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You are here: Home / Permitting / Air Permits / PermitByRule / Historical Rules / old117 / 399 / Outdated 30 TAC 117 Rule Change, March 21, 1999

Outdated 30 TAC 117 Rule Change, March 21, 1999

Outdated 30 TAC 117 and 31 TAC 117 rules, 31 TAC 117 date from 1972 and the rule changed to 30 TAC 117 in September 1993

Permanent Rule Adoption

Preface to Chapter 117 (Regulation VII)
Subchapters A, B, D and E

1. Purpose. This change transmittal provides the page(s) that reflect changes and additions to the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission (commission) Volume of Permanent Rules.

2. Explanation of Change. On February 24, 1999, the commission adopts amendments to § 117.10, concerning Definitions, § § 117.101, 117.103, 117.105, 117.107, 117.109, 117.111, 117.113, 117.115, 117.117, 117.119, and 117.121, concerning Utility Electric Generation; § § 117.201, 117.203, 117.205, 117.207-117.209, 117.211, 117.213, 117.215, 117.217, 117.219, 117.221, and 117.223, concerning Commercial, Institutional and Industrial Sources; § § 117.510, 117.520, 117.540, concerning Administrative Provisions; and § 117.601, concerning Gas-Fired Steam Generation. The changes clarify and improve implementation of certain portions of the commission's rules for existing major stationary sources of nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions in ozone nonattainment areas and extend the rules to the Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) ozone nonattainment area.

Sections 117.10, 117.103, 117.113, 117.119, 117.203, 117.205, 117.207, 117.211, 117.213, 117.215, 117.219, 117.223, 117.510, 117.520, 117.540, and 117.601 are adopted with changes to the proposed text as published in the November 6, 1998, issue of the Texas Register (23 TexReg 11281). Sections 117.101, 117.105, 117.107, 117.109, 117.111, 117.115, 117.117, 117.121, 117.201, 117.208, 117.209, 117.217, and 117.221 are adopted without changes and will not be republished.

3. Effect of Change. One purpose of the revisions to Chapter 117 and to the State Implementation Plan (SIP) is to extend NOx reasonably available control technology (RACT) requirements to DFW, an area defined by Collin, Dallas, Denton, and Tarrant Counties. The 1990 Federal Clean Air Act (FCAA), § 182(f), requires NOx RACT be applied to all major sources of NOx in ozone nonattainment areas, unless a demonstration is made that NOx reductions would not contribute to or would not be necessary for attainment of the ozone standard. By policy, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requires photochemical grid modeling to demonstrate whether the § 182(f) NOx measures would contribute to ozone attainment. On November 28, 1994, the EPA granted conditional approval of a § 182(f) exemption from NOx measures for DFW. EPA approval was based on the commission's petition which, based on the modeling at the time, showed that volatile organic compound (VOC) reductions alone would be sufficient for attainment. This meant that NOx reductions in DFW would be in excess of the reductions necessary for attainment of the ozone standard and were not needed. A condition of EPA's exemption was that it would be rescinded if the area did not attain the ozone standard by November 15, 1996, and modeling later showed that NOx reductions would contribute to attainment.

The DFW area did not attain the ozone standard in 1996. Effective March 20, 1998, in accordance with the FCAA, § 181(b)(2)(B), the EPA reclassified the DFW area from moderate to serious, based on a monitored violation of the ozone standard. The reclassification required the state to submit a new SIP by March 20, 1999, that demonstrates attainment by November 15, 1999.

In 1996, the agency began to develop new modeling for the DFW area and now is using newer air quality models with improved meteorological and emission inputs. The new modeling, which was provided for public hearing and comment concurrently with this rulemaking, shows that NOx reductions contribute to attainment of the ozone standard in the DFW area. The modeling further indicates that NOx reductions are a necessary step toward the area's attaining the ozone standard (for both the existing 1-hour and the new 8-hour standard). The failure to attain the standard by 1996 and the results of the new modeling mean the rationale for the NOx exemption for DFW is no longer valid.

Based upon its conditional approval of the § 182(f) exemption (NOx waiver), EPA will rescind the NOx waiver and reinstate the requirements for these rules due to the modeling indicating that NOx reductions will contribute to attainment in the DFW area.

