantial Inadequacy of Implementation Plan; Call for Utah SIP Revision

          SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

          OFFICE PREPARING: Chief Engineer’s Office

          STAFF CONTACT: Margie McAllister

          SUMMARY OF COMMENTS:

          The EPA has determined that a Utah rule previously approved by the EPA is insufficient to protect the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS), and therefore Utah must revise the rule and its state implementation plan (SIP) within 12 months or the EPA will issue a SIP call and begin a sanctions clock. As part of its proposal, the EPA has requested comments on using its discretionary authority to implement highway sanctions statewide, as opposed to only in Utah’s nonattainment areas.

          TCEQ comments on the above referenced proposed rule include the following:

          • The EPA should not impose statewide highway sanctions, especially when a SIP call is based on disapproval of a rule that the EPA had previously approved into a state’s SIP.
          • Because the EPA proposes to impose sanctions statewide, EPA must adequately explain how the requirements of 40 CFR §52.30(b) have been satisfied, as is necessary for the EPA to be able to implement the proposed action to impose state highway sanctions.

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          DATE SUBMITTED: 11/24/10

          SHORT TITLE: Federal Implementation Plans to Reduce Interstate Transport of Fine Particulate Matter and Ozone: Revisions to Emission Inventories

          SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

          OFFICE PREPARING: Chief Engineer’s Office

          STAFF CONTACT: Melissa Kuskie

          SUMMARY OF COMMENTS:
          TCEQ comments on the EPA NODA for the Transport Rule proposal include the following:

          • Objections to the EPA’s proposed use of the revised data identified in NODA to make changes to the final Transport Rule because it is unreasonable and does not provide adequate notice to the public of the potential changes to the final Transport Rule;
          • A request that if the EPA continues to revise emissions inventory data and place additional information in the docket to support changes to the final rulemaking, it should make such data available for comment and reopen the complete rulemaking for comment to allow the public to evaluate the potential impact of the rule and provide meaningful public comment;
          • Objections to the EPA’s unreasonably short comment period based on the large amount of data provided in the NODA and the fact that the data may or may not be used to expand the scope of the proposed Transport Rule, thereby resulting in potentially affected parties being provided inadequate notice of rulemaking;
          • A request that the EPA consider as creditable for the Transport Rule certain EPA-approved enforceable state control measures included in state implementation plan revisions in addition to the unenforceable ancillary nitrogen oxides reductions from federal measures it proposes to include in the NODA;
          • A request for the EPA to provide an explanation of the assumptions used to grow or control the emissions data that the TCEQ provided on oil and gas drilling rig emissions; and,
          • A request that the EPA identify specifically which latest public release of the Motor Vehicle Emissions Simulator (MOVES) it intends to use in estimating on-road emissions data and a request that the EPA ensure this latest version has been made available for public use.

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          DATE SUBMITTED: 11/18/10

          SHORT TITLE: Air Quality Implementation Plans; Revisions to Rules and Regulations for Control of Air Pollution; Permitting of Grandfathered and Electing Electric Generating Facilities

          SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

          OFFICE PREPARING: Office of Permitting and Registration

          STAFF CONTACT: Michael Wilhoit

          SUMMARY OF COMMENTS:

          Section 116.911(a)(2) was adopted to provide a means of authorizing collateral emissions increases for grandfathered EGF that were required to reduce and permit sulfur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen oxide (NOx), and particulate emissions (PM) under Senate Bill 7, 76th Legislature (1999). These SO2, NOx, and PM emission reductions from sources previously exempt from permitting improved air quality and supported the attainment of federal air quality standards. The collateral CO emission increases did not result in any increase in Prevention of Significant Deterioration increments or any violation of National Ambient Air Quality Standards.

          The EPA’s proposed disapproval of § 116.911(a)(2) cites the DC Circuit Court of Appeals decision, New York v. EPA, 413 F.3d (D.C. Cir. 2005), which disallowed the use of PCP SPs for major new source review (NSR) requirements. The TCEQ acknowledges that the court’s opinion left the EPA little choice in disapproving paragraph (2) of the rule. However, the TCEQ notes that at the time of adoption, this paragraph was in compliance with all applicable state rules and federal regulations and policies. Additionally, paragraph (2) applied only to initial applications of grandfathered EGFs, which were required to be submitted by September 1, 2000. This paragraph has no current application since this date has long passed and there will be no new initial applications from EGFs.

          The PCP SP was revised in 2006 to preclude the use of the PCP SP to authorize new major sources and major modifications, thus addressing the court’s decision in New York v. EPA. The EPA has not adopted any rules that provide detailed requirements for this type of permit, nor any rules prohibiting it. The applicable rule in 40 CFR § 51.160 is broadly written and has been interpreted by the EPA to provide states the discretion to tailor their own minor NSR permit programs. The commission’s standard permit program is part of the approved Texas SIP and the EPA has determined it meets 40 CFR Part 51.

          The TCEQ has recently proposed a new non-rule PCP SP and has received comments from the EPA regarding that proposal. The executive director will present his response to those comments to the commission for consideration of a new non-rule PCP SP. In the interim the TCEQ maintains that § 116.617 is an efficient and legally supportable authorization for pollution control projects in Texas.

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          DATE SUBMITTED: 10/04/10

          SHORT TITLE: Proposed Action to Ensure Authority to Issue Permits Under the Prevention of Significant Deterioration Program to Sources of Greenhouse Gas Emissions: Finding of Substantial Inadequacy and SIP Call; Federal Implementation Plan (FIP)

          SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

          OFFICE PREPARING: Office of Legal Services

          STAFF CONTACT: John Minter

          SUMMARY OF COMMENTS:

          In EPA’s rush to regulate GHG from stationary sources, it is expediting this SIP Call and FIP through at an unprecedented pace with little time to deliberate the appropriateness or legality of these actions. In little more than one year, EPA has determined that a pollutant that has never been regulated before under the FCAA (or Act) should be done beginning January 2, 2011, without proper guidelines on what controls should apply and how states are to implement this program. EPA acknowledges that subjecting stationary sources of GHG to permit requirements according to the Act’s specific thresholds is “absurd” yet EPA is on a course to do just that. TCEQ is concerned that the proposed SIP Call and FIP are merely additional elements of a scheme that short-circuits the statutory process for regulating major stationary sources.

          In comments on EPA’s Endangerment Finding, the Light-Duty Vehicle Rule, the Johnson Memo Reconsideration and the Tailoring Rule, TCEQ has consistently questioned the legality of EPA’s iterative approach to regulating GHGs at major stationary sources. The basic purpose of the PSD program is to safeguard the maintenance of a National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS or Standard) in areas of the country designated for a NAAQS as attainment or unclassifiable. EPA to date has not established a Standard for GHG, therefore PSD does not and should not apply. Congressional intent not to cover GHG under the Act is clear. Pursuant to the FCAA major source thresholds are set at levels that make permitting such sources for GHG unfeasible. Buildings with small boilers such as schools, apartment complexes, and office buildings are potentially subject to PSD permitting for GHG under the Act’s statutory limits. Furthermore, SIP control strategies and corresponding permitting programs are structured to address pollutants affecting a localized and discrete area. GHG are uniform in concentrations throughout the environment. They do not lend themselves to be controlled through the CAA’s SIP statutory and regulatory framework. EPA freely acknowledges that the regulation of GHG is irreconcilable with the FCAA’s stationary source thresholds, and it relies on a series of invalid legal theories to support its re-writing of the express language of the statute to raise the GHG thresholds to levels it deems reasonable.

          Both the SIP Call and FIP are unlawful because the Tailoring Rule itself is unlawful. The Tailoring Rule is contrary to the express statutory commands of the FCAA and is subject to several challenges, including one by the State of Texas, in the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. If that Court stays implementation of the Tailoring Rule, EPA should immediately suspend the actions to which these comments are addressed.

          EPA proposes this SIP Call and FIP as the solution to a problem of its own making. As we stated in our comments to the Tailoring Rule, and repeat here, EPA actions magnify the inappropriateness of regulating GHG under the FCAA and are a further attempt to alter the literal application of the Act. The proposals by EPA are an attempt to write policy that should be contemplated by Congress. EPA’s actions exceed its administrative authority to execute the laws that Congress has written. The legally-flawed reliance on section 110(k)(5) as a basis for a SIP Call and lack of regulatory certainty on what constitutes BACT for GHG emissions, as well as the practical effect of no new major construction or modification under state-or EPA-issued GHG permits in the near future, compels TCEQ to urge the Administrator to withdraw these proposals.

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          DATE SUBMITTED: 10/01/10

          SHORT TITLE: Federal Implementation Plans to Reduce Interstate Transport of Fine Particulate Matter and Ozone

          SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

          OFFICE PREPARING: Chief Engineer's Office

          STAFF CONTACT: Melissa Kuskie

          SUMMARY OF COMMENTS:
          Comments on the above referenced Transport Rule proposal include the following:

          • A reiteration of our original request for a 90-day comment period extension;
          • A critique of the EPA’s preferred option based on the potential limits to market activity, difficulty for compliance assessment, and potential impact on energy consumers;
          • A critique of the EPA’s technical analysis for the proposal, including its assessment of design values, modeling program flaws, cost-assessments for NOX controls, and the failure to consider certain existing controls;
          • An objection to EPA’s analysis regarding Texas’ potential inclusion in the PM2.5 program;
          • A request for information regarding SIP criteria for states seeking to replace the Transport Rule FIP; and,
          • An objection to our inclusion in the program altogether based on EPA’s significant technical flaws.

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          DATE SUBMITTED: 09/23/10

          SHORT TITLE: Proposed Rule to Implement the 1997 8-Hour Ozone NAAQS: New Source Review Anti-Backsliding Provisions for Former 1-Hour Ozone Standard

          SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

          OFFICE PREPARING: Chief Engineer's Office

          STAFF CONTACT: Walker Williamson

          SUMMARY OF COMMENTS:
          The TCEQ generally supports the EPA’s efforts to address removal of burdensome nonattainment new source review (NSR) permitting requirements for the one-hour ozone standard, but wishes to comment on a few specific points included in the EPA’s proposed rule:

          • A request for one-hour ozone nonattainment NSR provisions to be removed for 1997 eight-hour ozone attainment areas based on eight-hour ozone monitoring data should only require a request letter.
          • The EPA should not prevent any provision of a major NSR permit that was established during the time the one-hour ozone standard applied from being modified.
          • The EPA is not providing adequate public notice for its proposal to revise the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) as it relates to section 181(b)(4) of the FCAA.
          • For a finding of attainment for the one-hour ozone standard, only applicable and appropriate monitoring data should be required to determine whether an area is eligible to remove one-hour nonattainment NSR requirements.

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          DATE SUBMITTED: 09/13/10

          SHORT TITLE: Transportation Conformity Rule Restructuring Amendments

          SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

          OFFICE PREPARING: Chief Engineer's Office

          STAFF CONTACT: Heather Evans

          SUMMARY OF COMMENTS:

          TCEQ supports EPA’s proposed restructuring of 40 CFR 93.109 and 93.119 and the clarification of the conformity test options for clean data areas. The proposal provides a more clear and concise organization of the sections. The new structure will allow implementing organizations to know the requirements for performing regional conformity tests for any new or revised NAAQS before designations are even made, rather than waiting for updated guidance and regulations to follow the designation process, as has been the case in the past.

          TCEQ supports the clarification of the general applicability of conformity requirements to secondary standards; however, the proposal is unclear as to the specific requirements for showing compliance with any secondary standard. Therefore, it is difficult to provide any meaningful comments at this time. The proposal does indicate that EPA will issue guidance as needed to assist areas in implementing conformity requirements for new standards, including secondary standards.

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          DATE SUBMITTED: 08/30/10

          SHORT TITLE: Review of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards for Particulate Matter

          SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

          OFFICE PREPARING: Chief Engineer's Office

          STAFF CONTACT: Jim Price

          SUMMARY OF COMMENTS:

          If the EPA decides to propose a secondary standard for urban visibility, the TCEQ urges the EPA to propose a direct measurement of visibility impairment or light extinction as the indicator for urban visibility impairment. We urge use of data from the large, existing network of Automated Surface Observation System (ASOS) visibility monitors rather than the establishment of a new monitoring network on which to base a possible standard.

          The suggestion to use average chemical speciation profiles for PM2.5 would be inappropriate for areas such as Texas that can have diverse causes of visibility impairment, which can change from day to day. The types of episodes that affect Texas visibility include continental haze, African dust transported across the Atlantic Ocean, biomass burning smoke from southern Mexico and Central America, dust transported from dust storms in the northern Mexican deserts, and dust from wind storms within Texas. Using an average PM2.5 composition would be inadequate to represent these varied events. Taking daily PM2.5 samples and carrying out chemical speciation analysis for each visibility impairment event is costly and would require additional federal funding.

          The TCEQ urges the EPA to consider only a robust form of the standard set at the 9oth or lower percentile. The more robust the standard, the more appropriate any resulting control strategy would be for achieving broad improvement in particulate matter air quality and visibility. The TCEQ urges the EPA not to propose or adopt a separate PM standard for visibility until visibility data have been collected and validated successfully from at least a prototype monitoring network. Additionally, the range discussed for the annual PM2.5 standard will produce measurable visibility improvement without adoption of a different secondary standard for visibility.

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          DATE SUBMITTED: 08/16/10

          SHORT TITLE: EPA Responses to State and Tribal 2008 Lead Designation Recommendations

          SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

          OFFICE PREPARING: Chief Engineer's Office

          STAFF CONTACT: Holly Brightwell

          SUMMARY OF COMMENTS:

          The TCEQ agrees with the EPA’s preliminary designation determination; however, non-ambient data was used in the EPA’s data calculation. The TCEQ requests that calculations not include this data as part of the designation determination.

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          DATE SUBMITTED: 07/23/10

          SHORT TITLE: Clean Alternative Fuel Vehicle and Engine Conversions

          SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

          OFFICE PREPARING: Chief Engineer's Office

          STAFF CONTACT: Morris Brown

          SUMMARY OF COMMENTS:

          TCEQ comments on whether vehicles that have exceeded their useful life based on mileage, but not in age, should be required to meet the same compliance criteria as intermediate age vehicles. TCEQ recommends that the EPA establish criteria for categorizing an "outside useful life" vehicle based solely on vehicle age without consideration for mileage accumulation, thereby negating the need to establish a subcategory of "younger" outside useful life vehicles that may have exceeded their useful life in mileage, but not in age; e.g., a 2006 model year vehicle with an odometer reading of 160,000 miles. The annual vehicle emissions inspection and maintenance testing requirements in Texas, which are based on federal rules, apply to conventional gasoline fueled motor vehicles of 2 to 24 years of age, regardless of high mileage accumulations.

          In addition, TCEQ comments on the options that EPA is proposing for the demonstration criteria for outside useful life vehicles. TCEQ recommends that the EPA finalize the rule using Option 2 as the demonstration criteria for clean alternative fuel conversions of outside useful life vehicles to ensure that alternative fuel conversions of older vehicles and engines without OBD systems do not result in increased emissions. The rule already proposes to require outside useful life vehicles equipped with OBD systems to maintain proper OBD system functions.

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          DATE SUBMITTED: 06/16/10

          SHORT TITLE: Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans and Designation of Areas for Air Quality Planning Purposes; Beaumont/Port Arthur Ozone Nonattainment Area

          SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

          OFFICE PREPARING: Chief Engineer's Office

          STAFF CONTACT: Jamie Zech

          SUMMARY OF COMMENTS:

          The TCEQ submitted the 1997 Eight-Hour Ozone Redesignation Request and Maintenance Plan for the Beaumont/Port Arthur (BPA) Ozone Nonattainment Area to the U.S. EPA on December 18, 2008. That SIP revision included a request to redesignate the BPA area to attainment for the 1997 eight-hour ozone standard with evidence of fulfillment of the remaining requirements for redesignation, including a 1997 eight-hour ozone standard maintenance plan. The EPA proposes to approve the 1997 Eight-Hour Ozone Redesignation Request and Maintenance Plan for the BPA Ozone Nonattainment Area. The EPA also proposes to determine that the BPA area is in attainment of the one-hour ozone standard. The TCEQ concurs with the EPA’s findings and wishes to submit general comments to the EPA in support of the proposed approvals, which include the following: a statement of agreement with the EPA’s proposed approval for the 1997 Eight-Hour Ozone Redesignation Request and Maintenance Plan for the BPA Ozone Nonattainment Area; a statement of agreement with the EPA’s proposed determination that the BPA area is in attainment of the one-hour ozone standard; and, a statement of acknowledgement and praise for the efforts of the BPA area in attaining the 1997 eight-hour ozone standard and the one-hour ozone standard.

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          DATE SUBMITTED: 06/11/10

          SHORT TITLE: Mandatory Reporting of Greenhouse Gases: Injection and Geologic Sequestration of Carbon Dioxide

          SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

          OFFICE PREPARING: Chief Engineer's Office

          STAFF CONTACT: Kathy Pendleton

          SUMMARY OF COMMENTS:

          Based on state legislative mandate, TCEQ and Rail Road Commission plan to administer federally authorized Class VI Underground Injection Control programs for CO2-GS in parallel to the EPA-administered GHG reporting rule. Consequently, the TCEQ’s comments on the GHG reporting rule make recommendations for greater clarity and consistency of rule criteria and wording on interrelated issues that must be efficiently coordinated between these state and federal programs. Specifically, the TCEQ recommends against use of the proposed criterion for the duration of GHG reporting dependent on determination of stabilization of the injected CO2 plume and pressure front. In this consideration of duration of GHG reporting, the TCEQ recommends adoption of the listed criteria limiting the necessary periods of post-injection site care and (appropriately) GHG reporting for CO2-GS projects as proposed by the Ground Water Protection Council (of which TCEQ is a member) and a broad range of other industry and environmental group stakeholders in comments on the proposed UIC Class VI well rule for CO2-GS. The TCEQ recommends minor revisions of wording in specified subsections of the proposed rule for greater clarity and consistency.

