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Air Quality Update
May, 2005, Vol. 8, No.2
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Environmental Dedication: Mr. William B. Breisch.

In January, Mr. William B. Breisch resigned from the Air Quality Council after serving for thirty-three years. His service began in the fall of 1972 and ended, at his request, in January 2005. He has served under Governors Hall, Boren, Nigh, Bellmon, Walters, Keating, and Henry. He served with three Air Quality Chiefs, Robert V. Blanch, Jack Gallion, and John Drake and two Air Quality Directors, Larry Byrum and Eddie Terrill.

Mr. Breisch owns and operates the engineering firm, Breisch & Associates, and represented the engineering field on the Council. When he began his service, the Department of Environmental Quality did not exist and the Air Quality Service was a sub-division of the Oklahoma Department of Health. During his tenure, Air Quality has become a full-fledged division of the Department of Environmental Quality. Milestones in his service include the development of the State's original Implementation Plan (SIP) and Air Toxics programs as well as the Tulsa Non-attainment SIP, Alternate Reasonably Available Control Technology (ARACT) for the aerospace industry, Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD), the Title V permitting program, and most recently a new Toxics rule.

Mr. Breisch continually offered logical solutions to complex problems and brought a consistent concern for the citizens of Tulsa to the table. The Department holds his dedicated service in highest esteem. Thank you, Bill.

AP-42 Emission Factor Updates

Currently, EPA lists only one section as under review. AP-42 Section 12.5.1-Steel Minimills. The comment period was scheduled to close on March 31, 2005. Find more AP-42 information on EPA's TTN-CHIEF Bulletin Board at

Council Passes Substance of New Toxics Program

After nearly a year of hearings on the Air Quality Division's proposed new Air Toxics Program, the Air Quality Council approved Subchapters 41, 42 and Appendix O for presentation to the Environmental Quality Board at the Council's April 20th meeting in Tulsa. The proposed revisions were first introduced at the July 21, 2004 Council meeting. The changes move the division from a permit-based approach to toxics with hundreds of listed substances to a risk-based approach focusing on Toxic Air Contaminants monitored in specific Areas of Concern. The intent is to make the program both protective of public health and administratively manageable.

Division managers consider the approval of the program a major achievement. The proposed rules received extensive public scrutiny from both environmentalist and industry representatives. Comments and responses were condensed into a thirty-two-page document, which is a key component of the package that will be presented to the Environmental Quality Board at their June meeting.

The proposal also contained a fee component in subchapter 5 that the Council continued to the July 20th meeting in hope that the State Legislature would find funding for the program this session.

The Department will be presenting Subchapters 41 and 42 and Appendix O to the Environmental Quality Board on June 21, 2005, for approval as permanent and emergency rules. The emergency designation will allow the rules to become effective as early as September 2005. As a result, the Department will be able to begin implementation of Subchapter 42 prior to the June 15, 2006, effective date of the permanent rule. The emergency designation is necessary to allow affected facilities, as well as permitting and compliance sections, to begin the transition from the toxics program as currently defined in Subchapter 41, to the program created by Subchapter 42.

The next Air Quality Council meeting will be at 9 a.m. July 20, 2005 in Oklahoma City at the DEQ Building, 707 North Robinson. The Environmental Quality Board will meet on June 21 at Roman Nose State Park near Watonga.

Air Toxics Update

In March, Air Quality epidemiologists Randy Ward and Toni Payne attended the annual Air Toxics Workshop sponsored by EPA and STAPPA/ALAPCO. Among the many topics covered, a few stood out:

Residual Risk: The first true residual risk standards will come out next year (2006) and will include dry cleaners, HON, and several others, all under court order. The coke oven residual risk standards were finalized March 31, 2005, but were merely an acceleration of previous deadlines under the NSPS and are not representative of future residual risk standards.

HAP list: It took seven years, but EPA did delist ethylene glycol monobutyl ether (EGBE) in November 2004. EPA is moving forward to delist methyl ethyl ketone (MEK-proposed in 2003) and is considering petitions to delist methyl isobutyl ketone (MIBK) and 4,4-methylene diphenyl diisocyanate. Petitions to list hydrogen sulfide and diesel exhaust as HAPs are also under consideration.

MACT updates: EPA has completed the bins of MACTs, but the lawsuits continue to delay implementation. The two MACTs that include risk-based exemptions (Industrial, Commercial and Institutional Boilers and Process Heaters; and Plywood and Composite Wood Products) are under litigation. Because neither was available for comment before promulgation, at a minimum both will be re-opened for comment. It is likely that other changes may occur. More information regarding MACT standards is available on the EPA Air Toxics Webpage ( or the EPA rules site at

Oklahoma State Air toxics:

Subchapter 41/42: The new air toxic rules passed the Air Quality Council in April. Check our webpage for new information on progress and implementation of these rules.

