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Improving Air Pollution Control at Major Stationary Sources Through the Title V Operating Permit Renewal Process A Presentation by W. Schulte, Esq., Eastern.

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Presentation on theme: "Improving Air Pollution Control at Major Stationary Sources Through the Title V Operating Permit Renewal Process A Presentation by W. Schulte, Esq., Eastern."— Presentation transcript:

1 Improving Air Pollution Control at Major Stationary Sources Through the Title V Operating Permit Renewal Process A Presentation by W. Schulte, Esq., Eastern Environmental Law Center to the New Jersey Clean Air Council April 14, 2010

2 The Problem Currently the air operating permit renewal process does not require older major stationary sources of air pollution with outdated air pollution control technology to upgrade that technology Older sources continue to contribute to increased asthma and cancer rates and to Non-Attainment while operating at an economic advantage Newer Facilities must install the most up to date technology while older Facilities are allowed to continue to operate with less expensive technology

3 The Solution 5 year periodic review by the DEP to determine what is the Best Installed Control Technology (BICT) at each category of facility for each CAA criteria pollutant A law requiring each CAA Title V Facility to upgrade to the Best Installed Control Technology in order to renew its Title V Operating Permit May be made self-funding by increasing the permit renewal application fee

4 The Benefits Cleaner air for citizens to breathe A way to work towards Attainment status for criteria pollutants A level economic playing field No need for extensive economic or cost studies because similar facilities are operating successfully with BICT installed

5 Case Study - Municipal Solid Waste Incinerators: The Problem In NJ we have two Municipal Solid Waste Incinerators whose air pollution control technology is materially worse than their competitors Presently DEP believes it does not have authority to require those Facilities to upgrade their technology

6 Background Regarding Municipal Solid Waste Incinerators NJ has five Municipal Solid Waste Incinerators: Camden, Essex, Gloucester, Union, and Warren Essex County Resource Recovery Facility is the largest – Processes up to 2800 tons of solid waste per day – Went on line about 20 years ago Camden County Resource Recovery Facility is third largest – Processes up to 1050 tons of solid waste per day – Went on line about 20 years ago

7 Case Study (Continued) Essex Facility is located in the Ironbound community of Newark, NJ – Well over half the population of the two Census tracts next to the Facility belongs to a minority group – Over 25% of the population is below the poverty level – According to the NJ Strategic Asthma Plan , Essex County has highest asthma rates in NJ Camden Facility is located in Camden, NJ – The two Census tracts next to the Facility are 57.8 % and 76.3% Black or African American – 34.9% and 41.9% of families in the two Census tracts next to the Facility are below the poverty level – According to NJ Strategic Asthma Plan , Camden also has some of the highest asthma hospitalization rates and highest emergency room discharge rates for asthma in NJ

8 – Particulate Matter smaller than 10 microns in diameter (PM10) can aggravate asthma, cause bronchitis, worsen heart disease and lead to heart attacks – Particulate Matter smaller than 2.5 microns in diameter (PM2.5) is even more harmful because it can be absorbed into lung tissue easier – Other harmful pollutants sometimes adsorb to fine particulates Case Study (Contd): Particulate Matter Contributes to Asthma

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10 Asthma Rates Are High Where Particulate Levels Are High

11 Case Study (Contd) Electrostatic Precipitators vs. Fabric Filter Baghouses ESPs collect particulates by drawing them to collection plates with an electric charge – Not as effective as Fabric Filter Baghouses – Prone to Malfunctions Facilities often attribute opacity exceedances to field trips in the ESPs Fabric Filter Baghouses are essentially large filters that collect particulates before they are emitted – According to the DEP, fabric filter baghouses achieve half the emissions of particulates per ton of waste combusted that ESPs do – Fabric Filter Baghouses also help control Hg emission

12 Case Study (Contd) Electrostatic Precipitators vs. Fabric Filter Baghouses Of New Jerseys five MSW Incinerators, only two still have ESPs: Essex and Camden – At the time the Essex and Camden Facilities were built, DEP had concluded that there was no discernible difference between baghouses and ESPs – Gloucester, Union, and Warren are all equipped with baghouses The Company that operates the Essex Facility currently operates 41 Incinerators in the US – At least 38 of those Incinerators are equipped with fabric filter baghouses The Company that operates the Gloucester Facility currently operates 16 Incinerators in the US – 14 of those are equipped with fabric filter baghouses Fabric Filter Baghouses are clearly the preferred method for controlling particulate emissions and would be BICT under the proposed law

13 Title V and the Operating Permit Renewal Process Congress amended the CAA in 1990 to add Title V Title V requires all major stationary sources of air pollution to have a Title V Operating Permit in order to operate Title V Permits include emissions limits and monitoring and reporting requirements necessary to assure compliance with the CAA. EPA may authorize state agencies to serve as the Title V permitting authority – EPA granted full approval to NJs Title V program effective November 30, 2001 Though Title V permits generally do not impose new air quality control measures, states are authorized under the CAA to impose requirements stricter than the Federal law. 42 U.S.C.S. § 7416.

14 Title V and the Operating Permit Renewal Process Each Title V Permit has a fixed term not to exceed five years Upon the expiration of each term the source must apply for a renewal Each Permit Renewal must go through a public review and comment period Concerned citizens, community and environmental groups, and even the Newark City Council have requested that the DEP require the Camden and Essex Facilities to upgrade to fabric filter baghouses DEP maintains that it does not have the authority to do so even though it now acknowledges that baghouses are more effective

15 Applying The Solution Periodic 5 year BICT review by DEP – In the 80s it was not clear that baghouses were more efficient than ESPs – Today DEP has acknowledged that baghouses are twice as effective as ESPs – DEP should review every five years to see what pollution control technologies are being on a source category basis Require each Title V Facility to upgrade to BICT in order to renew its Title V Operating Permit

16 Thank you for your time Questions? 744 Broad Street, Suite 1525 Newark, NJ 07102


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