The commission also adopts these revisions in order to improve the implementation of the existing NOx RACT rules in the Houston/Galveston (HGA) and Beaumont/Port Arthur (BPA) ozone nonattainment areas. These changes are made in response to proposals received from outside entities and from commission staff. Some changes add more explicit recordkeeping and reporting requirements with the objectives of making the requirements more certain and logical, and easier to comply with and to enforce. A benefit is less time spent in determining compliance. Several sections are reorganized significantly to make the rules easier to read and understand. Other clarifications eliminate the need for rule interpretations which are currently posted on the agency's website via the Office of Air Quality's Operating Permits Division.

Numerous minor style changes are adopted. All references in Chapter 117 to "undesignated head" have been changed to "division" to comply with current Texas Register requirements for the terminology of rule structure. The term "executive director" replaces references to "Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission" where the intent is to refer to agency staff. The term "executive director" as defined in the commission's rules, includes any authorized individual designated to act for the executive director. Text changes reduce the number of words without changing meaning or reducing clarity. This type of change includes certain cross-references which are changed to specify the next higher (more general) level of rule structure. Other cross-references are updated to reflect the reorganized requirements.

The amendments to § 117.10, concerning Definitions: add DFW to the definitions of applicable ozone nonattainment area, electric power generating system, and major source, and alphabetize the named areas and counties within those definitions; delete the definition of emergency standby gas turbine/engine because this definition is not used in Chapter 117; and modify the definition of unit to clarify that the limitation on replaced capacity applies to emission credits, not the capacity itself. This last revision removes a limitation on replacement units, consistent with a revision to § 117.203(b)(1) made through adoption on May 25, 1994 (19 TexReg 4529). At the time, the definition was left unrevised, inadvertently. In addition, the definitions are numbered to comply with current Texas Register requirements.

The amendments to § 117.101, concerning Applicability: add DFW to the applicable ozone nonattainment areas; alphabetize the named areas; list the affected electric utility units numerically; and insert the defined term "unit" to refer to the affected equipment. Using the term clarifies that the rule applies to equipment placed into service before November 15, 1992 and to functionally identical replacements.

The amendments to § 117.103, concerning Exemptions, delete existing subsection (a), which cross-references a now outdated version of the upset and maintenance rules in 30 TAC Chapter 101, concerning the commission's air General Rules. Since the subsection is only a restatement of other rules outside Chapter 117, its deletion reduces the volume of rules and simplifies future rule amendments, without changing the substance of exemptions. In addition, the words "as may be specified" are added in § 117.103(b), now relettered (a), to clarify that the cross referenced exceptions are more specific and do not apply to the entire set of exempt categories in § 117.103.

The amendment to § 117.105(f)-(i), concerning Emission Specifications, combines the gas and oil emission limits into single subsections, reducing repetitive language. The changes to § 117.105(k)(2) update the compliance date by referencing § 117.510, concerning Compliance Schedule for Utility Electric Generation, and eliminate repetitive language.

The amendments to § 117.107, concerning Alternative System-wide Emission Specifications, reorganize the requirements using more of a listing format, to make the text less dense and more readable. The changes to § 117.109, concerning Initial Control Plan Procedures, clarify subsection (a) by: specifying the applicable areas; numbering the distinctive requirements; and adding paragraph (1), which states that the section applies only to sources which were major for NOx emissions before November 15, 1992. The commission does not require initial control plans for DFW sources. The sources are simpler and fewer compared to HGA and BPA, and such plans would provide little information that is not already readily accessible. The amendment to § 117.111(c), concerning Initial Demonstration of Compliance, clarifies that the initial relative accuracy test audit (RATA) is part of the initial verification of operational status of the continuous emission monitoring system (CEMS) or predictive emission monitoring system (PEMS). In addition, a cross-reference to the test report requirements in the industrial emission specification is added in § 117.111(b) to specify the minimum contents of compliance test reports if the test is based on a 40 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 60, Appendix A test apparatus.

Amendments to § 117.113, concerning Continuous Demonstration of Compliance, reorganize the requirements for clarity. The changes revise the wording of the current carbon monoxide (CO) monitoring requirements for clarity and move them from subsection (k) to subsection (b). This follows the principle of ordering requirements of more general applicability and importance to the front of the rule. Subsections are given titles (catchlines) to identify the topics covered. Requirements are listed to make the text less dense. The option to share CEMS among units is added to subsection (c), consistent with the corresponding revision adopted in the industrial source division of this chapter. Requirements to install fuel meters are collected in one subsection and clarifying language from the industrial source rule division is added. Existing subsection (j), now relettered to subsection (k), is split into two subsections, parallel to the industrial source rule language.