          The TCEQ acknowledges that a most significant concern about the proposed GHG reporting rule is the reporting burden that would be placed on facilities subject to the rule. The TCEQ urges the EPA to reassess emissions collected from sources and, if for any assessed to be insignificant, remove them from reporting requirements. Also, because data reported under the proposed rules will be used to inform future rule and policy decisions on GHG regulation, the accuracy of data should remain a high priority for EPA and all persons concerned. The TCEQ urges the EPA to update the rule as appropriate for burden reduction, regulatory efficiency, and environmental protection as informed by accrued operating experience and data from CO2-GS projects over-time.

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          DATE SUBMITTED: 06/11/10

          SHORT TITLE: Mandatory Greenhouse Gases: Additional Sources of Fluorinated Gas Systems

          SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

          OFFICE PREPARING: Chief Engineer's Office

          STAFF CONTACT: Kathy Pendleton

          SUMMARY OF COMMENTS:

          When determining the sources and thresholds required for inventory reporting, the TCEQ cautions the EPA to consider unintended adverse environmental or health impacts. The risk that some sources would choose to replace an ozone precursor or toxic contaminant with a GHG to avoid reporting and future regulatory action on GHG emissions is a possibility that the EPA must evaluate.

          The TCEQ supports the use of approved, standard emissions factors based on equipment type or process type over direct monitoring, where feasible, to minimize the cost of complying with the Federal Mandatory Reporting Rule. First year reporting costs at $0.51 per metric of CO2e from the electronics industry remains higher than the EPA’s estimate average of $0.04 for all sources.

          Anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions are driven by manufacturing and consuming raw products and the Executive Director of the TCEQ is concerned that an accurate portrayal of each state’s emissions will not be obtained and that values may be skewed to suppliers of commodities consumed in other sectors or parts of the country. The TCEQ urges the EPA to update the rules as appropriate for burden reduction, regulatory efficiency, and environmental protection as informed by accrued operating experience and data over time.

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          DATE SUBMITTED: 06/11/10

          SHORT TITLE: Mandatory Greenhouse Gases: Petroleum and Natural Gas Systems

          SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

          OFFICE PREPARING: Chief Engineer's Office

          STAFF CONTACT: Kathy Pendleton

          SUMMARY OF COMMENTS:

          TCEQ comments that a reporting burden for sources remains a concern because much of the data requested are not currently known nor can be obtained from a central location for many of the reporters. A phased-in approach reporting is recommended for types of equipment and component counts. The TCEQ urges the EPA to reassess emissions collected from sources and, if emissions are insignificant, remove them from reporting requirements.

          The accuracy of data remains a high priority and the TCEQ urges the EPA to update the factors and estimation methodologies in the rule as improved factors become available. The TCEQ supports the EPA’s proposal using fugitive factors for estimating emissions from many sources, including component fugitives, instead of direct monitoring to reduce the emissions estimation and reporting burden. However, emissions factors in some cases may be draft or out of date. The data collected reflects significant effort on the part of the reporting companies and may have significant impact on future regulatory activities. The oil and gas industry covers a large territory and locating or developing the data for reporting by the first due date will be resource intensive and expensive. A phased-in approach reporting is recommended for equipment level information and component counts.

          The TCEQ urges the EPA to update the rule as appropriate for burden reduction, regulatory efficiency, and environmental protection as informed by accrued operating experience and data over time.

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          DATE SUBMITTED: 03/22/10

          SHORT TITLE: National Ambient Air Quality Standards for Ozone

          SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

          OFFICE PREPARING: Chief Engineer's Office

          STAFF CONTACT: Brian Foster

          SUMMARY OF COMMENTS:

          The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) is in disagreement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposal to revise the eight-hour standard to a level within the range of 0.060 to 0.070 parts per million (ppm) because of uncertainties relating ambient ozone concentrations to personal exposures and limitations of the epidemiological and clinical studies used as the basis of the revisions. Because of the considerable implications of these revisions, it is extremely important that this policy decision incorporate all of the relevant scientific data and that the data be analyzed using appropriate statistics.

          The TCEQ does not agree with the proposal to establish a distinct secondary ozone standard, different from the primary standard, because the proposed secondary standard: is arbitrary in form; the selected level is indistinguishable from background; does not yield appreciable benefits; is based on studies that may be inappropriate for identifying empirical vegetation effects; and may inappropriately overestimate damages. The TCEQ is opposed to the EPA's proposal to require that all decimal digits supported by the calculation software must be retained for actual calculations of eight-hour averages and three-year average ozone values.

          The TCEQ does not support the EPA’s proposed broad and unfettered general discretion to use incomplete data and any other data known to EPA but not a part of the federal or state monitoring network to calculate design values for comparison to the National Ambient air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for purposes of determining attainment or nonattainment.

          The TCEQ does not support the EPA’s proposed broad and unfettered general discretion to consider data collected from non-federal reference method monitors that has not been submitted to EPA’s Air Quality System.

          The TCEQ is opposed to the accelerated designation schedule. This schedule, combined with the reconsidered standard proposed as a range rather than at a specific level, does not allow for meaningful public input, nor does it provide adequate time for states to conduct technical analysis in support of designation recommendations. The EPA should extend the time for states to submit designation recommendations.

          The EPA’s statement that the proposed ozone standard reduction would have no significant impact on small business is disingenuous. Changes to the NAAQS do directly impact requirements for emissions of all sources, both large and small. The proposed range of the primary ozone NAAQS will drastically increase the number of distant emission sources that can contribute policy-relevant quantities of ozone to cities.

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          DATE SUBMITTED: 03/15/10

          SHORT TITLE: New Source Review (NSR) Program for PM2.5; Rulemaking to Repeal Grandfathering Provision and End the PM10 Surrogate Policy

          SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

          OFFICE PREPARING: Office of Permitting and Registration

          STAFF CONTACT: Michael Wilhoit

          SUMMARY OF COMMENTS:

          The TCEQ does not support EPA’s proposal to repeal the grandfathering provision for PM2.5 and end the use of the PM10 surrogate program. The use of the PM10 surrogate program has ensured consistency and has allowed TCEQ to meet its obligations under the Texas and Federal Clean Air Acts. Texas has no nonattainment areas for PM2.5. The TCEQ believes that there are still substantial technical difficulties and regulatory uncertainties associated with the implementation of PM2.5 in PSD and minor NSR. The TCEQ does not have the technical tools to implement the PM2.5 major and minor NSR programs. SIP-approved states such as Texas should be allowed to continue using the PM10 NSR surrogate program until the EPA can fully implement and integrate PM2.5 into the NSR program.

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          DATE SUBMITTED: 02/16/10

          SHORT TITLE: Revisions to Lead Ambient Air Monitoring Requirements

          SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

          OFFICE PREPARING: Chief Engineer's Office

          STAFF CONTACT: Jim Price

          SUMMARY OF COMMENTS:

          The TCEQ recognizes that lead in settled dust presents the main lead absorption hazard for children, who are the most susceptible population. An appropriate additional screening test for waiving the ambient air lead monitoring requirement would be a test for lead content in settled dust or in surface soil in the area of predicted maximum ambient air impact to which children have meaningful access.

          The EPA’s methodology used to develop the proposed 0.5 ton per year lead emissions threshold for requiring lead monitoring at airports is flawed because children do not have meaningful access to the type of area represented by the monitor that the EPA used to calculate the emissions threshold for including airports. For most airports the threshold should not be below 1.0 ton per year.

          There is a lack of information on piston-engine aircraft landing and take-off operations at some airports. The EPA should consider developing a methodology for using the annual amount of leaded aviation gasoline sales at an airport to calculate the annual lead emissions from the airport. An alternative would be to develop a methodology for using the ratio of the leaded aviation gasoline to turbine engine fuel sold at an airport together with the total number of landings and take-off operations at the airport to calculate the annual lead emissions.

          A one-year timeline for deploying monitors to NCore (name derived from “National Core”) sites is reasonable; however, if new equipment procurement is involved a deadline shorter than one year after federal funding is provided is not reasonable. An 18-month timeline would be more reasonable for point-source oriented ambient lead monitors. Monitoring for airports creates complications because of potential Federal Aviation Administration approval and an appropriate timeline for this monitoring would be 20-to-24 months.

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          DATE SUBMITTED: 02/08/10

          SHORT TITLE: Primary National Ambient Air Quality Standard for Sulfur Dioxide

          SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

          OFFICE PREPARING: Chief Engineer's Office

          STAFF CONTACT: Brian Foster

          SUMMARY OF COMMENTS:

          The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed to strengthen the primary National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) for sulfur dioxide (SO2).

          The TCEQ: agrees with the proposal to set a new standard based on one-hour daily maximum SO2 concentrations; recommends the fourth highest daily maximum concentration averaged over three years as the form of the standard; recommends that the level of the one-hour SO2 standard be no lower than 100 parts per billion (ppb); recommends that more weight should be placed on human data as opposed to the results of the epidemiological studies; agrees with the proposal to revoke the current 24-hour and annual SO2 standards; and, is concerned with the amount of resources needed to deploy at least 13 additional continuous ambient monitoring stations configured to monitor SO2.

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          DATE SUBMITTED: 12/15/09

          SHORT TITLE: Prevention of Significant Deterioration and Title V Greenhouse Gas Tailoring Rule

          SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

          OFFICE PREPARING: Office of Permitting and Registration

          STAFF CONTACT: Michael Wilhoit

          SUMMARY OF COMMENTS:

          The TCEQ does not support the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) actions to regulate Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions under the Clean Air Act (CAA). The TCEQ believes the administrative and fiscal impacts of the proposed rule would be highly burdensome on both the TCEQ and on the regulated community, and that there are other methods the federal government could apply to reduce GHG emissions without regulation under the CAA. In addition, the proposed tailoring rule goes beyond the authority granted in CAA § 110(k)(6) by also amending federal rules and unilaterally applying those changes to the states through their Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) state implementation plans. The TCEQ suggests EPA could use the same rationale that justifies the Tailoring Rule and apply it to a delay in stationary source GHG regulation until full development of a federal New Source Review permitting program for GHG emissions occurs. The TCEQ does not support EPA’s proposed implementation schedule, under which PSD permitting for GHG could begin as early as March 2010. The TCEQ recommends that EPA reexamine the need for stationary source GHG regulation as a result of the GHG Light Duty Vehicle Rule.

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          DATE SUBMITTED: 12/07/09

          SHORT TITLE: Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD): Reconsideration of Interpretation of Regulations that Determine Pollutants Covered by the Federal PSD Permit Program

          SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

          OFFICE PREPARING: Office of Permitting and Registration

          STAFF CONTACT: Dom Ruggeri

          SUMMARY OF COMMENTS:

          The TCEQ supports allowing the necessary time to evaluate emission characteristics and control options before making a pollutant subject to PSD requirements through promulgation of control requirements. The TCEQ supports the conclusion of the EPA’s December 18, 2008, memo that the phrase “subject to regulation” as used in 40 CFR § 52.21(b)(50) is based on the concept of control, and that PSD permitting of GHG pollutants is not triggered by the existence of rules that require monitoring and reporting (but not control) of GHG emissions. The TCEQ supports an amendment to § 52.21(b)(50)(iv) to clarify that a pollutant is not subject to PSD unless the emissions of that pollutant are controlled by an applicable regulation.

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          DATE SUBMITTED: 11/25/09

          SHORT TITLE: Proposed Rulemaking To Establish Light-Duty Vehicle Greenhouse Gas Emission Standards and Corporate Average Fuel Economy Standards

          SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

          OFFICE PREPARING: Chief Engineer's Office

          STAFF CONTACT: Morris Brown

          SUMMARY OF COMMENTS:

          The TCEQ has implemented a number of regulatory air quality control strategies in its State Implementation Plan (SIP) revisions to reduce VOC and NOX emissions from light-duty vehicles in the areas of Texas that have been designated by the EPA as nonattainment for ground level ozone. Staff is concerned that the adoption of the proposed rules for new GHG emissions standards for light-duty vehicles will have a negative impact on the efforts to meet SIP goals. Staff recommends the TCEQ comment on the potential negative impact that the new GHG standards will have on criteria pollutant emissions that are of critical importance for compliance with the NAAQS, primarily the expected increase in VOC and NOX emissions. The recommendation is for the EPA to take action to compensate for the anticipated increase in criteria pollutants from the rebound effect by lowering the light-duty vehicle manufacturer's fleet average NOx emission standard of 0.07 grams of NOX per mile under the Tier 2 emission standards for light-duty vehicles specified in 40 CFR Part 86 to a tighter fleet average NOX emission standard of 0.04 grams of NOX per mile. This action would offset any increases in criteria pollutants resulting from the rebound effect associated with the proposed new GHG emissions standards. The current fleet average NOX emission standard of 0.07 grams per mile is equivalent to the Tier 2 Bin 5 standard, the recommended lower standard would be equivalent to the Tier 2 Bin 4 standard. Lowering the fleet average NOX emission standard to a Tier 2 Bin 4 equivalent should not be much of a technological burden on vehicle manufacturers since approximately 15 percent of all new model year 2010 Tier 2 vehicles are certified to a Tier 2 Bin 4 emission standard.

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          DATE SUBMITTED: 11/23/09

          SHORT TITLE: Revisions to the New Source Review State Implementation Plan; Modification of Existing Qualified Facilities Program

          SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

          OFFICE PREPARING: Office of Permitting and Registration

          STAFF CONTACT: Dom Ruggeri

          SUMMARY OF COMMENTS:

          The Texas Qualified Facilities program does not circumvent federal NSR permitting requirements. The Qualified Facilities program has only been applied to minor NSR, not major NSR, and does not supersede or negate federal requirements. The TCEQ will work with EPA to clarify applicable rule language to ensure that qualified facilities projects are specifically limited to minor NSR changes. TCEQ believes that EPA has misunderstood the key term “facility” as used in Texas air quality regulations. TCEQ supports EPA’s proposal to approve the definitions of grandfathered facility, maximum allowable emission rate table, and new facility. TCEQ will consider EPA’s comments concerning EPA’s proposed disapproval of the definitions of best available control technology, actual emissions, allowable emissions, and the other definitions for which EPA has proposed disapproval. TCEQ will consider rulemaking to address a number of issues relating to qualified facilities.

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          DATE SUBMITTED: 11/23/09

          SHORT TITLE: Revisions to the New Source Review State Implementation Plan; Prevention of Significant Deterioration, Nonattainment NSR for the 1997 8-Hour Ozone Standard, NSR Reform, and a Standard Permit

          SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

          OFFICE PREPARING: Office of Permitting and Registration

          STAFF CONTACT: Dom Ruggeri

          SUMMARY OF COMMENTS:

          The TCEQ will work with EPA to ensure that commission rules concerning backsliding and PSD requirements will be brought up-to-date. TCEQ reiterates that the Texas PSD program does not circumvent federal NSR requirements and does not allow control technology that is less than best available control technology as defined in federal rule. TCEQ believes that EPA has misunderstood the key term “facility” as used in Texas air quality regulations. TCEQ has concerns about including malfunction emissions when determining actual baseline emissions under federal NSR, but TCEQ is willing to work with EPA to clarify the inclusion of startup and shutdown emissions when determining baseline actual emissions. TCEQ will clarify aspects of the Plantwide Applicability Limits rules that EPA stated are missing or unclear. With respect to the Pollution Control Standard Permit, TCEQ understands EPA’s comments and will work with EPA to develop approvable authorization(s) that will achieve the same goals and emission reductions.

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          DATE SUBMITTED: 11/23/09

          SHORT TITLE: Revisions to the New Source Review State Implementation Plan; Flexible Permits

          SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

          OFFICE PREPARING: Office of Permitting and Registration

          STAFF CONTACT: Dom Ruggeri

          SUMMARY OF COMMENTS:

          The Texas Flexible Permits program does not circumvent federal NSR permitting requirements. Substantial emission reductions have been achieved under the Flexible Permits program, resulting in improved air quality. TCEQ believes that EPA has misunderstood the key terms “facility” and “source” as used in Texas air quality regulations. While TCEQ does not believe that the Flexible Permits program circumvents federal requirements, TCEQ will propose a number of changes to improve the clarity and enforceability of the regulations.

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          DATE SUBMITTED: 11/18/09

          SHORT TITLE: Review of the Draft Document Related to NAAQS for Carbon Monoxide

          SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

          OFFICE PREPARING: Chief Engineer's Office

          STAFF CONTACT: Carla Kinslow

          SUMMARY OF COMMENTS:

          There are two main concerns regarding the information contained in this Draft Review. First, the authors discuss the extreme limitations of the monitoring and human study data. TCEQ suggests that the limitations of the current body of literature regarding CO and human health strictly impedes the ability of the EPA to create a standard that is scientifically based, thus there will be a lack of confidence in any change in the current standard which is based on such limited and conflicting data. Second, by the author’s own admission, the APEX exposure model has a tendency to overestimate exposure and dose. The authors go on to say that applying the APEX exposure model to assess the adequacy of the current standards is limited. TCEQ suggests that a more appropriate model should be used to assess the adequacy of the current standards and a new risk and exposure assessment should be completed before EPA conducts a review of the current CO standard.

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          DATE SUBMITTED: 09/28/09

          SHORT TITLE: Control of Emissions From New Marine Compression-Ignition Engines at or Above 30 Liters per Cylinder

          SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

          OFFICE PREPARING: Chief Engineer's Office

          STAFF CONTACT: Morris Brown

          SUMMARY OF COMMENTS:

          The TCEQ encourages the EPA to adopt the new emission standards for Category 3 marine diesel engines as proposed. In addition, the TCEQ encourages the EPA to adopt the proposed diesel fuel rules that would prohibit the production and sale of marine fuel oil above 1,000 ppm sulfur for use in any marine diesel vessel operating within U.S. waters. This proposal would eliminate the current 500 ppm sulfur standard for locomotive and Category 1 and Category 2 marine diesel, thereby requiring all diesel fuel, except for marine fuel oil to be used in Category 3 marine diesel engines, to meet a 15 ppm sulfur standard after 2014. The TCEQ believes that the adoption of the proposed emissions standards for new Category 3 marine diesel engines and changes to the federal diesel fuel program would provide a significant reduction of NOx, particulate matter, and sulfur oxides emissions from marine vessels and would contribute to the air quality goals of Texas and the U.S.

