Ohio SSM Rulemaking UpdateDecember 23, 2016 – Articles
Ohio EPA continues to pursue rulemaking to establish new startup, shutdown or malfunction (SSM) and scheduled maintenance (SM) rules, despite being unable to comply with the EPA’s November 22, 2016 deadline for submitting a revised SIP. This rulemaking comes in response to EPA’s finding in the June 12, 2015 Federal Register (80 Fed. Reg. 33850) that Ohio’s SIP was “substantially inadequate” due to its treatment of SSM events.
Ohio was unable to meet the November 22, 2016 deadline because of the procedural requirements of Ohio law to amend the SIP. Failure to timely submit an adequate SIP revision could result in imposition of a Federal Implementation Plan (FIP) by EPA within 24 months. Additionally, mandatory sanctions could be triggered, including restrictions on highway funding. Ohio is not the only state to miss the deadline to submit the revised SIP and, given the circumstances, punitive action is unlikely if Ohio continues to show progress toward enacting the proposed changes in a timely manner.
The modifications to the SIP will eliminate exemptions allowed for SSM and SM events. Portland Cement Kilns will be subject to the SSM and SM requirements in OAC rule 3745-15-06. The rule will also define “malfunction” as “a sudden, infrequent, and not reasonably preventable failure of air pollution control equipment, process equipment, process monitoring equipment or a process to operate in a normal or usual manner. Equipment failures that are caused in part or whole by poor maintenance or careless operation are not malfunctions.” Ohio sources will no longer be allowed to exceed emissions limits in the event of a malfunction or shutdown. Owners and operators will be able to request modified limits for times of SSM and SM. The opportunity for interested parties to provide comments on the proposed rules closed on December 14, 2016.