The amendments to § 117.115, concerning Final Control Plan Procedures, add specificity to the requirements. The added specificity is anticipated to significantly reduce the time necessary to assess a source's compliance with NOx RACT. A change to § 117.115(a) clarifies and potentially reduces the number of units needed to be listed in the plan, by substituting a reference to the units specified in § 117.101, regarding Applicability, for the less precise term, "affected units." To facilitate assessment of compliance with NOx RACT, new § 117.115(a)(2) and (6) require citation of the specific rule or exemption used for NOx compliance. New subsection (a)(3) is designed to reduce the volume of paperwork and simplify tracking, by allowing owners or operators to identify applicable test reports that have previously been submitted, rather than requiring all such reports to be resubmitted at the final compliance date. For many electric utility units, CEMS certifications have already been submitted under the acid rain program and would not need to be resubmitted. The requirement would also aid tracking, by identifying units for which the emission compliance test data will be submitted after the final compliance date, based on 30-day average emission specifications. The changes to § 117.115(b) place the requirements in a list format for readability and require identification of the maximum rated capacity and calculations of the system-wide emission limit, to assist in verification of compliance. New § 117.115(c) requires certain information to be submitted on forms provided by the executive director (staff). The expected benefit is primarily in reducing the time necessary for staff to assess compliance with NOx RACT. The requirement to provide copies of the completed forms electronically and on hard copy would allow the staff to distribute the information more efficiently using computer technology while retaining the safeguards of paper. New § 117.115(d) places the submittal deadlines at the end of the section and clarifies that the plan is to be updated with 30-day average compliance information that may not be available by the final compliance date.

The adopted amendments to § 117.119 add catchlines and number certain requirements for readability. A change to the excess emission reporting requirements of § 117.119(d) reduces the frequency of reporting from quarterly to semiannual. This change will result in some savings of effort in the regulated community and will not prevent persons from maintaining a quarterly schedule, if preferred. For consistency, the record retention time specified in recordkeeping, § 117.119(e) is changed from two years to five years. The sources subject to Chapter 117 are also subject to FCAA, Title V permit requirements, which specify a 5-year period for retention of compliance records. The recordkeeping wording is simplified. The requirement for recordkeeping of emission monitoring data is cross referenced more generally to the emission monitoring specified in § 117.113.

The amendments to § 117.121, concerning Alternative Case Specific Specifications, list the requirements for readability. The cross-reference to the commission's procedural rules is updated and the reference to the information that can be found in those rules is deleted.

The amendments to § 117.201, concerning Applicability, add DFW to the applicable ozone nonattainment areas and alphabetize the named areas. The changes to § 117.203, concerning Exemptions, add the words "as may be specified" to clarify that the cross referenced exceptions are more specific than the entire set of exempt categories in § 117.203. In addition, the changes add two types of units which recover sulfur compounds from process streams to the list of exemptions. These additions are consistent with the intent of the Chapter 117 rules developed in 1992, which was to exempt units which commingle fuel and process chemicals. The exemption level for internal combustion engines in DFW is added to § 117.203(8)(B), consistent with the level established in the original NOx RACT rule for a serious ozone nonattainment area.

The amendment to § 117.205(a)(3), concerning Emission Specifications, updates the compliance date by referencing § 117.520, concerning Compliance Schedule for Commercial, Institutional, and Industrial Combustion Sources. Other changes to § 117.205(a) and (b) eliminate repetitive language. The change to § 117.205(b)(6) clarifies that the hydrogen multiplier may not be used to increase limits set by permit. The change to § 117.205(d)(2) sets the emission specification for rich-burn gas engines in DFW, consistent with the specification previously established in the NOx RACT rule for a serious ozone nonattainment area. The commission deletes existing § 117.205(h), originally drafted to clarify applicability. The insertion of the modifier "NOx" in the introductory sentences of § 117.207, concerning Alternative Plant-wide Emission Specifications, and § 117.223(a), concerning Source Cap, clarifies the applicability more efficiently. The reduction in words improves readability.

The amendments to § 117.207, concerning Alternative Plant-wide Emission Specifications, reorganize the requirements, using listing and tabular formats, to make the text less dense and more readable. New § 117.207(f)(3) clarifies that NOx opt-in units need to comply with the ammonia and carbon monoxide limits. The purpose of the limits is to require good practice of NOx control, and the opt-in units should not be exempt from existing standards.