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          DATE SUBMITTED: 09/11/09

          SHORT TITLE: Primary National Ambient Air Quality Standard for Nitrogen Dioxide

          SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

          OFFICE PREPARING: Chief Engineer's Office

          STAFF CONTACT: Brian Foster

          SUMMARY OF COMMENTS:<

          The U.S. EPA is proposing to establish a new one-hour NO2 standard that would focus on short-term exposures to NO2, which are generally highest on and near major roads. The EPA is also proposing to retain the current annual average NO2 standard and is requesting comment on supplementing the current annual standard with a community-wide one-hour NO2 standard. Finally, the EPA is proposing to change the monitoring network to capture both peak NO2 concentrations that occur near roadways and community-wide NO2 concentrations.

          The TCEQ:

          1. Agrees on retaining NO2 as the indicator for ambient oxides of nitrogen
          2. Agrees that the one-hour daily maximum is the appropriate short-term averaging time
          3. Recommends the fourth highest daily maximum concentration averaged over three years as the form of the standard
          4. Recommends that the level of the one-hour NO2 standard be no lower than 100 parts per billion (ppb)
          5. Does not agree with the proposed alternative standard levels as low as 65 ppb
          6. Does not agree with the proposed alternative approach of establishing an area-wide one-hour maximum NO2 standard of 50-75 ppb
          7. Disagrees with the proposal to locate new air quality monitors on or near roadways
          8. Recommends that monitoring be limited to neighborhood and area-wide special scales

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          DATE SUBMITTED: 07/23/09

          SHORT TITLE: Regulation of Fuels and Fuel Additives: Changes to Renewable Fuel Standard Program

          SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

          OFFICE PREPARING: Chief Engineer's Office

          STAFF CONTACT: Morris Brown

          SUMMARY OF COMMENTS:

          The TCEQ has implemented a number of regulatory air quality control strategies under the State Implementation Plan (SIP) to reduce volatile organic compounds (VOC) and NOx emissions in the areas of Texas that have been designated by the EPA as being in violation of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for ground level ozone. Ground level ozone is created by a photochemical reaction of VOC and NOx emissions in the presence of sunlight. TCEQ recognizes the potential negative impact that increased use of renewable fuels will have on criteria pollutant emissions that are of critical importance for compliance with the NAAQS, primarily the expected increase in VOC and NOX emissions. The recommendation is for the EPA to reevaluate the appropriateness of requiring an increased use of renewable fuels in areas of the nation that are already designated by the EPA as nonattainment areas under the NAAQS for ground level ozone or in areas that are considered to be near-nonattainment areas.

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          DATE SUBMITTED: 07/01/09

          SHORT TITLE: NESHAP: Area Source Standards for Paints and Allied Products Manufacturing

          SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

          OFFICE PREPARING: Office of Permitting and Registration

          STAFF CONTACT: Lisa Martin

          SUMMARY OF COMMENTS:

          The TCEQ supports the proposed rule and is submitting specific recommendations on various aspects of the proposed rule. The TCEQ suggests that certain changes to the EPAs proposal would simplify and reduce the cost of compliance for sources subject to this rule, which are predominately small businesses employing fewer than ten persons, while simultaneously improving the sources ability to continuously achieve the stated emissions reductions of certain metal HAPs. Specifically, the TCEQ Air Permits Division is offering comments on three areas of the proposed rule: 1) six specific comments regarding the particulate matter control systems and compliance monitoring thereof; 2) one comment regarding aligning the compliance deadlines of this rule with other similar federal rules; and 3) three comments on recordkeeping and reporting requirements.

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          DATE SUBMITTED: 06/26/09

          SHORT TITLE: Transportation Conformity Rule PM2.5 and PM10 Amendments

          SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

          OFFICE PREPARING: Chief Engineer's Office

          STAFF CONTACT: Margie McAllister

          SUMMARY OF COMMENTS:

          The EPA proposes three options for setting an updated baseline year for conformity purposes. The baseline is used for interim conformity tests when there is no applicable motor vehicle emissions budget. Option 1 would set the baseline at 2008, option 2 would define the baseline at whatever year is used to meet other air quality planning requirements, and option 3 would set the baseline at 2005. The TCEQ believes option 2 is the best choice because it would provide needed flexibility for implementing the rule and decrease the need for revising the rule in the future.

          TCEQ also believes EPAs rule language should provide interagency consultation partners (which includes EPA regional staff) flexibility in selecting the best conformity baseline year for air quality purposes for the specific nonattainment area. Option 2 should apply to all national ambient air quality standards that are incorporated into the EPAs transportation conformity rule, not just the standards referenced in the proposal (particulate matter). The rest of the proposed rule revision incorporates the 2006 PM2.5 and PM10 national ambient air quality standards into existing conformity requirements, and provides a minor clarification of existing hot-spot conformity requirements.

          Although the proposed rule revision does not affect the current conformity situation in Texas, comments are provided to encourage consistency and efficiency in anticipation of implementing transportation conformity for the 2008 eight-hour ozone standard.

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          DATE SUBMITTED: 06/23/09

          SHORT TITLE: Proposed Endangerment and Cause or Contribute Findings for Greenhouse Gases Under Section 202(a) of the Clean Air Act

          SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

          OFFICE PREPARING: Chief Engineer's Office

          STAFF CONTACT: Minor Hibbs

          SUMMARY OF COMMENTS:

          The Executive Director of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) believes the Clean Air Act (CAA) is not an appropriate vehicle to regulate Greenhouse Gases (GHG). For the most part, the CAA assumes that state and local governments are able through regulations and permit requirements to implement emission controls that will improve air quality. GHG are distributed relatively uniformly throughout the world and state and local emission controls would have little or no impact on global concentrations.

          The Executive Director does not believe that any regulatory mechanisms under the CAA are suited for control of substances which, like GHG, are uniformly distributed throughout the world. The result would be the imposition of expensive, burdensome regulations with little or no chance of success without similar controls implemented worldwide.

          The Executive Director strongly believes it is inappropriate for EPA to move forward on the Endangerment and Cause or Contribute findings without consideration of the regulatory mechanisms to be used to implement the findings and without consideration of the economic impacts on Texas and the nation as a result of such regulations.

          The Executive Director believes that the Administrator should withdraw the endangerment finding and conduct a thoughtful review of the totality of scientific research as well as conduct a comprehensive cost-benefit analysis. At the very least, the Administrator should provide additional time for reviewers to conduct a more comprehensive evaluation of this information. The ramifications of this endangerment finding are too significant to be based on such a limited analysis.

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          DATE SUBMITTED: 06/09/09

          SHORT TITLE: Mandatory Reporting of Greenhouse Gases

          SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

          OFFICE PREPARING: Chief Engineer's Office

          STAFF CONTACT: Brian Foster

          SUMMARY OF COMMENTS:

          The Executive Director of TCEQ provided detailed comments on the following various aspects of the proposal: Delegation to States; Implications for Current State Administered Federal Programs; Role of States; Verification Option; Reporting Burden; Impact on Small Business and Local Governments; Characterization and Unintended Consequences of Reporting; State and Local Transportation Data; and, Vehicle Fleets.

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          DATE SUBMITTED: 02/23/09

          SHORT TITLE: Proposed Rule to Implement the 1997 Eight-Hour Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standard

          SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

          OFFICE PREPARING: Chief Engineer's Office

          STAFF CONTACT: Margaret Earnest

          SUMMARY OF COMMENTS:

          TCEQ comments address three issues:

          1. Reclassification of Subpart 1 eight-hour ozone nonattainment areas
          Comment: Support for proposal that areas originally covered under Subpart 1 that have been redesignated to attainment not be affected by the reclassifications; and support for language in the preamble limiting the reclassifications under Subpart 2 to this rulemaking only, leaving open the possibility that classifications for other ozone standards could occur under Subpart 1 in the future.

          2. Anti-backsliding provisions relating to the one-hour ozone standard
          New Source Review Permitting Requirement and Federal Clean Air Act, §185 Penalty Fee Requirement
          Comment: Removal of the provision to allow New Source Review permits to be processed without concurrent proposal of regulations regarding how to implement New Source Review anti-backsliding creates an unreasonable administrative burden for states. The EPA should move quickly to propose guidance and/or regulations to states to prevent misalignment between federal and state rules.

          Contingency Measures Requirement
          Comment: Comment that the use of the Clean Data Policy does not resolve one-hour ozone planning requirements adequately; and that the revocation of the standard does not remove the EPAs authority to make redesignations to attainment, given that anti-backsliding requirements still apply.

          3. Deletion of an obsolete provision in the one-hour ozone standard (40 CFR §50.9)
          Comment: None.

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          DATE SUBMITTED: 02/11/09

          SHORT TITLE: Standards of Performance for New Stationary Sources and Emission Guidelines for Existing Sources: Hospital/Medical/Infectious Waste Incinerators

          SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

          OFFICE PREPARING: Office of Permitting and Registration

          STAFF CONTACT: Lisa Martin

          SUMMARY OF COMMENTS:

          TCEQ Air Permits Division staff recommend that the EPA modify a perceived outdated and inaccurate exemption provision that is currently contained within Subpart Ec, §60.50c(e). The current exemption concerns Subparts Cb, Ea, or Eb, but should be amended to include units subject to exemptions for Subpart AAAA or Subpart BBBB.

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          DATE SUBMITTED: 01/27/09

          SHORT TITLE: Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans; Texas; Public Participation on Permits for New and Modified Sources

          SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

          OFFICE PREPARING: Office of Legal Services

          STAFF CONTACT: Janis Hudson

          SUMMARY OF COMMENTS:

          TCEQs notice rules are consistent with earlier versions of the public participation rules that have been SIP-approved by EPA. TCEQs rules, in some cases, exceed federal requirements. TCEQs basis for this position is that: (1) EPA has provided states great latitude in developing their minor new source review programs, including public participation for those programs, and therefore full and fair notice should be given if EPA wants to impose specific requirements for TCEQs rules; and, (2) EPA should provide Texas the same deference as other states (which occurred after TCEQs rules were adopted in 1999) regarding the flexibility of Texas program. However, the comments acknowledge that some rule amendments are needed to: ensure the rule text adequately and completely reflect our notice practice; address miscellaneous specific requirements that are not included; and, provide updates and correct cross-references.

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          DATE SUBMITTED: 09/05/08

          SHORT TITLE: Federal Land Managers' Air Quality Related Values Work Group (FLAG)

          SUBMITTED TO: National Park Service

          OFFICE PREPARING: Office of Permitting, Remediation, and Registration

          STAFF CONTACT: Lisa Martin

          SUMMARY OF COMMENTS:

          The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) staff supports all efforts to refine the FLAG Phase I Report - Revised. The TCEQ agrees that a consistent, transparent approach is needed and TCEQ comments are intended to provide the state perspective as well as update the FLM on comments made to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on related rule packages - Prevention of Significant Deterioration New Source Review: Refinement of Increment Modeling Procedures and Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) for Particulate Matter Less Than 2.5 Micrometers (PM2.5)--Increments, Significant Impact Levels (SILs) and Significant Monitoring Concentration (SMC). The TCEQ has targeted 11 areas of interest and included the necessary, specific supporting information.

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          DATE SUBMITTED: 08/26/08

          SHORT TITLE: EPA Classification of Ozone Nonattainment Areas Under the New Ozone NAAQS

          SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

          OFFICE PREPARING: Chief Engineer's Office

          STAFF CONTACT: Susana Hildebrand, P.E.

          SUMMARY OF COMMENTS:

          The TCEQ requests that the U.S. EPA develop a more sensible classification system and proposes an option developed by TCEQ staff that would allow nonattainment areas a more reasonable amount of time to attain the standard.

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          DATE SUBMITTED: 08/20/08

          SHORT TITLE: EPA's Proposed Rule to Implement the 1997 8-Hour Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standard

          SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

          OFFICE PREPARING: Chief Engineer's Office

          STAFF CONTACT: Santos Olizarez

          SUMMARY OF COMMENTS:

          The TCEQ finds that the proposal does not address how General Conformity will be treated under the new requirements. Although similar to Transportation Conformity requirements in that General Conformity is only required in nonattainment and maintenance areas, General Conformity determinations are based on emissions budgets adopted in state implementation plans. The TCEQ recommends developing comments requesting clarity on how General Conformity is to be addressed in the Phase 2 rule.

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          DATE SUBMITTED: 08/12/08

          SHORT TITLE: Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans; Texas; Control of Emissions of Nitrogen Oxides (NOx) From Stationary Sources

          SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

          OFFICE PREPARING: Chief Engineer's Office

          STAFF CONTACT: Vincent Meiller

          SUMMARY OF COMMENTS:

          EPA made a number of incorrect references in the Federal Register notice that could imply that certain pre-existing Chapter 117 rules were revised with substantive changes during the rulemaking or were associated with the DFW eight-hour ozone attainment demonstration SIP revision when in reality were associated with other nonattainment areas. In several instances EPA refers to rules that only apply in the Houston-Galveston-Brazoria ozone nonattainment area when discussing rules that result in reductions that will help the DFW area. The proposal also makes overlapping references to the new Chapter 117 East Texas Combustion rule for stationary rich-burn gas-fired engines and to the existing Chapter 117 Utility Electric Generation in East and Central Texas rules for electric generation facilities in East and Central Texas. These incorrect references may cause affected parties to assume substantive changes were made to parts of Chapter 117 where no changes were made.

          EPA proposed to approve the NOx emission specifications for stationary diesel engines at major sources in DFW. However, EPA excluded the diesel engine NOx emission specifications for the new Chapter 117 DFW eight-hour ozone nonattainment area Minor Source Rule.

          In the list of sections to be excluded from the Texas SIP, a non-existent subsection, §117.3010(e), is listed as being withheld from the SIP. This error is the result of a typographical error in the adoption preamble of the Chapter 117 reorganization rulemaking and the appropriate citation from that section that should have been withheld is §117.3010(2).

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          DATE SUBMITTED: 06/23/08

          SHORT TITLE: New Source Performance Standards Review for Nonmetallic Mineral Processing Plants

          SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

          OFFICE PREPARING: Office of Compliance and Enforcement

          STAFF CONTACT: Joe Janecka

          SUMMARY OF COMMENTS:

          TCEQ submitted edits to several portions of the proposed rule to improve the practical enforceability of the following details: proposed definition of "saturated material", 7-day notice on Method 9 tests, Table 2 readability (EPA is soliciting comments and TCEQ submits an opinion), periodic water spray inspection and corrections, electronic-only records, and clarification of synthetic gypsum as a non-metallic mineral.

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          DATE SUBMITTED: 05/27/08

          SHORT TITLE: NESHAP: Area Source Standards for Nine Metal Fabrication and Finishing Source Categories

          SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

          OFFICE PREPARING: Office of Permitting, Remediation, and Registration

          STAFF CONTACT: Lisa Martin

          SUMMARY OF COMMENTS:

          TCEQ supports the proposed rule and submits specific comments to streamline the requirements for existing sources and make the requirements more stringent for new sources. Specific comments include suggestions regarding general applicability and compliance with the proposed rule as well as comments regarding the specific control requirements for dry abrasive blasting, dry grinding, and spray painting operations.

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          DATE SUBMITTED: 04/14/08

          SHORT TITLE: Revisions to the General Conformity Regulations

          SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

          OFFICE PREPARING: Chief Engineer's Office

          STAFF CONTACT: Koy Howard

          SUMMARY OF COMMENTS:

          EPA is proposing to add a new section to allow for a facility-wide emission budget approach. Once this budget is approved, minor actions under the control of the facility where an analysis determines that the emissions are below a de minimis threshold could proceed with no conformity determination. If the emissions were determined to be above the de minimis threshold, the facility could demonstrate that the emissions from the proposed action along with the emissions at the facility are within the EPA approved facility-wide emission budget and that no conformity determination was necessary. The TCEQ supports this proposal which provides facilities with flexibility in determining if new activities at the facility are within their approved budget and within thresholds that would not require conformity determinations.

          EPA is proposing a new section to establish an early emission reduction credit program and incorporate the use of early emissions reduction credits into the regulations. If the credits are issued, then a federal agency can use the credits to reduce the total of direct and indirect emissions from a proposed action.

          The TCEQ supports this proposal as the reduction credits would have to be quantifiable, consistent with the SIP attainment and reasonable further progress demonstrations, enforceable and permanent within the timeframe established by the credit program.

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          DATE SUBMITTED: 02/20/08

          SHORT TITLE: Final Eight-Hour Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards Designations for the Early Action Compact Areas

          SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

          OFFICE PREPARING: Chief Engineer's Office

          STAFF CONTACT: Walker Williamson

          SUMMARY OF COMMENTS:

          The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) supports the San Antonio areas designation as attainment for eight-hour ozone. The TCEQ acknowledges and praises the areas proactive efforts, which enabled it to reach attainment of the eight-hour ozone standard without the restrictions of nonattainment status, and the areas commitment to the protection of public health through improved air quality.

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          DATE SUBMITTED: 02/07/08

          SHORT TITLE: Midlothian Area Air Quality Part 1: Volatile Organic Compounds & Metals

          SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

          OFFICE PREPARING: Chief Engineer's Office

          STAFF CONTACT: Tracie Phillips, Ph.D.

          SUMMARY OF COMMENTS:

          General Comment
          In general, there appear to be major errors in the interpretation of TCEQs air monitoring data throughout the document, as well as discrepancies with the numbers used for the evaluation. Comments specific to the four reasons for the DSHS classification are:
          1. These eighteen chemicals do not have toxicity values available as they are considered relatively non-toxic. However, they can be evaluated via other means (i.e., chemical surrogate and Cramer Classification). The Toxicology Section (TS) conducted these evaluations and found no adverse health effects would be expected in association with these chemicals. Results of the TS evaluations will be provided to DSHS.
          2. The TS has previously provided DSHS with evidence (references and data) showing it is not reasonable to assume that chromium(VI) accounts for 100% of the total chromium concentration. EPA has determined that the range which chromium(VI) represents of total chromium is 0.4 to 70%. Also, ATSDR states that chromium(VI) is rapidly reduced to chromium(III) in the atmosphere.
          3. DSHS should be able to make conclusions regarding the constituents included in this report (i.e., volatile organic compounds, inorganic compounds, and metals) without additional information relating to NAAQS compounds, which are to be included in a separate report.
          4. Routine VOC monitoring began in the Midlothian area in 1993 as part of the Community Air Toxics Monitoring Network, and has continued at up to three sites. Routine metals monitoring in that area has been conducted for various periods of time (1981 to present), depending at least in part on the particle size of federal regulatory emphasis. Data gaps notwithstanding, the VOC and metals air monitoring data from the Midlothian area compose an impressively rich data set.

