socmi.txt

text/plain socmi.txt — 6.2 KB

File contents

          Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission
                      INTEROFFICE MEMORANDUM

To:  Beverly Hartsock, Deputy Director
     Office of Policy and Regulatory Development
Date:  4/10/96

Thru:  Joe Vogel, Deputy Director
       Office of Compliance and Enforcement

       Ann McGinley, Director
       Enforcement Division

       Jeffrey P. Greif, Manager
       Engineering Services Section
       Enforcement Division

       Troy W. Dalton, P.E., Supervisor
       Case Team, Engineering Services Section
       Enforcement Division

From:  Michael C. Wilhoit
       Case Team, Engineering Services Section
       Enforcement Division

Subject:  AIR REGULATION INTERPRETATION of Title 30 Texas 
          Administrative Code, Chapter 115 (30 TAC 115) Definition
          of "Synthetic Organic Chemical Manufacturing Process"

=================================================================

Summary of Request:

The Engineering Services Section (ESS) received a request to
determine if a chemical manufacturing process in a nonattainment
area is a "synthetic organic chemical manufacturing (SOCMI)
process," as the term is used in Chapter 115.  The request
originated from a facility which generates a waste containing a
listed chemical and which uses listed chemicals as raw materials
and solvents.  The waste material is taken off-site and incinerated
as a waste and the solvents and unreacted raw materials are
recycled and re-used in the same process.  This facility is seeking
confirmation of their interpretation that the process is not a
SOCMI process.  Please review the following interpretation
developed by ESS and determine if it is acceptable..

ESS's Proposed Interpretation:

This process should not be considered a SOCMI process, as defined
by 115.10, for Chapter 115 rules.

Background Information and Rationale:

The facility in question is a chemical manufacturing operation
which generates a waste stream containing a chemical listed in the
115.10 Table I Synthetic Organic Chemicals list.  This chemical
is generated as a by-product in the chemical reaction which
produces the facility's primary product, which is not a listed
substance.  In addition, the facility also uses a listed chemical
as a solvent and listed substances as raw materials.  The solvent
and unreacted raw materials are recycled and do not leave the site. 
Because the use of the undefined term "produce" in the definition
of "SOCMI process" in Chapter 115 is unclear, the question arose as
to whether a waste stream or a recycled solvent/raw material stream
could be considered a "product" or "intermediate."

The waste stream containing the listed substance is taken off-site
and incinerated as a waste.  It is not burned for heat recovery, or
sold, or used in any way (such as a raw material feed for another
SOCMI process) except for waste disposal.  

Prior ESS and U. S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
determinations related to the definition of "SOCMI process" for
Chapter 115 and Title 40 Code of Federal Regulations, Part 60 (40
CFR 60) Subparts VV and NNN have concluded that, in some cases, a
"waste" or "byproduct" material which is not sold, and which is not
a facility's primary economic product, may still be considered a
"SOCMI product" triggering the applicability of Chapter 115 or New
Source Performance Standards (NSPS) rules, if the byproduct or
waste material is treated as a useful material and is used in
another process.  An example would be a waste or byproduct used as
fuel for a cogeneration boiler or used as a raw material for use in
another SOCMI process. 

However, in this case, the facility in question represents this
process stream as a true waste which does not serve any useful
purpose.  So, it appears to the ESS that this waste stream should
not be considered a "SOCMI product" and should not cause the
facility to be designated a "SOCMI process."  This is supported by
EPA determinations for NSPS Subpart NNN which state that a listed
chemical which is produced as a contaminant (e.g. not produced for
its specific chemical characteristics) does not cause a process to
be designated a SOCMI process.

In addition, because the listed recycled solvent and raw materials
this facility uses do not leave the site, and are directly re-used
by the same process, it is the ESS's interpretation that they
should not be considered a "SOCMI product" for the purpose of the
Chapter 115 regulatory requirements.  This is supported by EPA NSPS
Subpart NNN determinations which state that recovered/purified
listed feedstock chemicals, which are directly re-used by the same
process to produce a non-listed chemical, are exempt from the SOCMI
designation.

For the reasons outlined above, it is the ESS's interpretation that
this facility should not be considered a "SOCMI process" for the
Chapter 115 rules.  This interpretation is only intended to relate
to the 30 TAC 115 rules and is not intended to determine the status
of the process under federal NSPS rules.  Portions of the facility
may still be subject to NSPS Subpart VV or NNN, as applicable.  If
the facility was to change its operations so that the waste stream
or unused raw material streams are used in a manner different than
that described above, then this Chapter 115 determination may no
longer be valid.

The impact of this proposed interpretation is to clarify that some
sources which generate substances listed on the Chapter 115, 115.10
Synthetic Organic Chemicals list are not considered "synthetic
organic chemical manufacturing processes," if the listed material
is generated as a contaminant and is not used in any economically
valuable way.  In addition, this interpretation clarifies that
sources which use substances included on the Synthetic Organic
Chemicals list as raw materials or solvents are not "synthetic
organic chemical manufacturing processes" if the raw
materials/solvents are directly recycled and re-used within the
same process.  The ESS believes that the proposed interpretation is
consistent with the original intent of the rule.  Alternatively,
the rule could be interpreted more stringently to mean that any
process which even incidentally uses or generates a listed
substance is a "synthetic organic chemical manufacturing process,"
but ESS believes this interpretation would be an unwarranted
expansion of the rule's applicability.