The amendments to § 117.209, concerning Initial Control Plan Procedures, clarify subsection (a) by: specifying the applicable areas; numbering the distinctive requirements; and adding paragraph (1), which states that the section applies only to sources which were major for NOx emissions before November 15, 1992. The commission does not require initial control plans for DFW sources. The sources are simpler and fewer compared to HGA and BPA, and such plans would provide little information that is not already readily accessible.

The amendments to § 117.211(a), concerning Initial Demonstration of Compliance, list requirements to reduce the density of the text and clarify that initial testing requirements apply to opt-in sources. The changes to § 117.211(c) and (f) clarify that the initial RATA is part of the initial verification of operational status of the CEMS or PEMS. The adopted amendment to § 117.211(d) allows some flexibility in the contents of tests conducted before the effective date of the current rule amendments. The addition of § 117.211(f)(4) specifies initial compliance procedures for sources complying with the source cap.

New § 117.211(g) specifies the minimum contents of compliance stack test and monitor certification reports. The requirements are extracted from Attachment 7, "Contents of Stack Test Reports," from "Air Program Inspector's Manual - Stationary Source and CEMS Test Observation and Test Report Review Protocol," agency publication RG-31d, January 1994. In turn, Attachment 7 is a condensed version of Chapter 14, "Contents of Sampling Reports," from "Sampling Procedures Manual," Texas Air Control Board, July 1985. Chapter 14 is routinely specified in construction permit test requirements. The intent of requiring minimum contents is to ensure that stack sampling resource expenditures, which were estimated at $2000 per test in the original November 20, 1992 NOx RACT rule proposal (17 TexReg 8144), provide the information necessary to confirm emission compliance. Since these contents have been long established through permit requirements, many existing compliance test reports should be conformable to these adopted standards.

Amendments to § 117.213, concerning Continuous Demonstration of Compliance, reorganize the requirements for clarity. The new organization is around elements of the monitoring, rather than sizes of emission units. Titles are added to subsections to identify the topics covered and requirements are listed to make the text less dense. The requirements for fuel meters are consolidated in § 117.213(a), from five subsections. In response to frequent requests for clarification, a sentence is added, expressing that "totalizing" may be accomplished by a computer. Units required to install oxygen monitors are listed in § 117.213(b). The current CO monitoring requirements are reworded for additional clarity and moved from subsection (l) to subsection (d), consistent with the principle of ordering requirements of more general applicability and importance toward the front of the rule section. The commission revises the allowance to share CEMS, currently in § 117.213(b), from a limit of three units to a standard based on performance. The revision to § 117.213(e)(3) is in response to a request from a representative of an affected company which has been allowed by permit to share one CEMS among four ethylene furnaces.

In response to a request from a representative of an affected company, new § 117.213(e)(1)(C) clarifies that certain ongoing Appendix F quality assurance procedures for CEMS apply after the final compliance date. Similarly, in response to a rule petition, new § 117.213(f)(5)(B) and (C) specify the time frame for certain RATA required for PEMS. These changes help to clarify between requirements which must be performed before the final compliance date and those which continue after the final compliance date, as part of ongoing quality assurance. In addition, the changes provide some incentive to install CEMS or PEMS earlier than required, by eliminating the costs associated with performing ongoing quality assurance before the final compliance date. Early monitoring system installation will reduce the potential for a temporary shortage of stack testers, or other service bottlenecks to occur, as a result of the required installation of approximately 300 NOx monitoring systems by the final compliance date.

The amendments to § 117.215, concerning Final Control Plan Procedures, add specificity to the requirements. The added specificity is anticipated to significantly reduce the time necessary to assess a source's compliance with NOx RACT. A change to § 117.215(a) clarifies and potentially reduces the number of units needed to be listed in the plan, by substituting a reference to the units specified in § 117.201, regarding Applicability, for the less precise term, "affected units." To facilitate assessment of compliance with NOx RACT, new § 117.215(a)(1), (2), and (6) require citation of the specific rule or exemption used for NOx compliance for any unit potentially subject to emission specifications under the division. New § 117.215(a)(5) is designed to reduce the volume of paperwork and simplify tracking, by allowing owners or operators to identify applicable test reports that have previously been submitted, rather than requiring all such reports to be resubmitted at the final compliance date. The requirement should also aid tracking, by identifying units for which the emission compliance test data will be submitted after the final compliance date, based on 30-day average emission specifications.