          POTENTIAL IMPACT ON TCEQ:
          The Indeterminate Public Health Hazard finding regarding air toxics in Midlothian may lead citizens and elected officials to believe the air quality is causing health impacts when air toxics monitoring in the Midlothian area not only indicates acceptable air quality but also better air quality than most monitored areas of the country. This concern could lead to pressure on TCEQ to shift resources from areas of concern in order to expend more resources in the Midlothian area.

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          DATE SUBMITTED: 01/30/08

          SHORT TITLE: Clean Air Act Reclassification of the Houston/Galveston/Brazoria Ozone Nonattainment Area; Texas

          SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

          OFFICE PREPARING: Chief Engineer's Office

          STAFF CONTACT: Lola Brown

          SUMMARY OF COMMENTS:

          General Comment
          The TCEQ supports the EPAs proposal to grant a voluntary reclassification in accordance with the FCAA, §181(b)(3). The TCEQ supports an April 2010 HGB SIP submittal date and attainment of the standard as expeditiously as practicable, but no later than June 15, 2019. The TCEQ does not support an earlier submittal deadline. A December 2008 deadline would mean that all technical work on the HGB SIP would be discontinued. The SIP revision would contain little more than outdated modeling (2000 episode) and a control strategy package that relies solely on fleet turnover from federal rules.

          It is imperative that the EPA provide the TCEQ adequate time to develop a comprehensive and technically sound HGB eight-hour ozone attainment demonstration. If the TCEQ does not have sufficient time to include 2006 data, the HGB SIP and improvement in air quality in the HGB area may be delayed because the TCEQ will not have adequate data to support implementing appropriate rules as expeditiously as practicable.

          There are three principal components that are critical in developing the eight-hour attainment demonstration for the HGB area: photochemical modeling demonstration, control strategy development, and the stakeholder process. The TCEQ plans to complete these activities by April 2010.

          SIP-relevant analyses from data collected as a part of TexAQS II (Texas Air Quality Study) in 2005 and 2006 are now becoming available. The April 2010 submittal date allows the state to incorporate TexAQS II data related to emission inventory, photochemistry, and meteorology into the technical work.

          The TCEQ will use the 2006 Nitrogen Oxide (NOX) and VOC Emissions Inventory (EI) year for control strategy development. However, processing and quality assuring the 2006 EI, which is being expedited for the HGB area, will not be complete until early 2008, meaning some of the early aspects of control strategy development cannot begin until spring 2008. The 2006 EI year will represent the most accurate VOC EI for the HGB area to date, which is critical considering the under representation of VOC emissions in previous HGB SIP modeling.

          Since the air quality challenges in the HGB area require emissions reduction from all source categories and from local governments, broad involvement and participation from different sectors of the community will be needed. Providing enough time to prepare for and involve interested parties will result in a more defensible SIP.

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          DATE SUBMITTED: 01/16/08

          SHORT TITLE: National Ambient Air Quality Standards for Lead

          SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

          OFFICE PREPARING: Chief Engineer's Office

          STAFF CONTACT: Jim Price

          SUMMARY OF COMMENTS:

          General Comment
          There are multiple pathways for lead exposure, including lead in food, consumer products, lead paint in old housing, and ambient air. Because there are multiple pathways, meeting a NAAQS for lead, no matter how low the standard is, cannot ensure protection of public health from lead toxicity. Instead, a NAAQS for lead is only one of a number of risk reduction steps that must be combined to protect public health. If the EPA establishes a more stringent NAAQS, the EPA should select a reasonable level that does not divert public health resources from effective efforts to reduce public exposure to lead from paint in houses, consumer products, and contaminated soil.

          Whether the EPA reaffirms the current NAAQS for lead, makes it more stringent, or revokes it, EPA should adopt appropriate, cost-effective monitoring requirements for ambient air at potentially significant industrial sources, mainly primary and secondary lead smelters, to ensure against toxicologically significant exposure to lead through ambient air. If the EPA does not have the authority to require this monitoring without a NAAQS for lead, the EPA should retain a NAAQS for lead.

          The EPA should either continue using the current calendar quarter averaging period or change to a rolling three-month averaging time whether the EPA keeps or changes the level of the standard. Instead of shortening the NAAQS averaging time, a more appropriate way to address the need for a quick response to short-term high ambient air lead concentrations and to sudden increases in lead concentrations is prompt enforcement of the National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAPS) Maximum Achievable Control Technology (MACT) standards and state/local rules and permit requirements for upsets.

          Depending on EPA's final action, enhanced monitoring may be required which could increase capital and operating costs and work load, affecting the TCEQs Monitoring Operations Division and regional offices. A lowering of the standard could result in nonattainment areas in Texas, and these nonattainment areas would require SIP revisions.

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          DATE SUBMITTED: 11/30/07

          SHORT TITLE: Determination of Nonattainment and Reclassification of the Beaumont/Port Arthur 8-Hour Ozone Nonattainment Area

          SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

          OFFICE PREPARING: Chief Engineer's Office

          STAFF CONTACT: Walker Williamson

          SUMMARY OF COMMENTS:

          General Comment
          The TCEQ recognizes that the 2004, 2005, and 2006 eight-hour ozone data indicate that the BPA areas design value was not below 0.08 parts per million (ppm). For any SIP revision, the most current and robust technical work is optimal. However, due to the short timeframe for submittal, if the TCEQ is required to submit an attainment demonstration SIP revision for the area by January 1, 2009, use of existing and somewhat outdated technical work would be necessary. The commission notes that the 2005, 2006, and 2007 eight-hour ozone data indicate that the area now attains the standard.

          While the TCEQ anticipates continued monitored attainment, the TCEQ requests clarification regarding the following:

          If, after notice and comment rulemaking, EPA determines that the area does attain the standard at the end of 2007, the requirement to submit SIPs related to attainment of the standard shall be suspended until such time as (1) the area is redesignated to attainment, at which time the requirements no longer apply; or (2) EPA determines that the area has violated the 8-hour ozone NAAQS (40 CFR 51.918).

          It is unclear whether the EPA would publish notice and take comment regarding a new SIP submittal deadline should the BPA area violate the standard after the determination has been made that SIP requirements are suspended.

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          DATE SUBMITTED: 11/19/07

          SHORT TITLE: Prevention of Significant Deterioration for Particulate Matter Less Than 2.5 Micrometers

          SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

          OFFICE PREPARING: Office of Permitting, Remediation, and Registration

          STAFF CONTACT: Beryl Thatcher

          SUMMARY OF COMMENTS:

          General Comment
          Due to the complexity of the issues contained in the proposed rule notice, the TCEQ has developed a detailed response that includes comments on various issues. These issues include: options to establish increments for PM2.5, SILs, options for PM2.5 SMC, and the proposed effective dates and deadlines.

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          DATE SUBMITTED: 10/31/07

          SHORT TITLE: NESHAP from Petroleum Refineries

          SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

          OFFICE PREPARING: Chief Engineer's Office

          STAFF CONTACT: Vincent Meiller

          SUMMARY OF COMMENTS:

          General Comment
          EPA included language that appears to indicate that EPA would allow the use of air stripping methods that determine strippable volatile organic compounds (VOC) as an alternative surrogate approach to monitoring. An air stripping method is commonly used in TCEQ permitting requirements and in some TCEQ rules, e.g., 30 Texas Administrative Code Chapter 115, §115.764, for cooling tower monitoring of VOC. However, while one such air stripping method is frequently referred to as the "El Paso Method," the term "VOC El Paso" is not defined. TCEQ recommends that if EPA's intent is to allow such air stripping methods then EPA should specifically cite such methods or define "VOC El Paso."

          EPA stated (Federal Register 50723) that existing industry monitoring of surrogate parameters will only detect large leaks. In general, TCEQ agrees with regard to surrogate parameters such as total organic carbon, chlorine usage, and other similar methods. However, TCEQ disagrees with EPA's characterization with regard to air stripping methods such as the procedures mentioned above. Air stripping systems coupled with gas chromatography analysis of the stripped gas sample can achieve detection limits in some cases less than 1.0 part-per-billion by weight in the cooling water. In addition, air stripping systems have the advantage of being enclosed stripping systems that eliminate potential loss of highly volatile compounds such as 1,3-butadiene that could be lost during the sample collection procedure of 40 CFR 61, §61.355(c)(1) cited by EPA in the proposed regulation. TCEQ suggests that EPA consider allowing air stripping methods coupled with speciation techniques as an alternative to EPA Method 8260B for compounds that the regulated entity can demonstrate comparable sensitivity to EPA Method 8260B.

          Some of the compounds listed in Table 1 to 40 CFR 63 Subpart CC are not listed on the target list of EPA Method 8260B. TCEQ recommends that EPA reevaluate the appropriateness of Method 8260B for the compounds on Table 1 and, if necessary, specify suitable alternative methods for compounds that Method 8260B is not appropriate.

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          DATE SUBMITTED: 10/16/07

          SHORT TITLE: NESHAP: Paint Stripping and Miscellaneous Surface Coating Operations at Area Sources

          SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

          OFFICE PREPARING: Office of Permitting, Remediation, and Registration

          STAFF CONTACT: Beryl Thatcher

          SUMMARY OF COMMENTS:

          General Comment
          Due to the complexity of the issues contained in the proposed rule notice, the TCEQ has developed a detailed response that includes comments on various issues, including the requirements to install paint booths, testing methods, insufficient types of coating application equipment allowed, and the cost of training for operators.

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          DATE SUBMITTED: 10/09/07

          SHORT TITLE: National Ambient Air Quality Standards for Ozone

          SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

          OFFICE PREPARING: Chief Engineer's Office

          STAFF CONTACT: Neeraja Erraguntla

          SUMMARY OF COMMENTS:

          General Comment
          Texas could experience significant economic impacts if the standard is lowered. However, the epidemiological and clinical studies used by EPA to support lowering the ozone NAAQS do not adequately demonstrate attributing the adverse effects only to ozone.

          Texas currently has twenty counties in three designated ozone nonattainment areas, three counties in one deferred nonattainment area with an Early Action Compact, and, ten counties in two other areas with Early Action Compacts. (Increasing the precision of the current standard would mean that an additional five counties would exceed the standard.)

          If the standard is lowered to 0.075 ppm, ten additional counties would exceed the standard, resulting in four new nonattainment areas. However, if the standard is lowered to 0.060 ppm, every county in Texas that has an ozone monitor would exceed the standard, resulting in twelve nonattainment areas.

          Texas is using every opportunity to address its ozone problems. New standards would be difficult to meet. The EPA should recognize that much of the remaining emissions sources are mobile sources which states are largely preempted from regulating.

          At proposed levels, background ozone levels in Texas are already high enough to make it difficult for many areas to attain the proposed standard.

          This proposal does not contain implementation guidance. The current State Implementation Plan process must be thoroughly reconsidered and revised to have any hope in meeting a new standard in a timely manner. The process will need to place greater accountability on the federal government to do their share to address interstate transport and mobile sources. Because of the increased complexities with the proposed standard, current funding provided to states from the EPA will not be adequate to address any expected implementation requirements.

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          DATE SUBMITTED: 08/07/07

          SHORT TITLE: Prevention of Significant Deterioration New Source Review: Refinement of Increment Modeling Procedures

          SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

          OFFICE PREPARING: Office of Permitting, Remediation, and Registration

          STAFF CONTACT: Beryl Thatcher

          SUMMARY OF COMMENTS:

          General Comment
          Due to the complexity of the issues contained in the proposed rule notice, the TCEQ has developed a detailed response that includes comments on various issues including the eight areas summarized on page 31379 of the preamble and the 14 proposals contained in the Western States Air Resources Council (WESTAR) Recommendations for Improving the Prevention of Significant Deterioration Program, May 2005. These issues range from procedures that address air dispersion modeling techniques and guidance to rule changes that amend the process used to calculate emission rates and require the inclusion of mobile source and area source emissions in addition to stationary source emissions in increment analyses.

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          DATE SUBMITTED: 08/01/07

          SHORT TITLE: Standards of Performance for Petroleum Refineries

          SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

          OFFICE PREPARING: Office of Permitting, Remediation, and Registration

          STAFF CONTACT: Tara Capobianco

          SUMMARY OF COMMENTS:

          General Comment
          The TCEQ recommends a total particulate matter (PM) standard be used in best available control technology (BACT) determinations when permitting fluid catalytic cracking units (FCCU) in Texas. TCEQ supports a control requirement of 1.0 lb. total PM (condensable and non-condensable) per 1000 lbs. coke burn and encourages the EPA to continue to improve Method 202.

          The TCEQ requests the EPA to clarify whether the intent is to set stricter standards for sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide, and nitrogen oxides when oxygen enrichment is used for FCCUs. The EPA acknowledged the availability of oxygen enrichment for FCCUs and has adjusted the coke burnoff determination methods to accommodate that possibility. However, the impact that oxygen enrichment might have on concentrations of other pollutants has not been considered, and the equation as written would result in stricter standards when using oxygen enrichment. The TCEQ also requests the EPA to clarify the intent in cases where oxygen enrichment is used for sulfur recovery units.

          The emission limitations include several long-term averaging periods, including 7-day and 365-day periods. The TCEQ requests the EPA clarify how compliance with these limitations should be determined when startup, shutdown, and malfunction activities occur during the averaging of time.

          Regarding the coke burn-off rate Equation 2 on page 27210, the definition of the K2 constant appears to incorrectly reference "%" (concentration), when there is no "%" multiplier in the term K2Qa in Equation 2 (Qa is a volumetric flow rate).

          The TCEQ recommends that § 60.107a(b), Exemption from H2S monitoring requirement for low-sulfur gas streams located on page 27217, be authorized with mandated records and testing instead of being approved by the administrator.

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          DATE SUBMITTED: 07/19/07

          SHORT TITLE: Model-Based Analysis and Tracking of Airborne Mercury Emissions to Assist in Watershed Planning

          SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

          OFFICE PREPARING: Chief Engineer's Office

          STAFF CONTACT: Dave Harper

          SUMMARY OF COMMENTS:

          General Comment
          The EPA plans to conduct additional modeling with updated emissions from the 1999 2002 period modeled previously to represent the 2001 base year. The TCEQ is concerned that these emissions data are outdated, and believes that any further mercury modeling conducted by the EPA for this study should be based on emissions inventory data developed and quality assured by the states for recent years.

          The TCEQ also has concerns about the methodology the EPA employed for assigning mercury speciation profiles to sources, particularly for electric generating units (EGUs). The EPAs methodology for assigning speciation profiles to EGUs having stack test data appears to be inappropriate in some cases, in that the EPA used speciation profile averaging techniques instead of explicitly using stack test data for each unit. For some units or plants, the EPAs speciation procedure is not clear. The TCEQ recommends that EPA should make documentation available explaining how speciation profiles were developed for individual EGUs, units of other source types, and plant-wide composites.

          The TCEQ recognizes the EPAs report provides a demonstration of a potentially useful source tagging methodology that can be used for assessing mercury deposition attributable to specific sources or source categories. The TCEQ looks forward to having the opportunity to use the associated graphical analysis tool to determine its usefulness for future planning.

          The TCEQ recommends that the EPA caution users of information from the study that the modeling is based on emissions inventory information that is outdated, and that the reported results should thus be regarded as largely a demonstration of the source tagging methodology and not necessarily applicable to current mercury deposition values or deposition spatial distributions. Additionally, the TCEQ recommends that the EPA emphasize that recent emissions inventories should be used for regulatory planning.

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          DATE SUBMITTED: 07/02/07

          SHORT TITLE: Control of Emissions of Air Pollution From Locomotive Engines and Marine Compression-Ignition Engines

          SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

          OFFICE PREPARING: Chief Engineer's Office

          STAFF CONTACT: Morris Brown

          SUMMARY OF COMMENTS:

          General Comment
          The EPA requested comment on whether to set emission standards for existing large marine diesel engines when they are remanufactured. The TCEQ supports establishing emission standards for remanufactured compression-ignition marine engines with per-cylinder displacement below 30.0 liters per cylinder that would be similar to the emission standards proposed for remanufactured and/or refurbished locomotive engines.

          The EPA also requested comment on whether refurbished locomotives should be required to meet more stringent standards than locomotives that are simply remanufactured. The TCEQ believes the emission standards for refurbished locomotives should be consistent with those applicable to remanufactured locomotives since the only real difference between these classifications is the amount of previously used engine components being exchanged. The TCEQ supports establishing emission standards that would require both refurbished and remanufactured locomotives to meet the highest tier of emission standards applicable to new line-haul or switch locomotives as appropriate at the time of the locomotives refurbishment.

          The TCEQ encourages the EPA to proceed expeditiously toward final adoption of the rules to provide states working toward compliance with the NAAQS for ozone and PM2.5 much needed emissions reductions as soon as possible.

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          DATE SUBMITTED: 06/14/07

          SHORT TITLE: Revisions to Definitions in CAIR/CAMR Program Rules

          SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

          OFFICE PREPARING: Chief Engineer's Office

          STAFF CONTACT: Kim Herndon

          SUMMARY OF COMMENTS:

          General Comment
          State specific air shed analysis for the effects of the proposed rule was not provided. For Texas to make an informed decision and meaningfully comment as to the proposed rule makings impacts on the Texas air shed, analysis should have been provided to show the impacts on the air shed of excluding biomass electric generating units with the proposed revised efficiency exemption from participation in CAIR and CAMR. In particular, there is no information as to the number of existing units in the neighboring states that may qualify for the proposed revised efficiency exemption that would impact the Texas air shed.

          Timing of the Proposed Rule Change
          If additional rule changes to CAIR and CAMR are required for states, Texas would need additional time to incorporate any federal rule changes. The proposed rule would still require states to provide allowance allocations to the EPA by October 31, 2007. However, if this rule package is not finalized until sometime during the summer or fall of 2007, Texas would not have adequate time to make the necessary revisions. The plan and rule revision process for Texas requires a minimum of nine months and that would only allow a few months between finalizing EPAs rules and the required submission date of the CAIR and CAMR allowance allocations to the EPAs Clean Air Markets Division. If adequate time is not provided to make the necessary changes, Texas will be forced to continue under federal plans for both CAIR and CAMR. This result is inconsistent with Texas' desired program for implementing these important initiatives.

