HomeGAA in the MediaNewsEPA to reconsider ferroalloys emission regulations


July 14, 2016
By Chris Kavanagh

EPA to reconsider ferroalloys emission regulations

New York - The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is seeking public comment on national emission standards for hazardous air pollutants (Neshap) for ferroalloy production after two domestic producers claimed the most recent rule changes were too onerous.

In response to petitions from domestic manganese alloy producers Eramet Marietta Inc. and Felman Production LLC, the EPA is granting reconsideration of certain provisions of the current standards set in a June 2015 ruling (amm.com, July 1, 2015), according to a July 12 filing published in the Federal Register.

The three issues subject to reconsideration include the polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) testing frequency for ferromanganese furnaces, the use of digital camera opacity technique (DCOT) for determining compliance with shop building opacity standards, and the use of bag leak detection systems (BLDS) on positive pressure baghouses.

As the result of the June 2015 ruling. PAH testing frequency was changed from every five years to quarterly. Through their petitions, Eramet and Felman argued that these increased provisions placed undue harm on them by increasing compliance and penalty cost.

"Without warning, in the final Ferroalloys Neshap, (the) EPA increased the compliance test frequency for PAH emissions from ferroalloys production by 20 times," Eramet noted in its petition.

The EPA indicated that while it is not proposing any changes to the existing rule at this time, the agency is seeking public opinion on whether its protective goals can be "achieved with a slightly different testing frequency such as semiannually," according to the filing.

Eramet and Felman also argued against the mandatory as opposed to optional use of DCOT testing,claiming hat DCOT would be too costly as only one vendor can provide this service and would be free to charge at its discretion.

Felman's petition also protested the use of BLDS for baghouse monitoring systems, claiming "this would effectively require Felman to replace its existing control system with a negative pressure baghouse simply to meet the baghouse monitoring requirement."

The EPA noted that it is not proposing any specific changes to these rules, arguing that the agency continues to believe these required measures are appropriate.

The agency is seeking public opinion on these issues and has scheduled a public hearing to take place July 27, provided that any requests to speak at the hearing are made by July 18. The EPA has also required that all comments on the matter must be received on or before August 26.

Felman and Eramet could not be reached for further comment.