The amendments to § 117.215(b) place the requirements in a list format for readability and require the owner or operator to provide the maximum rated capacity for each unit and calculations of the plant-wide emission limit, to assist in verification of compliance. Changes to § 117.215(c) add paragraphs (1)-(4) to require submittal of calculations and values of key variables necessary to calculate the source cap. New § 117.215(d) requires information to be submitted on forms provided by the executive director (staff). The expected benefit is primarily in reducing the time necessary for staff to assess compliance with NOx RACT. The requirement to provide copies of the completed forms electronically and on hard copy will allow the staff to distribute the information more efficiently using computer technology while retaining the safeguards of paper. Persons required to prepare the plans should benefit from not having to develop forms themselves. The forms will be readily accessible on the agency's website and through conventional means. New § 117.215(e) places the submittal deadlines at the end of the section and clarifies that the plan is to be updated with 30-day average compliance information that may not be available by the final compliance date.

The adopted amendments to § 117.219 add catchlines and number certain requirements for readability. A change to the excess emission reporting requirements of § 117.219(d) and (e) reduces the frequency of reporting from quarterly to semiannual. This change will result in some savings of effort in the regulated community and will not prevent persons from maintaining a quarterly schedule, if preferred. A semiannual reporting frequency is consistent with the reporting frequency specified for federal operating permits in § 122.145 of this title, concerning Reporting Terms and Conditions. New § 117.219(d)(1)(B) defines periods of excess emissions which must be reported for units operating under a source cap. For consistency, the record retention time specified in recordkeeping, § 117.219(f) is changed from two years to five years. The sources subject to Chapter 117 are also subject to federal operating permit requirements, which specify a 5-year period for retention of compliance records.

Additional paragraphs adding specific recordkeeping requirements, § 117.219(f)(2)-(8), are adopted in order to consolidate the requirements in one location and to assure that recordkeeping tracks the methods of determining continuous compliance in § 117.213 of this title. The purpose of the additions is to assure that units monitored under various compliance options will have the proper data to demonstrate compliance. The types of additional records specified are consistent with the recordkeeping requirements under Chapter 122, relating to Federal Operating Permits. In addition, the added CO recordkeeping addresses a deficiency identified by the EPA in the previous set of revisions to Chapter 117.

The amendments to § 117.221, concerning Alternative Case Specific Specifications, use a list format to improve readability. The cross-reference to the commission's procedural rules is updated and the reference to the information that can be found in those rules is deleted.

The amendment to § 117.223(a), concerning Source Cap, adds the modifier "NOx" in the opening sentence, in order to clarify that the source cap is an alternative only to the NOx emission specifications of § 117.105, not the ammonia and CO limits. The purpose of the limits is to require good practice of NOx control. The change to § 117.223(e) revises the reporting frequency to semiannual, consistent with and for the same reasons as discussed previously for reporting required under § 117.219 of this title. The changes to § 117.223(i) revise the wording to reflect that initial control plans are not required in DFW and substitute the term "initial" for "final" in the last sentence of the subsection. The final control plan demonstrates initial compliance; the terminology follows from previously adopting the term "initial control plan" to refer to a plan which is substantively a preliminary control plan.

The amendments to § 117.510, concerning Compliance Schedule for Utility Electric Generation, and § 117.520, concerning Compliance Schedule for Commercial, Institutional and Industrial Combustion Sources, subdivide the sections to allow for a separate compliance schedule for sources located in DFW. The commission adopts a compliance date of March 31, 2001 for DFW, as discussed further in the analysis of testimony section of this notice.

Amendments to § 117.540, concerning Phased RACT, subdivide the section to create a parallel schedule for sources located in DFW. The existing requirements for HGA and BPA become located under subsection (a), rather than the current "implied (a)." In addition, in § 117.540(a)(2) and in § 117.540(a)(9), the term "executive director" replaces "commission," to more accurately reflect the level in the agency at which the action occurs. The change to § 117.540(a)(8) deletes an exception which is now repetitive with the commission's procedural rules at 30 TAC § 50.37, concerning Motion for Reconsideration. The commission adopts a phased RACT schedule for DFW consistent with the intervals developed for HGA, adjusted according to the DFW final compliance date.

The commission adopts revisions to § 117.601(a), concerning Gas-Fired Steam Generation, to clarify the applicability of the section. The changes give historical context to the section and simplify the wording.


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