          Allocation Amendments for CAIR and CAMR
          The EPA has requested comments on the possibility of revisions to states CAIR and CAMR budgets. Texas is opposed to any additional changes to states budgets. The potential effect would cause Texas to make amendments to our plans, as well as allocations that have already been distributed to Texas sources. Texas sources have already been made aware of their allocations and have planned accordingly.

          Definition Clarification for Total Energy Input
          The EPA did not propose to change the model rule definition of total energy input that is currently defined as with regard to cogeneration unit, total energy of all forms supplied to the cogeneration unit, excluding energy produced by the cogeneration unit itself. Therefore, the rule text was changed, but not the definition in the model rule. It is unclear if this would mean total energy input equals only the input from fossil fuels if the proposed conditions are met. If this is the case, both the definition and the use of the definition in the rule text should be revised to reflect this.

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          DATE SUBMITTED: 05/31/07

          SHORT TITLE: Transportation Conformity Rule Amendments

          SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

          OFFICE PREPARING: Chief Engineer's Office

          STAFF CONTACT: Margie McAllister

          SUMMARY OF COMMENTS:

          TCEQ supports inclusion in the federal conformity rule of the SAFETEA-LU flexibilities and streamlining, and other changes. These changes should provide nonattainment and maintenance areas more time to plan, identify, and implement air quality strategies.

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          DATE SUBMITTED: 04/10/07

          SHORT TITLE: Public Hearings and Submission of Plans

          SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

          OFFICE PREPARING: Chief Engineer's Office

          STAFF CONTACT: Kim Herndon

          SUMMARY OF COMMENTS:

          TCEQ generally supports EPA’s recommended changes. However, clarity needs to be provided to determine whether states will have the option to hold hearings without providing an opportunity to request a hearing, as the state deems appropriate.

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          DATE SUBMITTED: 03/22/07

          SHORT TITLE: Control of Air Pollution From New Motor Vehicles and New Motor Vehicle Engines—Heavy-Duty Vehicle and Engine Standards; Onboard Diagnostic Requirements

          SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

          OFFICE PREPARING: Chief Engineer's Office

          STAFF CONTACT: Bob Wierzowiecki

          SUMMARY OF COMMENTS:

          TCEQ supports the proposed rule by requiring a standardized emissions control monitoring system such as OBD for gasoline and diesel vehicles weighing over 14,000 pounds. Since heavy-duty vehicles, especially diesel vehicles, have an extended useful life often lasting hundreds of thousands of miles, the need to detect emissions-related problems throughout the operational period is important in reducing nitrogen oxides (NOx) and particulate matter (PM) emissions. This Heavy-Duty OBD rulemaking will provide an option for states to consider in meeting their State Implementation Plan (SIP) requirements. However, the current Mobile6.2 model and the new mobile model under development, Motor Vehicles Emissions Simulator (MOVES) do not provide any credit for conducting diesel testing. The mobile model should be designed so that states are able to take SIP credits for implementing a diesel I/M program.

          TCEQ also supports the consideration of future rulemaking that would require OBD systems on non-road heavy-duty diesel engines. Non-road heavy-duty vehicles are a source of NOx and PM and, similar to heavy-duty vehicles, have an extended useful life lasting many years. The implementation of OBD on non-road heavy-duty vehicles would assist in the maintenance and repair of these vehicles and provide a means to ensure these vehicles continue to emit at low emissions levels.

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          DATE SUBMITTED: 03/08/07

          SHORT TITLE: National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants: General Provisions

          SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

          OFFICE PREPARING: Office of Permitting, Remediation, and Registration

          STAFF CONTACT: Tara Capobianco

          SUMMARY OF COMMENTS:

          The primary purpose of the proposal is to allow major sources to become area sources by limiting emissions to area source emission levels at any time, regardless of the compliance date. Staff agrees with this initiative, since it would enhance compliance understanding by simplifying applicability determinations, and eliminate resource costs of tracking historic applicability dates and emissions for this purpose. Owners and operators may also be encouraged to reduce emissions beyond the MACT applicability thresholds. The initiative would also allow staff to plan outreach based on need and workload, instead of compliance dates of MACT standards. Some groups have expressed opposition in the past when EPA previously proposed to change the policy. Therefore, staff recommends submitting a comment letter in support of the initiative. Further, some entities support the May 2003 proposal, which allowed sites to avoid MACT requirements only for sources that completely eliminate HAPs. Eliminating HAP emissions completely may not be realistic for all industries.

          The EPA has also included in the proposal concepts of case-by-case analysis and inquiry on changes between major and area source status. Because these changes impact commission resources and can impact environmental protection, staff recommends submitting specific comments on the initiative. The areas of interest include (1) when owners and operators must comply with area source standards when changing from major to area source status, (2) when that source must comply if it changes again to be a major source, and (3) the proposals to use case-by-case analysis.

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          DATE SUBMITTED: 03/06/07

          SHORT TITLE: Revisions of Standards of Performance for New and Existing Stationary Sources

          SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

          OFFICE PREPARING: Chief Engineer's Office

          STAFF CONTACT: Kim Herndon

          SUMMARY OF COMMENTS:

          Modifications to the baseline for determining allowance allocations
          The EPA has not provided a clear delineation of how the proposed change of using a different baseline heat input period for calculating state unit allocations – from 2000-2004 to 2001-2005 - would take effect. The EPA should clarify if the revised baseline period would apply to state allocation calculations under the CAMR model rule or if it would be used only to calculate unit allocations under the proposed federal plan. The EPA should clarify if, when submitting an approvable plan, states will be required to change the baseline (2001-2005) for determining allowance allocations or if the CAMR model rule baseline (2000-2004) would apply.

          National set-aside for states and Indian Country that did not previously receive mercury emissions budgets
          The EPA is proposing to create a 300-pound annual set-aside for new unit generation in states and Indian Country that did not receive initial mercury emissions budgets for CAMR. The EPA is proposing to reduce each state’s mercury emission budget by 0.4 percent for years 2012-2017 and by one percent in 2018 and thereafter, to create the annual set-aside budget. The EPA is proposing that states would begin using their revised budgets in 2012. The EPA is proposing to distribute mercury allowances from the set-aside on a pro-rata basis to new units in states and Indian Country without mercury emissions budgets. However, the EPA is proposing to not redistribute excess allowances to the states or to make them available for purchase. The proposed rule does not specify how unused mercury allowances will be used. States currently participating in the EPA’s CAMR model trading rule are required to reallocate any remaining mercury allowances from the state set-asides. Any excess allowances in the federal set-aside should be made available as per the established distribution methodology for states in the model rule at 41 CFR 60.4142(d), as long as the nationwide budget is not increased.

          If the national mercury budget for states is revised to create the 300-pound set-aside, states would be required to revise rules and plans, and re-submit a revised plan to the EPA. If the proposed CAMR federal plan is adopted, the EPA would be required to record 2012 allocations by December 1, 2009. This deadline would require the EPA to finalize all changes associated with the CAMR federal plan and the subsequent rule changes as well as revisions to state budgets prior to October 31, 2009, for states to be able to submit their allocations. To accommodate the proposed changes in the CAMR state plans and the associated rules, Texas would need at least a year to make the needed revisions to its state plan and associated rule in addition to the time necessary for the EPA to approve a plan or allowance allocation methodology.

          Recording of mercury allowances by the EPA
          The proposal is unclear if October 31 is the deadline in each future year in which states would be required to submit their own mercury allocations, or if the October 31 date would only apply for states submitting allocations to the EPA in 2007.

          Timing Concerns
          The EPA needs to ensure that states receive adequate time to make the necessary changes to rules and revisions to state plans to limit the amount of time states will be under a federal plan. This process takes approximately one year to complete in Texas.

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          DATE SUBMITTED: 01/08/07

          SHORT TITLE: National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants for Source Categories

          SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

          OFFICE PREPARING: Chief Engineer's Office

          STAFF CONTACT: Danielle Nesvacil

          SUMMARY OF COMMENTS:

          The referenced storage tank requirements do not adequately address floating-roof tank landing loss emissions from bulk terminals, bulk plants, and pipeline facilities. TCEQ supports the three-year compliance period for the submerged fill requirements at bulk plants and at gasoline dispensing facilities in urban areas.

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          DATE SUBMITTED: 10/03/06

          SHORT TITLE: EPA’s Proposed 30% cut in the IMPROVE Monitoring Network

          SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

          OFFICE PREPARING: Chief Engineer's Office

          STAFF CONTACT: Jim Price

          SUMMARY OF COMMENTS:

          The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) has learned through the Central Regional Planning Association (CENRAP) about the U.S. EPA’s plans to reduce its funding of the Interagency Monitoring of Protected Visual Environments (IMPROVE) visibility monitoring used to determine visibility impairment at national parks and other Class 1 areas. The proposed funding cut would reduce the number of monitoring sites by 30 percent. The TCEQ strongly recommends that EPA continue full funding the IMPROVE visibility monitoring network.

          The long-term federal visibility improvement program under the regional haze rule is now getting under way. For this reason, it seems especially inappropriate for the EPA to consider cutting funding for the monitoring on which the clean air visibility rule is based. Similarly, given increasing demands on state and local air quality programs, it would also be inappropriate for EPA to obtain the funding to continue the IMPROVE monitoring by cutting funding to states, regional associations of states, or tribes. IMPROVE monitoring should continue to be a federal responsibility since the monitoring supports the federal visibility protection program for federal lands that are Class 1 areas.

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          DATE SUBMITTED: 09/05/06

          SHORT TITLE: Control Techniques Guidelines in Lieu of Regulations for Printing Materials, Coatings, and Cleaning Solvents

          SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

          OFFICE PREPARING: Chief Engineer's Office

          STAFF CONTACT: Teresa Hurley

          SUMMARY OF COMMENTS:

          EPA proposes to allow states only one year from the date the CTGs are finalized to submit SIP revisions incorporating the CTGs to EPA. One year is not enough time to review the CTG documents, determine what rule changes need to be made, communicate with stakeholders regarding the changes, and fulfill all the necessary steps in the rulemaking process. The task will be even more difficult because staff resources during this time period will be focused on preparing attainment demonstrations, which are due to EPA in June 2007. The VOC reductions that would be achieved in Texas by adopting the new CTGs would be minimal.

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          DATE SUBMITTED: 09/05/06

          SHORT TITLE: Electric Generating Unit NOx Annual and Season Allocations for the Clean Air Interstate Rule Federal Implementation Plan Trading Programs

          SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

          OFFICE PREPARING: Chief Engineer's Office

          STAFF CONTACT: Kim Herndon

          SUMMARY OF COMMENTS:

          The CAIR EGUs units that EPA is proposing to distribute NOx allocations do not match those EGUs that the TCEQ has listed as participating EGUs in the CAIR program. TCEQ found the following discrepancies in the NODA: eight EGUs are listed twice under different names; two EGUs are exempt from CAIR because of their megawatt capacity; one EGU is listed as an existing unit, but is considered new by EPA's definition; one EGU has the wrong unit number listed; one unit is not a CAIR unit because it does not supply power to the grid; one unit is not a CAIR unit; and, two units that are covered by CAIR are not on EPA's allocation list. If the state for any reason has to function under a CAIR FIP in the future, these NOx allocations need to be representative of the state's sources. If the EPA does not make the needed changes there is potential for EGUs not receiving the proper NOx allowance allocation if the state must function under a CAIR FIP. TCEQ strongly recommends that EPA make the changes highlighted above to accurately reflect Texas’ NOx allocations.

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          DATE SUBMITTED: 08/11/06

          SHORT TITLE: Boutique Fuels List Under Section 1541(b) of the Energy Policy Act

          SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

          OFFICE PREPARING: Chief Engineer's Office

          STAFF CONTACT: Guy Hoffman

          SUMMARY OF COMMENTS:

          The TCEQ offers the following comment to correct the affected area covered by the list of fuels approved in State Implementation Plans. Regarding the approved low emission diesel program, the list should be corrected to indicate the program applies to “Central & Eastern Texas (110 county area).” (The list published June 6 indicates incorrectly that the program applies only to “Houston & Dallas, TX.”)

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          DATE SUBMITTED: 07/10/06

          SHORT TITLE: Transition to New or Revised Particulate Matter National Ambient Air Quality Standards

          SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

          OFFICE PREPARING: Chief Engineer's Office

          STAFF CONTACT: Erik Gribbin

          SUMMARY OF COMMENTS:

          TCEQ comments focus on: schedules for any transitions to new PM NAAQS; suggestions and requests for additional Emissions Inventory resources that EPA could provide; and, suggestions for establishing new NSR and PSD requirements to account for the revocation of existing PM10 standards and adoption of new PM2.5 and PMcoarse standards.

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          DATE SUBMITTED: 06/05/06

          SHORT TITLE: Alternative Work Practice to Detect Leaks from Equipment

          SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

          OFFICE PREPARING: Chief Engineer's Office

          STAFF CONTACT: Vincent Meiller

          SUMMARY OF COMMENTS:

          TCEQ is opposed to the proposed approach of only incorporating the amendatory language in 40 CFR §60.18 and not revising the applicable subparts in 40 CFR Parts 60, 61, 63, and 65.
          A training and certification program should be required.
          Comments/concerns identified regarding the daily instrument check and leak survey procedure include: personnel performing daily instrument check and leak surveys; documentation and changes to user-adjustable settings and parameters; ambient conditions and location of the daily instrument check; the compounds used for the daily instrument check; documentation of the daily instrument check; and, overall adequacy of the procedure as well as the dwell time per component, appropriate background, contrast, and proper view of components.
          Method 21 should be used to verify leaks as well as repaired components.
          Recordkeeping and notification requirements are not adequate.
          The alternative work practice is not compatible with EPA’s stated preferred use of correlation equations for emissions inventory purposes.

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          DATE SUBMITTED: 05/09/06

          SHORT TITLE: Treatment of Data Influenced by Exceptional Events

          SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

          OFFICE PREPARING: Chief Engineer's Office

          STAFF CONTACT: Erik Gribbin

          SUMMARY OF COMMENTS:

          TCEQ staff prepared comments which focus on: the relationship between existing policy and the proposed rule and the applicability of the proposed rule to regional haze data; the types of events experienced by Texas that should be considered exceptional events; the proposed criteria for an event to be considered exceptional; time lines for flagging data and submitting supporting technical documentation, as content requirements for that technical support; requirements for public participation in the data flagging process; and, comments on the appropriate level of additional actions needed by states to protect public health.

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          DATE SUBMITTED: 05/03/06

          SHORT TITLE: Air Emissions Reporting Requirements

          SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

          OFFICE PREPARING: Chief Engineer's Office

          STAFF CONTACT: Kevin Cauble

          SUMMARY OF COMMENTS:

          TCEQ staff prepared comments which focus on: the burden the agency would experience in meeting the accelerated reporting deadlines; the burden that industry would experience in quantifying and reporting emissions inventories within the shorter reporting time frames; the deterioration of the quality of emissions inventory data submitted to EPA due to the accelerated reporting deadlines; whether the agency should be required to submit model inputs in lieu of certain emissions inventory data; and, the omission or inclusion of certain data elements that the agency reports to the EPA.

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          DATE SUBMITTED: 04/17/06

          SHORT TITLE: National Ambient Air Quality Standards for Particulate Matter

          SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

          OFFICE PREPARING: Chief Engineer's Office

          STAFF CONTACT: Erik Gribbin

          SUMMARY OF COMMENTS:

          Comments contain suggestions on: The appropriateness of a possible secondary PM2.5 standard for visibility; The practical difficulties of distinguishing between included and excluded sources on the proposed PMCoarse standard; Several comments on the form and data handling requirements for the PM standards; Comments on the design specifications for the Federal Reference Method PMCoarse monitoring instruments; and, A comment on an alternative approach for determining the appropriate number of required PMCoarse monitoring sites.

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          DATE SUBMITTED: 04/17/06

          SHORT TITLE: EPA's 40 CFR Parts 53 and 58, Revisions to Ambient Air Monitoring Regulations

          SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

          OFFICE PREPARING: Office of Compliance and Enforcement

          STAFF CONTACT: Scott Mgebroff

          SUMMARY OF COMMENTS:

          The TCEQ is recommending that the EPA provide cost estimates for deploying, operating, and maintaining the new networks before adopting the rules.
          Due to the lack of opportunities for reductions in current monitoring networks; which would be needed to fund the new monitoring costs, the TECQ is recommending that the rule not be adopted and implemented until the federal government provides 100% funding for the proposed monitoring and quality assurance activities.
          The proposed monitoring will require new staff positions. The TCEQ is recommending that the EPA take staffing issues into account before recommending and adopting new monitoring initiatives.
          The EPA is proposing up to 27 new monitoring sites. TCEQ staff believes that only 17 sites will be required to meet monitoring objectives. The TCEQ is recommending that the EPA consult with TCEQ staff on the number and location of required monitoring sites before final adoption of the proposed rules.
          The TCEQ is also making specific comments on issues related to delaying deadlines for implementing the rules, changing data reporting deadlines, changing relationships between state and local programs, and monitoring methodologies.

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          DATE SUBMITTED: 03/24/06

          SHORT TITLE: EPA's Draft 2006-11 Strategic Plan Architecture

          SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

          OFFICE PREPARING: Intergovernmental Relations Division

          STAFF CONTACT: Linda Haynie

          SUMMARY OF COMMENTS:

          Objective 1.1: Healthier Outdoor Air
          In general, the strategic targets under Sub-objectives 1.1.1: Ozone and PM2.5 and Sub-objective 1.1.2 Air Toxics, imply mechanisms to reach the targets as well as expectations of the performance by states. Those mechanisms and state expectations are not included in the Strategic Architecture document and as such,the efficacy of the targets is difficult to evaluate.
          With regard to the above strategic target, Texas has several 8-hourozone nonattainment areas, (e.g., the Houston and Dallas-Fort Worth areas), that are impacted by emissions from other states per EPA’s CAIR modeling. Compliance with CAIR will not result in attainment of the 8-hour ozone standard in the referenced Texas areas.

          Sub-objective 2.1.1: Water Safe to Drink
          This objective lacks an acknowledgement under Objective 2.1 (Protect Human Health) that a large portion of the rural population in the United States is not protected under the public drinking water program and is utilizing groundwater as a source of drinking water, i.e. domestic drinking water wells. In Texas, state law now requires that notice be given to the owner of a private drinking water well that may be affected by contamination. Through the notification effort, we are becoming aware of a significant number of households in both rural and urban areas using private wells that could be affected by groundwater contamination. Some of these areas are surrounded by public drinking water supply systems.

          Objective 2.2: Protect Water Quality
          The current wording of this objective implies that groundwater is not part of the waters that should have protection under this objective. This is probably an oversight rather than telegraphing direct intent as to funding and future direction under EPA’s implementation of the Clean Water Act. Texas suggests rewording the text to read “Protect the quality of rivers, lakes, streams and groundwater on a watershed basis and protect coastal and ocean waters” for the following reasons.

          Sub-objective 4.2.4: Sustain and Restore U.S. – Mexico Border Environmental Health

          TCEQ recommends consistency and definition of the term “US-Mexico Border”, “US-Mexico Border area”, and “Mexico Border area” to reflect the La Paz agreements’ 100-km zone on either side of the boundary. It is important to note that current year funding for the Border Environmental infrastructure Fund (BEIF) was reduced 50 per cent over the previous year funding, which may make it difficult to achieve this goal. Achieving this particular target is very ambitious, considering the expanding population, water quality infrastructure shortfalls, and pollutant source assessment needs existing on both sides of the border. It may be critical for the TCEQ and EPA to re-double our efforts to collaborate between the two agencies and with the Border 2012 partners on specific water quality restoration strategies to achieve the target.

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          DATE SUBMITTED: 01/31/06

          SHORT TITLE: Draft Guidance for Setting Reasonable Progress under the Regional Haze Program

          SUBMITTED TO:U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

          OFFICE PREPARING: Chief Engineer's Office

          STAFF CONTACT: David C. Schanbacher, P.E.

          SUMMARY OF COMMENTS:

          EPA's draft guidance document states that "...the State should adopt a rate of progress greater than the uniform rate of progress if this is found to be reasonable according to the statutory factors."
          We do not believe EPA has the regulatory authority to require that states develop emission reductions in excess of what is needed to meet the uniform rate of progress (the "glide slope"). The regulation itself, in Section 51.308(d)(1)(ii), provides that the State must justify, based on the statutory factors, that the progress goal is reasonable if the progress goal is below the uniform rate of progress. Thus, it appears inconsistent for the guidance to specify that the state must justify why further improvement in visibility is not reasonable, even if a proposed progress goal would provide for a rate of improvement sufficient for reaching natural background by 2064. Staff recommends that EPA remove this requirement from the guidance.
          The guidance also notes that EPA expects that only under unusual circumstances would it be necessary for a State to justify a Reasonable Progress Goal below that required to meet the uniform rate of progress. Staff recommends that EPA clarify this statement.

          Effect of International Emissions on Developing the Uniform Rate of Guidance.
          Visibility in Texas and other states can be impacted by emissions from regions outside the United States, as we experience with smoke from Central American fires and dust particles from Africa. Foreign sources are addressed in the Regional Haze rule with regard to the five-year progress reports requirement (sec. 51.308(h)(3)). Also, EPA's "Guidance on Tracking Progress Under the Regional Haze Rule" (September 2003) allows States to factor in international sources when addressing causes of a deficiency in visibility progress. However, the draft Reasonable Progress Goals guidance document does not consider international sources when Reasonable Progress Goals are initially established. Staff believes international sources must be accounted for up front in establishing Reasonable Progress Goals, and thus recommends that EPA include guidance on this subject in the final guidance document.

          Determination of Natural Visibility Conditions
          EPA's draft guidance states that one of the steps in setting a Reasonable Progress Goal is to identify the uniform rate of progress to natural conditions by 2064 for each Class I area. The guidance indicates that identifying the uniform rate of progress is accomplished by determining the linear rate of improvement from baseline to natural conditions using EPA default values for natural conditions. However, EPA's "Guidance for Estimating Natural Visibility Conditions Under the Regional Haze Program" (September 2003) allows for the use of case-by-case, non-default procedures for estimating natural background. Staff recommends that EPA refer to this document, allowing for the use of non-default procedures for determining natural background.

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          DATE SUBMITTED: 01/31/06

          SHORT TITLE: Proposed 40 CFR Parts 51 and 52 Rule To Implement the Fine Particle National Ambient Air Quality Standards

          SUBMITTED TO:U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

          OFFICE PREPARING: Chief Engineer's Office

          STAFF CONTACT: David C. Schanbacher, P.E.

          SUMMARY OF COMMENTS:

          Handling of Natural and Exceptional Events in Attainment/Nonattainment Determinations
          The first threshold question concerning a fine particle SIP submission is whether the area is nonattainment for the fine particle NAAQS. A critical part of this determination is identification and appropriate treatment of days affected by natural or exceptional events. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ ) submitted formal comments on Staff Work Paper On the Use of Air Quality Data Related to Exceptional and Natural Events for the Particulate Matter Standards on September 2, 2005. Since a revised Staff Work Paper has not yet been issued, we are enclosing a copy of our September 2, 2005, comments for your consideration.

          Consideration of SIP Submittals Whether or not They Follow the Prescriptive Approach in the Rule
          While the approaches the U.S. EPA is proposing, such as requiring consideration of SO2 as a fine PM precursor in many part of the U.S., are reasonable, we strongly recommend that the final rule allow states to submit SIPs based on other approaches as long as the attainment demonstration includes all reasonably available control measures (RACM) and shows that the plan will produce attainment as quickly as practicable. In some areas slightly over the annual average PM fine standard, implementation of already adopted controls plus RACM may quickly reduce ambient concentrations to a concentration below the standard. Allowing the flexibility to use this approach in preparing a SIP submission is necessary to allow efficient use of state resources.

          Application of Section 179B of the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990
          The proposed rule does not discuss the application of Section 179B of the Clean Air Amendments of 1990, which provides that the Administrator shall approve an implementation plan or plan revision that meets applicable provisions and would demonstrate attainment by the appropriate date “but for emissions emanating from outside the United States.” This is an important omission from Texas’ point of view since Texas is impacted by natural and exceptional events that emanate from outside the United States. Since the EPA’s handling of these matters is critical for Texas, we urge that there be an opportunity for public comment on any EPA proposal to handle these situations for PM fine.

          Integrating PM2.5 and Ozone Attainment Planning
          The proposed rule states that ozone, PM, and regional haze ought to be modeled together because they are intimately linked chemically and physically, but the SIP requirements for each are separate with separate attainment dates and separate attainment demonstrations resulting in serious impediments to the “One Atmosphere Modeling” approach. The attainment dates for ozone and fine PM are not flexible and apparently cannot be changed in order to synchronize the attainment demonstrations. We urge the EPA to work urgently and creatively to find ways to make "One Atmosphere Modeling" practical and workable within a legal and administrative framework to encourage rather than penalize states and communities that choose to pursue this approach.

          Relief for States That Have Already Implemented Very Large NOx Reductions
          Regarding the control of NOx as a PM2.5 precursor, EPA should give relief to states that have already implemented very large NOx reductions to control ozone (e.g., 80 percent or more in some areas). In some cases, further NOx reductions may be beyond technical feasibility. Appropriate relief could be exemption from the requirement for further reductions or the ability to take credit for reductions already required for ozone SIPs.

          Reasonable Further Progress (RFP) Requirements
          A generally linear reduction process may not be practicable or possible. Emission reduction control strategies may necessarily provide different rates of progression throughout a sector or impact formation of PM2.5 differently in the case of precursor reduction. The Act requires "reasonable progress," which would be more appropriately demonstrated in each SIP case-by-case. Unlike ozone, there is no statutory requirement for three percent per year rate of progress (ROP) reductions. There is no policy justification for imposing linear progress where Congress has not seen fit to do so.

          Mid-Course Review Requirements and SIP Submittal
          Time Lines We recommend eliminating Mid Course Review (MCR) requirements for any area with less than seven years between SIP submittal and attainment. Only if there is that much time between submittal of a SIP revision and attainment is the added burden of an MCR justified. The comments detail why the EPA's proposal on Mid Course Reviews (MCRs) is unworkable.

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          DATE SUBMITTED: 12/19/05

          SHORT TITLE: Revision of Standards of Performance for New and Existing Stationary Sources: Electric Utility Steam Generating Units

          SUBMITTED TO:U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

          OFFICE PREPARING: Chief Engineer's Office

          STAFF CONTACT: David C. Schanbacher, P.E.

          SUMMARY OF COMMENTS:
          Subcategorization of Subbituminous New Coal-Fired Units
          The EPA's proposal to revise its basis for subcategorization of subbituminous new coal-fired units is dependent upon whether the mean annual precipitation of the geographic area is more than 25 inches per year based on the U.S. Department of Agriculture 30-year data. However, the proposed rule is unclear if this 30-year data is fixed or a rolling average. This proposal is also unclear as to its definition of "geographic area" when looking at rainfall totals to make determinations. As written, the geographic area could be interpreted to mean county, region of a state, state-wide, or even a broader area. The EPA needs to provide clarification on these two issues for states to effectively enforce CAMR.
          Timing Issues
          The proposed changes to CAMR do not set a deadline when they will have to be implemented by states. Texas must adopt the initial CAMR program that was finalized on May 18, 2005, before any changes can be implemented based on the current proposal. Therefore, it would not be feasible to require the changes to become effective immediately. Texas will not be able to conduct state rulemaking prior to the deadline for the state plan submittal once the federal rule is finalized. Additionally, requiring states to submit a final state plan without the benefit of reviewing the final EPA promulgated rules may require further state plan revisions to bring state plans in agreement with the final rule. This would require additional EPA review and additional state resources. The EPA needs to provide clarification on this issue to allow states to incorporate changes into their state plans in a timely manner.
          If mercury emission limits are revised by the EPA as proposed in this reconsideration, Texas should receive a larger mercury allowance allocation. However, the redefined budgets are not part of this proposal and it is unclear when they will be available. The EPA needs to provide clarification if new budgets will be made available, and if budgets are redefined, clarify which mercury allowance allocations will be due November 17, 2006.
          Definition of an Electric Generating Unit (EGU)
          The EPA is proposing to revise the definition of electric generating unit or EGU in 40 CFR 60.24(h) to include only stationary, coal-fired combustion turbines serving, at any time after November 15, 1990, a generator with a nameplate capacity of more than 25 megawatt electrical (MWe) producing electricity for sale. This date would be consistent with the dates used in the Acid Rain program and proposed changes to CAIR. The TCEQ supports this revision.
          ADDITIONAL ISSUES: The proposed revisions to the NSPS standards for mercury would increase the limits for units burning subbituminous or lignite coal approximately 20 - 57%, depending on the coal type and the geographic area's 30-year annual rainfall. If the EPA does adopt he revised NSPS standards, it may be argued the EPA should revise the coal-type factors used for mercury allocations in the CAMR model rule to reflect the proposed changes. This could impact state mercury allocations. If the allocation factors are changed to reflect the higher NSPS standards for lignite and subbituminous coal-fired units, the Texas annual budget would be increased because those are the primary coal-types used by electric generating units (EGUs) in Texas. However, the TCEQ believes that comments that support or oppose an increased mercury budget would be more appropriately initiated by the affected entities and other stakeholders.

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          DATE SUBMITTED: 10/28/05

          SHORT TITLE: Strategic Petroleum Reserve Expansion

          SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)

          OFFICE PREPARING: Air Quality Planning and Implementation Division

          STAFF CONTACT: Ken Gathright

          SUMMARY OF COMMENTS: TCEQ is providing comments that inform the DOE about general conformity and request that the construction and operational emissions be quantified.

          General Conformity

          The existing Big Hill SPR site is located in Jefferson County which is designated as a marginal nonattainment area for ozone, while Stratton Ridge is located in Brazoria County which is designated as a moderate nonattainment area for ozone. In nonattainment areas, major federal actions are subject to the general conformity rule.
          The emissions that will result from the expansion of the Big Hill site will need to be documented in the EIS and if the total emissions are estimated to be above 100 tons per year, then a general conformity determination is needed.
          Emissions will also need to be estimated for the new Stratton Ridge SPR site only if it is the preferred alternative in the EIS. If the total emissions are estimated to be above 100 tons per year, then a another general conformity determination is needed.

          Construction Emissions

          TCEQ is requesting that emissions be estimated for; All nonroad and onroad equipment used for the construction of all onsite infrastructure needed for the water supply, brine disposal, and oil distribution systems.
          The pumps needed for the cavern leaching process.
          The construction of water supply, brine disposal, and oil distribution pipelines.

          Operational Emissions

          TCEQ is requesting that emissions be estimated for the emissions that will result from the filling of the caverns with crude oil.

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          DATE SUBMITTED: 10/24/05

          SHORT TITLE: Petition from North Carolina to Reduce Interstate Transport of Fine Particulate Matter and Ozone; Federal Implementation Plans to Reduce Interstate Transport of Fine Particulate Matter and Ozone; Revisions to the Clean Air Interstate and the Acid Rain Program

          SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

          OFFICE PREPARING: Air Quality Planning and Implementation Division

          STAFF CONTACT: Kim Herndon

          SUMMARY OF COMMENTS: Availability of additional time for submittal - EPA justifies the extension to March 31, 2007, for an abbreviated SIP submission based on the expectation that they will be able to complete the approval process for abbreviated SIPs more quickly due to their narrower scope. SIPs submitted that incorporate the CAIR model trading rules by reference should not require any additional time for review than an abbreviated SIP since the state will be adopting and submitting what will mirror EPA’s promulgated rules. Although the proposal does not address incorporation by reference, staff believes that states incorporating the CAIR model trading rules by reference should qualify for this extension as well.

          Timing of NOX allocation submittals to EPA - States incorporating by reference should also qualify for the December 1, 2007, extension for submittal of NOX allocations.

          Proposed data sources for federal NOX allocations - Data related to heat input and fuel type available on the Energy Information Administration (EIA) website is only based on the source level and not on a unit-by-unit basis. If EPA used unit-by-unit data from the EIA for developing the state NOX budgets for CAIR, they should make this data available.

          Small entity allocation relief - Allocating additional allowances to small entities will reduce the amount of allowances available from the state budget for all other sources and increase the reductions that these other sources will have to make. The proposed rule preamble is unclear as to what size source would qualify as a “small entity.”

          Compliance Supplement Pool (CSP) distribution method - In the proposed rule preamble, EPA does not provide any basis for their proposal to use 0.25 lb/MMBtu as the emission rate by which early reductions are to be compared. To ensure early achievement of the CAIR reductions, early reductions qualifying for CSP allowances should be beyond the emission limit of 0.15 lb/MMBtu used for establishing the 2009 - 2014 CAIR regional NOX budget.

          The definition of Electric Generating Units (EGU) relating to MWCs and units not serving a generator > 25 MW since November 15, 1990 - The TCEQ supports the revision to the EGU definition related to units not serving a generator > 25 MW since November 15, 1990.

          Removal of deadline for recordation of allowances - EPA proposes to remove the December 1, 2006, deadline for recording CAIR NOX allowances submitted by states for the 2009 - 2014 control periods but fails to set an alternative deadline. Staff believes that there should be a deadline by which CAIR NOX sources can reasonably expect to have their allocation recorded in their compliance account.

          HB 2481 Requirement for the West Texas and El Paso Region Petition of Reconsideration - HB 2481 requires the TCEQ to take “all reasonable and appropriate steps to exclude West Texas and the El Paso Region” from any requirements of CAIR. Therefore, staff will reiterate the need for exclusion of West Texas and the El Paso Region.

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          DATE SUBMITTED: 10/17/05

          SHORT TITLE: Determining the Emissions Reductions Achieved in Ozone Nonattainment and Maintenance Areas from the Implementation of Rules Limiting the VOC Content of AIM Coatings

          SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

          OFFICE PREPARING: Air Quality Planning and Implementation Division

          STAFF CONTACT: Teresa Hurley

          SUMMARY OF COMMENTS: TCEQ has no specific comments or data on the calculation methodology, but would like to caution EPA that work on developing control strategies for the eight-hour ozone attainment demonstrations is already underway. Any changes in calculation methodology that are proposed before the attainment demonstrations are adopted could lead to unnecessary and untimely rework if the revised methodology would result in different estimates of emission reductions.

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          DATE SUBMITTED: 07/06/05

          SHORT TITLE: Deferred Effective Date for 8-hour Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards for Early Action Compact Areas

          SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

          OFFICE PREPARING: Air Quality Planning and Implementation Division

          STAFF CONTACT: Erik Gribbin

          SUMMARY OF COMMENTS: Texas favors extension of effective dates for Early Action Compact areas that have met their milestone obligations and supports processes like the Early Action Compact that allow states and local areas to approach air quality problems in a manner that is flexible and proactive.

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          DATE SUBMITTED: 06/07/05

          SHORT TITLE: Pearl Crossing LNG Terminal

          SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Coast Guard

          OFFICE PREPARING: Air Quality Planning and Implementation Division

          STAFF CONTACT: Ken Gathright

          SUMMARY OF COMMENTS: TCEQ is providing comments encouraging the Coast Guard (Deepwater Ports Standards Division) to assure that the applicant will minimize emissions during the construction and operation of the proposed terminal facility. Construction • require that both land and marine construction equipment will be low-emission diesel equipment during construction; • require that the applicant establish bidding conditions to award construction contracts based on lowest nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions rather than lowest price; and • require that the applicant establish through provisions included in its construction contracts that construction contractors exercise Best Management Practices relating to air quality. Operational • encourage the use of selective catalytic reduction (SCR) technology to further reduce emissions . • use support vessels that will have the latest technology and cleaner engines; and, • if vaporization of LNG is achieved through heat from natural gas combustion, then TCEQ encourages the use of shell and tube vaporization (STV) closed-loop technology.

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          DATE SUBMITTED: 05/26/05

          SHORT TITLE: Proposal to Exempt Area Sources Subject to NESHAP From Federal and State Operating Permit Programs

          SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

          OFFICE PREPARING: Air Permits Division

          STAFF CONTACT: Phil Harwell

          SUMMARY OF COMMENTS: The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) supports permanently exempting these five area sources from Title V operating permits as allowed under § 502(a) of the Federal Clean Air Act. The TCEQ agrees with the EPA that subjecting any source to Title V permitting imposes burdens and costs that do not exist outside of the Title V program. These area sources are generally subject to a single NESHAP and, therefore, do not fit the primary purpose of a Title V permit to consolidate various and complex requirements in a single document. The TCEQ agrees that requiring a Title V permit would not add any new monitoring or recordkeeping benefits and would be unnecessary for these area sources. The TCEQ agrees that, due to the number of these area sources, requiring a Title V permit would cause permitting authorities to shift resources away from major sources. The TCEQ does not support the use of a general operating permit for these sources. The burdens and costs would also be unreasonable and would not add any compliance gains that may be achieved through permitting. TCEQ believes that outreach programs developed for these area sources such as the dry cleaning program, do more for compliance than requiring complex permitting.

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          DATE SUBMITTED: 05/09/05

          SHORT TITLE: 40 CFR Parts 51 and 52 Prevention of Significant Deterioration for Nitrogen Oxides

          SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

          OFFICE PREPARING: Air Permits Division

          STAFF CONTACT: Robert Opiela

          SUMMARY OF COMMENTS: The TCEQ generally supports the concept of states having flexibility in implementing the PSD program. The TCEQ reserves full support pending more details from EPA.

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          DATE SUBMITTED: 05/04/05

          SHORT TITLE: EPA’s Draft Air Quality Criteria for Ozone and Related Photochemical Oxidants

          SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

          OFFICE PREPARING: Air Quality Planning and Implementation Division

          STAFF CONTACT: Candy Garrett

          SUMMARY OF COMMENTS: "Based on our review of EPA’s draft report, we agree that scientific information about ozone formation has improved in recent years. However, we disagree with the statement on page 2-23 that the meteorological processes associated with ozone episodes have not changed over the past several years. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality is still learning about the complex meteorological interactions with the largest petrochemical complex in the U.S., which is located in Texas. Without a more in-depth understanding of ozone formation which includes such interactions, efforts to decrease ambient ozone would be less effective."

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          DATE SUBMITTED: 04/28/05

          SHORT TITLE: Comments on Potentially Inadequate Monitoring in Clean Air Act Applicable Requirements and on Methods To Improve Such Monitoring

          SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

          OFFICE PREPARING: Air Permits Division

          STAFF CONTACT: Richard A. Hyde, P.E.

          SUMMARY OF COMMENTS: TCEQ supports EPA’s strategy for improving existing monitoring in federal regulations where necessary on a programmatic basis. We are supportive of EPA’s changes regarding monitoring through rulemaking instead of relying on the state to provide for any gaps in monitoring. This would save agency resources. However, TCEQ supports flexibility for addressing monitoring in state implementation plan (SIP) rules. In most cases, TCEQ has already developed monitoring requirements for Title V permits that would address SIP rules. Also, we would disagree with requiring both continuous PM mass monitoring and opacity monitoring for particulate sources. Finally, no comments are provided regarding existing monitoring requirements for NSPS and NESHAP due to the scope of this request and inadequate review time.

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          DATE SUBMITTED: 03/31/05

          SHORT TITLE: Second Draft Staff Paper for Particulate Matter; Notice of Draft for Public Review

          SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

          OFFICE PREPARING: Chief Engineer's Office

          STAFF CONTACT: David Schanbacher, P.E.

          SUMMARY OF COMMENTS: TCEQ is concerned about the lack of scientific evidence for EPA’s selection of specific levels for the annual and 24-hour PM2.5 NAAQS . TCEQ is concerned about the subjective nature of using such visual representations as a basis to select a value for a visibility-based secondary standard for PM2.5. TCEQ believes that EPA is unclear in its need to create a new NAAQS using PM10-2.5 as the coarse particulate matter indicator. TCEQ is concerned about the validity of PM10-2.5 monitoring data issues in conjunction with the review of health effects data. TCEQ agrees with the EPA Staff Paper that insufficient data is available to support derivation of an annual PM10-2.5 standard. TCEQ believes that to revise the PM2.5 NAAQS during the initial attainment date demonstrations for PM2.5 NAAQS would create confusion among the regulated community.

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          DATE SUBMITTED: 03/21/05

          SHORT TITLE: 8-Hour Implementation Rule Reconsideration

          SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

          OFFICE PREPARING: Chief Engineer's Office

          STAFF CONTACT: Kelly Keel

          SUMMARY OF COMMENTS: The section 185 fee should not continue to apply to an area based upon its 1-hour attainment date once the 1-hour ozone standard is revoked. The TCEQ does not have a preference in timing for determining which 1-hour control measures should apply for purposes of anti-backsliding once the 1-hour ozone standard has been revoked. However, anti-backsliding measures should not preclude the TCEQ from removing or shifting to contingency any of these requirements if a 110 (l) demonstration can be met. The TCEQ should retain the ability to remove or shift to contingency requirements that it can demonstrate are not needed to attain or maintain the 8-hour ozone standard. The TCEQ supports EPA's proposal that contingency measures triggered under failure to attain the 1-hour ozone standard or meet reasonable progress requirements will no longer be required once the 1-hour ozone standard is revoked. The TCEQ supports the EPA's efforts to clarify the rule and provide consistency among sections.

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          DATE SUBMITTED: 03/21/05

          SHORT TITLE: Guidance on the Use of Models and Other Analyses in Attainment Demonstrations for the 8-hour Ozone NAAQS

          SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

          OFFICE PREPARING: Chief Engineer's Office

          STAFF CONTACT: Zarena Post

          SUMMARY OF COMMENTS: Substantive comments included in the response addressed several areas. EPA asked whether the attainment test should be based on values modeled at a single grid cell or an array of grid cells. TCEQ commented that the specific methodology should take into consideration the density of monitors sited in an area under review. EPA asked whether the screening test (a test evaluating the potential for non-monitored areas to exceed the standard) should be retained. TCEQ agreed that the test has value, but commented that the new definition of grid cells that would undergo the test is more stringent than had been discussed in earlier drafts of the guidance. TCEQ also commented that the screening test should not be applied outside the nonattainment area. EPA asked for input on an appropriate modeled concentration cut-off for determining which days to use in the attainment test. TCEQ requested that EPA remain open to scientifically-defensible methods that, for example, might distinguish locally- and regionally-influenced days. EPA also asked for input on how many days should be modeled for each nonattainment area. TCEQ noted that it spends a great amount of effort in validating the model, i.e., assuring the model predicts the right ozone concentrations for the right reasons. If the quantity of days modeled increases, the quality of the modeling results would likely be compromised. TCEQ requested that EPA give special consideration to those areas that do thorough model validation.

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          DATE SUBMITTED: 03/07/05

          SHORT TITLE: Information Collection Request (ICR) for Source Compliance and State Action Reporting

          SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

          OFFICE PREPARING: Office of Compliance and Enforcement

          STAFF CONTACT: Russ Baier

          SUMMARY OF COMMENTS: The proposed deadline of October 1, 2005 for implementation of ICR actions will not allow sufficient time to make the necessary changes to TCEQ's data systems or to revise the investigator's business processes, train staff, and fully implement the collection of certain data not currently captured. Recommend extending effective date to March 2007. Significant changes will be required to the TCEQ Central Registry and the Consolidated Compliance and Enforcement Data System (CCEDS). Field Operations is currently seeking a State and Tribal Assistance Grant for Fiscal Year 2006 to add certain data to CCEDS and to investigate the impact of new data elements being considered. A preliminary estimate for adding data proposed in the ICR is approximately $55,000. The ICR indicates that "day zero" for the "Violation Discovered" date for High Priority Violators (HPV) should be the investigation date. TCEQ currently defines "day zero" as the date that the investigation report is approved and signed by management. This change will impact the agency's ability to meet the 270 day requirement to resolve the HPV violation.

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          DATE SUBMITTED: 02/07/05

          SHORT TITLE: Standards of Performance for New Stationary Sources and Emission Guidelines for Existing Sources: Other Solid Waste Incineration Units

          SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

          OFFICE PREPARING: Air Permits Division

          STAFF CONTACT: Blake Stewart

          SUMMARY OF COMMENTS: TCEQ recommends the emission limits be consistent with previous waste incineration unit standards. TCEQ recommends a performance testing requirement every two years. If three consecutive tests are successfully completed, then performance testing every five years. If a test is failed, the entity would be required to begin the cycle again. TCEQ recommends EPA clarify the requirement for portable air curtain destructors, specifically trench burners, to obtain a Title V permits. These are small portable sources. The proposed rules are inconsistent with previous standards on requiring Title V permits for these small sources. TCEQ recommends that EPA address any requirements applying to the burning of drug packaging.

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          DATE SUBMITTED: 01/31/05

          SHORT TITLE: Proposed Rule on Options for PM2.5 and PM10 Hot-Spot Analyses in the Transportation Conformity Rule Amendments for the New PM2.5 and Existing PM10 National Ambient Air Quality Standards.

          SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

          OFFICE PREPARING: Environmental Planning and Implementation Division

          STAFF CONTACT: Margie McAllister

          SUMMARY OF COMMENTS: TCEQ recommends EPA require PM hot-spot analyses only if EPA determines scientific evidence conclusively demonstrates the existence of transportation-related PM2.5 hot spots. EPA's proposals note its review of key studies are ongoing, and indicate results are inconclusive as to whether or not transportation-related PM2.5 hot spots exist or would exist in the future.

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          DATE SUBMITTED: 12/21/04

          SHORT TITLE: Legislative Report on Rider 15, Big Bend Air Haze Study

          SUBMITTED TO: Texas Legislature

          OFFICE PREPARING: Office of Environmental Policy, Analysis, and Assessment

          STAFF CONTACT: Herb Williams

          SUMMARY OF COMMENTS: The draft report summarizes the TCEQ's participation in the Big Bend Regional Aerosol Visibility Observational (BRAVO) study which was designed to understand the transport of emissions from a variety of regional sources and their effects on visibility in Big Bend National Park. The study was funded by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the United States National Park Service (NPS), and managed by staff from the EPA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) with active participation by the staff of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) in partial fulfillment of the intent of Rider 15. The draft report also summarizes the TCEQ's implementation of programs to reduce emissions that contribute to air pollution/haze along the Texas/Mexico border area and the Big Bend National Park

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          DATE SUBMITTED: 10/29/04

          SHORT TITLE: Test Procedures for Testing Highway and Nonroad Engines and Omnibus Technical Amendments; Proposed Rule

          SUBMITTED TO: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

          OFFICE PREPARING: Technical Analysis

          STAFF CONTACT: Scott Carpenter

          SUMMARY OF COMMENTS: Provide support and encouragement for EPA's continued efforts to consolidate testing requirements and procedures for nonroad and highway engines. Provide support for EPA's effort to certify low-power engines in locomotives.

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          DATE SUBMITTED: 10/05/04

          SHORT TITLE: Nitrogen Oxides Exemption Guidance for the Proposed Rule to Implement the 8-hour Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standard

          SUBMITTED TO: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

          OFFICE PREPARING: Environmental Law

          STAFF CONTACT: Laura Pfefferle

          SUMMARY OF COMMENTS: Alternatives to photochemical modeling to support an exemption should not be eliminated. More specific guidance needs to be provided regarding the standards and criteria on what an area can become exempt from, and under what conditions. Guidance needs to be provided on how frequent and how extensive additional support will need to be to maintain an exemption.

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          DATE SUBMITTED: 09/30/04

          SHORT TITLE: Stage II Vapor Recovery Systems Issues Paper

          SUBMITTED TO: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

          OFFICE PREPARING: Environmental Planning and Implementation

          STAFF CONTACT: Ashley Forbes

          SUMMARY OF COMMENTS: Phase-out of Stage II systems once widespread use is determined. Simply ceasing to investigate gasoline dispensing facilities (GDFs) with Stage II would have a negative effect as numerous vacuum-assist systems would remain in service without maintenance or oversight. Actual in-use efficiency (IUE) for ORVR systems. The EPA issue paper notes an ORVR efficiency of 98% without referencing any studies undertaken to determine the actual IUE. Will EPA mandate ORVR compatibility for states choosing to continue Stage II after widespread use? If so, how does EPA recommend states determine ORVR compatibility of current systems outside of CARB's EVR certification program? The issues paper notes that the Houston-Galveston area of Texas has a vacuum-assist system percentage of 64%. The actual percentage is approximately 92%. If the proposed widespread use definition is adopted, would the EPA provide guidelines on the accurate determination of in-use efficiency for existing Stage II systems? Will guidance on exemptions for facilities dispensing 100% of fuel to ORVR-equipped vehicles (rental car facilities and car dealerships) be forthcoming? From a modeling standpoint, definition "b" would be the easiest, and the most realistic way to determine widespread use. Any widespread use definition requiring data on percent of gasoline dispensed would be very difficult to implement. TCEQ agrees with the EPA regarding the need for new emission factors. Currently, only Stage I and Stage II factors allow for local input (others are generic). It may be more beneficial to also allow local inputs for such things as liquid temperature and Reid vapor pressure.

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          DATE SUBMITTED: 08/31/04

          SHORT TITLE: Proposed Rules for Control of Emissions of Air Pollution From New Locomotive Engines and New Marine Compression-Ignition Engines Less than 30 Liters per Cylinder

          SUBMITTED TO: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

          OFFICE PREPARING: Policy and Regulations

          STAFF CONTACT: Kim Herndon

          SUMMARY OF COMMENTS: TCEQ strongly supports the locomotive and marine controls that EPA is proposing. EPA has pointed out in this notice that marine and locomotive engines have many similarities to large mobile generator engines which are already subject to a 0.5 g/bhp-hr NOx standard in 2011, and recommendations to control these engines are the next logical step in EPA's 3-prong diesel strategy: (1) highways; (2) nonroad diesel engines; and (3) marine and locomotive engines. It will be difficult for Texas to attain the 8-hour ozone standard, in some parts of the state, unless cleaner engines are federally mandated and implementation of those standards begins before the EPA mandated attainment dates. The commission recommends mandatory use of idle shutdown technology for both new and in-use locomotives, as well as mandatory idle emission reduction technology for in-use and new marine equipment in 2011. Mandatory introduction of cleaner engines and technologies may have the additional benefit for Texas of freeing up TERP dollars for supporting other new technology opportunities.

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          DATE SUBMITTED: 08/16/04

          SHORT TITLE: Proposed Rule on Control of Emissions of Air Pollution From New Motor Vehicles: In-Use Testing for Heavy-Duty Diesel Engines and Vehicles

          SUBMITTED TO: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

          OFFICE PREPARING: Policy and Regulations

          STAFF CONTACT: Kim Herndon

          SUMMARY OF COMMENTS: Provide strong support for the in-use not to exceed (NTE) testing proposal for heavy-duty diesel vehicles. Provide support and encouragement for EPA's continued efforts to draft similar in-use testing requirements using portable emissions measurement systems (PEMS) for the non-road sector.

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          DATE SUBMITTED: 07/27/04

          SHORT TITLE: Supplemental Proposal for the Rule to Reduce Interstate Transport of Fine Particulate Matter and Ozone (Clean Air Interstate Rule)

          SUBMITTED TO: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

          OFFICE PREPARING: Chief Engineer's Office

          STAFF CONTACT: David Schanbacher

          SUMMARY OF COMMENTS: TCEQ is concerned with the .05% threshold requirements proposed in the CAIR SNPR. TCEQ is concerned about the initial compliance date of 2010, and its benefit to the State's nonattainment areas. TCEQ is concerned regarding the relationship the proposed CAIR will have with existing TCEQ programs such as the Section 126 petitions, Best Available Retrofit Technology (BART) and the agency's existing cap-and-trade program. TCEQ is concerned with potential modeling issues associated with the challenges to measure and model attainment of the ozone standard due to the implementation of CAIR's cap-and-trade program. TCEQ responded to proposed changes of the CERR for point, area, non-road, and on-road emission sources. TCEQ has requested that EPA continue to consider TCEQ's previous comments regarding the initial proposal of the CAIR program published in January 30, 2004 Federal Register.

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          DATE SUBMITTED: 07/15/04

          SHORT TITLE: Regional Haze Regulations and Guidelines for Best Available Retrofit Technology (BART) Determinations; Proposed Rule in 40 CFR 51.

          SUBMITTED TO: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

          OFFICE PREPARING: Chief Engineer's Office

          STAFF CONTACT: David Schanbacher

          SUMMARY OF COMMENTS: TCEQ is requesting that existing emission reduction requirements be considered as satisfying BART requirements. Modeling issues associated with the use of CALPUFF. TCEQ resource concerns regarding state implementation plan (SIP) submittals, as well as the engineering analysis that will be associated with BART determinations. TCEQ's support for establishing de minimis levels for pollutants.

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          DATE SUBMITTED: 06/29/04

          SHORT TITLE: Supplemental Notice for the Proposed National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants; and, in the Alternative, Proposed Standards of Performance for New and Existing Stationary Sources: Electric Utility Steam Generating Units published in the March 16, 2004 Federal Register.

          SUBMITTED TO: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

          OFFICE PREPARING: Policy and Regulations

          STAFF CONTACT: Kim Herndon

          SUMMARY OF COMMENTS: TCEQ supports the flexibility of states to determine their participation in a cap-and-trade program. TCEQ is concerned about the safety-valve proposal to cap mercury allowances at $2,187.50/oz. TCEQ is concerned that the use of serial numbers for credits would create an undue burden for allowance holders and the program authority. TCEQ is concerned that EPA should maintain consistency between states as to whether or not units continue to receive allowances upon the retirement of the facility. TCEQ is concerned about the allocation of credits for Electric Generating Units (EGUs). The TCEQ feels that states should be allowed the flexibility in allocating allowances to each unit regardless of whether the state is participating in the interstate trading program. However, new sources and shutdown sources, the restrictions on banking of allowances, and any restrictions on trading allowances should be treated consistently by EPA. TCEQ feels that three years in advance of program implementation is sufficient to allocate allowances to EGUs.

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          DATE SUBMITTED: 06/29/04

          SHORT TITLE: Proposed Rule for National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants; and, in the Alternative, Proposed Standards of Performance for New and Existing Stationary Sources: Electric Utility Steam Generating Units published in the January 30, 2004 Federal Register.

          SUBMITTED TO: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

          OFFICE PREPARING: Policy and Regulations

          STAFF CONTACT: Kim Herndon

          SUMMARY OF COMMENTS: TCEQ supports the flexibility of states to determine their participation in a cap-and-trade program. TCEQ supports a national approach to control mercury emissions. TCEQ is concerned about the proposals lack of requirements for the disposal mercury. TCEQ supports that the requirements for emissions testing and record-keeping should not be weakened. The proposed requirements appear to provide a rich source of data for development of Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs). TCEQ is concerned that the proposal does not fulfill the requirements of Executive Order 13045: Protection of Children From Environmental Health and Safety Risks. Since, in the case of mercury, the link to children's health is water quality and fish contamination, more than air quality. TCEQ is concerned that the proposal does not offer a strategy if the proposed approach aggravates hot spots. TCEQ is concerned how new sources will treated under the cap-and-trade program. EPA is also unclear in its proposal what will be the proposed baseline for new sources. TCEQ is concerned that the co-benefit from sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide controls is unknown in regards to the cap-and-trade program. TCEQ is concerned that the Maximum Achievable Control Technology (MACT) option of this proposal required that "any non-air quality health and environmental impacts" should be considered, but the same reference could not be found under the cap-and-trade proposal. TCEQ is concerned about the type of plan states will have to submit to regulate existing mercury sources. EPA is not specific.

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          DATE SUBMITTED: 03/30/04

          SHORT TITLE: Proposed Rule to Reduce Interstate Transport of Fine Particulate Matter and Ozone (Interstate Air Quality Rule)

          SUBMITTED TO: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

          OFFICE PREPARING: Policy and Regulations

          STAFF CONTACT: Kim Herndon

          SUMMARY OF COMMENTS: TCEQ supports the concepts embodied by the IAQR proposal. TCEQ is concerned about the initial compliance date of 2010, and its benefit to the State's nonattainment areas. TCEQ is concerned with the use of the NOx SIP Call as a model for how the IAQR was developed. In order for the IAQR to be an effective strategy, EPA must provide affected states a chance to review and agree with the model inputs this effort is based. Staff is concerned that a thorough technical analysis is not possible without additional regulatory text and information from EPA. The proposal does not include specific regulatory text, fine grid modeling allowing an assessment of upwind impact on Texas, or a final determination of whether Texas is an upwind state for ozone. TCEQ is also concerned regarding the relationship the proposed IAQR will have with existing TCEQ programs such as: the Section 126 petitions; 8-hour/PM 2.5 State Implementation Plans; previous reductions from EGUs from Senate Bill 7; Best Available Retrofit Technology (BART); and the agency's existing cap-and-trade program.

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          DATE SUBMITTED: 01/20/2004

          SHORT TITLE: Air Toxic Assessment Library

          SUBMITTED TO: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

          OFFICE PREPARING: Chief Engineer

          STAFF CONTACT: Michael Honeycutt

          SUMMARY OF COMMENTS: Since air concentrations of benzene may be higher in any area in any state with petroleum refineries compared to an area without petroleum refineries, we suggest modifying the example language to not single out any state. The TCEQ recommends that instead of evaluating a "subsistence farmer" assumed to be located at the site where maximum deposition occurs for each PB-HAP compound as the example Tier 2 approach for the multipathway risk assessment, a resident or farmer should be defined and assessed at the actual locations where they live (i.e., the recommendations in Section 4.7.7 Potential Refinements of a Tier 2 Approach). The TCEQ recommends that a discussion of how a commercial/industrial facility should be evaluated in the multipathway risk assessment be included in the document. Lead is listed as a PB-HAP. TCEQ suggests a discussion on how lead should be evaluated in the multipathway risk assessment be included since lead is usually evaluated differently from other chemicals. Various clerical and reference-based suggestions and comments.

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          DATE SUBMITTED: 01/15/04

          SHORT TITLE: Deferral of Effective Date of Nonattainment Designations for 8-Hour Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards for Early Action Compact Areas.

          SUBMITTED TO: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

          OFFICE PREPARING: Environmental Planning and Implementation

          STAFF CONTACT: Kate Williams

          SUMMARY OF COMMENTS: For the last few years, TCEQ has been working with EPA on the innovative Early Action Compact process. EPA has now proposed a rule for "Deferral of Effective Date of Nonattainment Designations for 8-Hour Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards for Early Action Compact Areas." In the proposal, EPA discusses how it intends to address situations where compact areas are attaining the 8-hour standard in April 2004, and are therefore designated attainment, but then later violate the 8-hour standard. The TCEQ suggested that the language be modified to indicate that EPA would commit to not redesignate the area to nonattainment for so long as the area continues to comply with the compact requirements and meet all compact milestones. This will clarify that compact areas retain the benefits of the EAC even if they later violate the standard. TCEQ also requested that the final rule make clear that a local area (and a state) continue to have flexibility in determining the best "mix" of control measures to address air quality concerns.

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          DATE SUBMITTED: 01/13/04

          SHORT TITLE: Transportation Conformity Rule Revision

          SUBMITTED TO: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

          OFFICE PREPARING: Environmental Planning and Implementation

          STAFF CONTACT: Margie McAllister

          SUMMARY OF COMMENTS: The proposed TCEQ comment letter supports the use of 1-hour budgets where 8-hour budgets are not yet in place. Furthermore, where there is no budget in place, the TCEQ draft letter supports use of the less-than-2002-baseline test for moderate and above areas and the no-greater-than-2002- baseline test for marginal and below areas, and elimination of the build-no-build test and the build-no-greater-than-no-build test. The build-no-build tests provide no assessment of air quality. Furthermore, for all large urban areas nationwide, the build-no-build tests are nearly impossible to pass. The proposed response supports use of applicable 1-hour budgets in lieu of 8-hour budgets. The proposed response also supports for moderate and above areas, option 3, specifying the less-than-2002-baseline test, of the following three options in the proposed rule: (1) complete both the build-less-than-no-build test and less than baseline year tests; (2) complete either the build-less-than-no-build or less-than-baseline year test; or (3) require that only one of these tests be met and eliminate the remaining test as an option altogether. For marginal and below areas, the proposed response supports use of the no-greater-than-2002-baseline test and elimination of the build-no-greater-than-no-build test.

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          DATE SUBMITTED: 12/16/03

          SHORT TITLE: Proposed rule to control Air Pollution from Aircraft and Aircraft Engines.

          SUBMITTED TO: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

          OFFICE PREPARING: Environmental Planning and Implementation

          STAFF CONTACT: Chuck Mueller

          SUMMARY OF COMMENTS: The TCEQ has adopted control strategies on every category of source which it has control over in order to address the state's air quality issues. Aircraft engines are a source category which we have no control over and must rely on EPA to address. It is imperative that as states implement their strategies, significantly increasing the proportional share of emissions from sources which can only be regulated at the federal level, EPA take a more aggressive leadership role in developing standards in time to meet the clean air act deadlines for attainment.

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          DATE SUBMITTED: 11/05/03

          SHORT TITLE: Response to EPA's 8-hour Implementation Rule Reopening Regarding Classification Alternatives

          SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

          OFFICE PREPARING: Office of Environmental Policy, Analysis, and Assessment

          STAFF CONTACT: Heather Evans

          SUMMARY OF COMMENTS: The TCEQ supports an approach to classification that provides flexibility for states and allows areas to be classified under subpart 1 or subpart 2. The TCEQ disagrees with classifying areas in subpart 2 based on 1-hour design values. The TCEQ recommends subpart 2 classification be based on attainment/nonattainment status at the time of 8-hour designations. The TCEQ suggested is own classification scheme which classifies areas as follows: If a county is designated attainment for the 1-hour standard, at the time of 8-hour designations, then the county would be classified under subpart 1. If a county is designated nonattainment for the 1-hour standard, at the time of 8-hour designations, and its 8-hour design value is less than 0.091 ppm, then the county would be classified under subpart 1. If a county is designated nonattainment for the 1-hour standard, at the time of 8-hour designations, and its 8-hour design value is 0.091 ppm or greater, then the county would be classified under subpart 2, using the revised classification table which translates the thresholds using one-half of the percentage above the standard.

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          DATE SUBMITTED: 10/28/03

          SHORT TITLE: First Draft Staff Paper For Particulate Matter

          SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

          OFFICE PREPARING: Office of Environmental Policy, Analysis, and Assessment

          STAFF CONTACT: Herb Williams

          SUMMARY OF COMMENTS: 1. Current health effects studies are not sufficient to support the proposed changes to PM2.5 standard levels. 2. Timing of revisions to the PM2.5 standard is not reasonable, because the current PM2.5 standard has not yet been implemented so the results of that implementation have not been deteremined. 3. Current health effects studies are not sufficient to support the PMcoarse standard or proposed levels. 4. PMcoarse monitoring data, monitoring network or approved federal monitoring reference method do not exist and should be obtained prior to implementation of such a standard.

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          DATE SUBMITTED: 10/17/03

          SHORT TITLE: Executive Management Review and Signature for a TDH Letter of Support regarding an application to EPA for the Children's Environmental Health Protection State Level Collaboration to Address Childhood Asthma Initiative

          SUBMITTED TO: Texas Department of Health (TDH)

          OFFICE PREPARING: Policy and Regulations

          STAFF CONTACT: Janet Pichette

          SUMMARY OF COMMENTS: The Texas Department of Health (TDH) is applying for an Environmental Protection Agency grant for the Children's Environmental Health Protection State Level Collaboration to Address Childhood Health Initiative. The grant, which requires a collaboration between the state health and environmental agencies, will support efforts to minimize the risk of environmental factors that exacerbate asthma symptoms in children. TDH will partner with the TCEQ in developing outreach programs addressing environmental factors that contribute to asthma in children. This outreach program will include enhancing the existing ozone alert systems to include 20 Texas Education Agency regional sites. By educating school officials, the best practices and methods can be encourage to eliminate or avoid environmental exposures or triggers that contribute to childhood asthma.

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          DATE SUBMITTED: 10/08/03

          SHORT TITLE: Comments on Documents cited in 68 FR 52934: USEPA, "Comparison of Regulatory Design Concentrations: AERMOD vs. ISCST3, CTDMPLUS, ISC-PRIME" and USEPA, "AERMOD: Latest Features and Evaluation Results"

          SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

          OFFICE PREPARING: Air Permits

          STAFF CONTACT: Robert Opiela

          SUMMARY OF COMMENTS: General Comments TCEQ staff supports EPA's progress in developing a new air dispersion model (AERMOD). AERMOD is potentially more representative of air pollution transport than the currently preferred regulatory model (ISC3). AERMOD performs much better than ISC3 when terrain is an issue. Staff is concerned that AERMOD is incomplete. Does not contain some basic features of the model it is to replace. These features are necessary for some NSR reviews. Staff's preference is for EPA to delay final promulgation of AERMOD until it is a complete product Comments on EPA Documents Purpose of EPA Analysis: Give states a measure of the regulatory impact of changing to a new model. Provide guidance for implementation of new model. TCEQ staff is concerned about the impact of implementation of the new model. EPA's analysis appeared incomplete and not fully documented. EPA's analysis appeared inconsistent with cited EPA implementation guidance documents and technical procedures regarding minimum data requirements. Staff's preference is for states to be allowed to used technical judgement when data are limited.

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          DATE SUBMITTED: 09/05/03

          SHORT TITLE: Draft Regulatory Text to Accompany the 8-hour Implementation Rule Proposal

          SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

          OFFICE PREPARING: Strategic Assessment

          STAFF CONTACT: Heather Evans

          SUMMARY OF COMMENTS: The TCEQ encourage EPA to provide an opportunity for public comment on the final regulatory text and requests that EPA consider the TCEQ's comments on the implementation rule when developing the regulatory text. The TCEQ also comments on a number of topics for which EPA has provided rule language including, but not limited to, the revocation of the 1-hour ozone standard; the timeframe for obtaining the necessary reductions required for reasonable further progress and attainment; the definition of attainment year ozone season; classification of areas under subpart 1 and subpart 2; 1year extensions to attainment dates; maintenance plan requirements; and RACT obligations. The comments strongly object to the draft language requiring that modeling be consistent with EPA guidance without also discussing the requirements of the guidance and providing sufficient opportunity to comment on the text of the guidance. The comments also oppose an arbitrary requirement for states to submit, within 1 year after the effective date of designations, an 8-hour SIP with a 10% emission reduction in NOx and/or VOC for areas designated nonattainment of both the 1-hour and 8-hour standards. The comments on the draft regulatory text are consistent with the comments the TCEQ submitted on the implementation rule and the comments in response to the implementation rule are also included in these comments.

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          DATE SUBMITTED: 08/20/03

          SHORT TITLE: Proposal to Reclassify the Beaumont/Port Arthur (BPA) Ozone Nonattainment Area

          SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

          OFFICE PREPARING: Strategic Assessment

          STAFF CONTACT: Mike Magee

          SUMMARY OF COMMENTS: The commission supports moving directly to early 8-hour SIPs in lieu of 1-hour SIP revisions. However, if EPA proceeds with the reclassification ("bump-up"), the commission recommends Option 2, which would only bump up BPA to serious, compared to Option 1, which would bump up BPA to serious, then to severe. The commission's suggested approach is justified by the fact that: Substantial point source nitrogen oxides (NOx) reductions are being made in the area; Monitored ozone values are decreasing, with only one monitor recording "marginal" nonattainment under the 8-hour standard; EPA's proposed November 2005 attainment date under either Option 1 or 2 for the 1-hour standard would be seven months after it is expected to revoke the 1-hour standard. The area has made a good faith effort under the rules in effect at the time, and no backsliding or delays will be allowed.

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          DATE SUBMITTED: 08/20/03

          SHORT TITLE: Control of Emissions of Air Pollution from Nonroad Diesel Engines and Fuel, a proposed rule

          SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

          OFFICE PREPARING: Strategic Assessment

          STAFF CONTACT: Eve Hou

          SUMMARY OF COMMENTS: In general the TCEQ supports this rule since it sets stringent standards on a federally-preempted source category. We believe the proposed standards will lead to improved health and air quality. We propose making the following comments: We suggest a single-step ramp-down of nonroad diesel sulfur levels to 15 ppm in 2008 for all categories (including locomotive and marine diesel) instead of a two-step ramp-down. We would like earlier final compliance dates for exhaust emission standards. We would like EPA to commit in the final nonroad rule to additional rulemaking and a timely schedule to tighten emission standards for locomotive and marine engines. We expressed concerns about difficulties administering the nonroad retrofit credit portion of the Averaging, Banking, and Trading (ABT) program.

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          DATE SUBMITTED: 08/01/03

          SHORT TITLE: 8-hour Ozone Implementation Rule Proposal

          SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

          OFFICE PREPARING: Strategic Assessment

          STAFF CONTACT: Heather Evans

          SUMMARY OF COMMENTS: At the public hearing in June, TCEQ provided oral comments on the following points: support of the flexible planning approach to move towards implementation of the 8-hour standard; support of the option to allow states flexibility in classifying areas for nonattainment; suggesting that EPA revise the attainment dates from the April/May timeframe of the attainment year, to after the end of the ozone season in order to allow states to use that year's ozone season date in its three year average; and a suggestion to implement a strong national policy regarding transport. These points have also been reiterated in the written comments. In addition, the written comments cover numerous other topics as outlined in EPA's proposal including, but not limited to the following: incorporation of the Clear Skies legislation, reasonably available control technology requirements, timing and issues associated with revoking the 1-hour ozone standard; timeframe for obtaining the necessary reductions required for attainment; and the impact to Early Action Compact areas.

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          DATE SUBMITTED: 05/02/03

          SHORT TITLE:Proposed Changes to the Routine Maintenance, Repair, and Replacement Exclusion to the New Source Review in 40 CFR 51 and 52

          SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

          OFFICE PREPARING: Air Permits

          STAFF CONTACT: Kurt Kind

          SUMMARY OF COMMENTS: TCEQ does not agree with EPA's proposed approaches to resolving the issues associated with RMRR and Federal NSR. EPA's proposed rules look at RMRR only from the standpoint of the RMRR activity and the cost of the project, without any correlation to improvement to air quality. The proposed rules will increase the difficulties associated with an already complex applicability determination process. TCEQ requests that the RMRR rules keep the focus of RMRR applicability decisions on the emissions associated with the activities. RMRR rules should also mesh with the concepts, such as Clean Unit and actual to future actual emissions, already in place in the recent NSR reform rules.

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          DATE SUBMITTED: 02/21/03

          SHORT TITLE: Comments on the American Trucking Assoc. Petition for Reconsideration of the Heavy-Duty Highway Engines and Vehicles rule

          SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

          OFFICE PREPARING: Office of Environmental Policy, Analysis, and Assessment

          STAFF CONTACT: Herb Williams

          SUMMARY OF COMMENTS: TCEQ urges EPA to deny the American Trucking Association's petition for reconsideration of the 2004 Heavy-Duty Diesel Engines and Vehicles rule. We continue to support adoption of the rule to assist states in fulfilling their obligations for compliance with national ambient air quality standards for ozone. Texas feels that it may not be possible to attain the ozone standards without EPA's cooperation through adoption and implementation of measures such as the 2004 HDD rule, and we reject any efforts to undermine EPA's efforts to assist states through such national programs.

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          DATE SUBMITTED: 01/15/03

          SHORT TITLE: Proposed 8-hour Designation Recommendation Schedule

          OFFICE PREPARING: Office of Environmental Policy, Analysis, and Assessment

          STAFF CONTACT: Herb Williams

          SUMMARY OF COMMENTS: Texas is generally supportive of EPA efforts to settle the lawsuit without litigation. We are pleased to see the Consent Decree and EPA's designation guidance memo's acknowledgment of the Early Action Compact approach. We are concerned that the proposed consent decree creates serious timing issues concerning state development of designation recommendations without the benefit of EPA's 8-hour implementation guidance rule. We are also concerned that EPA's schedule will not allow Texas to consider 2001-2003 ozone monitoring data in developing the designation recommendations.

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