Air Toxic Monitoring: Air Quality is planning to complete the Ponca City Phase II monitoring in May and June of this year. DEQ has purchased a mobile trailer and sampling equipment for two sites. The Ponca City project and a Tulsa monitoring project, still in the planning stage, are funded by EPA special project grants. Data will be posted to the webpage as it becomes available.

Air toxics monitoring trailer
Air toxics monitoring trailer

Lead-Based Paint Management Rule Amendments

On June 15, 2005, amendments to OAC 252:110, Lead-based Paint (LBP) Management, will become effective. These amendments include clarification of requirements for LBP training providers and certification of instructors. Proposed amendments will also incorporate EPA's recent amendments to 40 CFR 745 published on April 8, 2004. EPA amendments specify notification requirements for LBP projects and training courses. Abatement notifications must be received by DEQ at least 5 business days before the start date of any LBP activities. The requirements for amending abatement notifications have also changed. For LBP projects beginning prior to the original start date submitted to DEQ, amendments must be received by DEQ at least 5 business days before the new start date. For LBP projects beginning after the original start date submitted to DEQ, amendments must be received by DEQ on or before the original start date. For more information and details on amendments, please visit the DEQ website at

5,000 Students Attend ScienceFest 2005

On April 21, ScienceFest 2005 expanded the knowledge of fourth and fifth grade Oklahoma students. ScienceFest was a day of interactive science and environmental activities involving close to 5,000 students from around the state. The event was comprised of 27 activity stations and a Fins and Feathers Show for the classes to attend. Fins and Feathers was specially scripted to accomplish the ScienceFest mission. This show will continue to be used by the Oklahoma City Zoo, thus continuing the life of ScienceFest 2005.

ScienceFest was designed to promote scientific diversity. Activity stations represented many disciplines of science such as biodiversity, environmental, and physics. Examples of alternative fueled vehicles were also on location for the students to view. The event provided opportunity for the students to be exposed to science in a fun and different setting. One teacher stated, "Our students very much enjoyed the day, and experienced and learned much more about our environment than they would have in the classroom."

Twenty agencies and organizations were represented by and provided content for the activity stations. "All of the booths were very informative and run by friendly and professional people," reported a ScienceFest attendee. For six hours the activity stations hosted groups of students and presented instruction and information on their specific topic. Air Quality hosted two activity stations. "Test Your Air Quality IQ" was a series of air quality questions with multiple-choice answers. Participants answered by depressing a button that is electrically wired such that a sound and light occur indicating whether the choice made was correct or incorrect.

Air Quality Survivor Puzzle
An Air Quality Survivor challenge puzzle

Students testing their Air Quality IQ
Students testing their Air Quality IQ

The second air quality station was titled "Air Quality Survivor." This activity was comprised of four puzzles, referred to as challenges. Each presented a different air quality topic: sources of air pollution, ways to reduce pollution, health effects of smog and ozone, and renewable versus non-renewable energy sources. The students were given a brief presentation of information about the topic prior to attempting each challenge. After the information was received, the students raced to complete the challenge. The challenges exposed the students to air quality related topics and challenged their comprehension and dexterity with hands-on activities. The path to the station was lined with puzzles and mazes that were used to keep the students' attention while waiting to participate at the Survivor station. Upon completing the challenges, the students were encouraged to sign the "I Survived Air Quality Survivor" poster.

An event of such size could not have been undertaken without the support of a terrific team of volunteers. At the end of the day a volunteer said, "Once again, I loved it. The weather was good, kids showed up, and we enjoyed a day 'being of service'." In all, 140 volunteers assisted with the implementation of ScienceFest. DEQ provided 40 volunteers from throughout the agency.

This was the fourth annual ScienceFest. ScienceFest was sponsored by DEQ, OGE Energy Corp, Department of Commerce, and the Office of the Secretary of the Environment. The event was planned by a steering committee including OGE Energy Corp, Conservation Commission, Tinker AFB, Department of Tourism and Recreation, OKC Zoo, DEQ, OSU Zoology, Department of Education, Department of Commerce and the Office of the Secretary of the Environment.

DEQ is a strong supporter of ScienceFest because it contributes to the environmental education of Oklahoma's students. ScienceFest exposes students to science in a fun environment, inspires future careers in science and encourages environmental stewardship.

Options for Reducing Glycol Dehydrator Emissions

A 1996 study conducted by the US EPA and the Gas Research Institute (GRI) of methane emissions from the natural gas industry estimated that active glycol dehydrators in the US collectively emitted about 18.6 billion SCF per year of methane.1 Previous studies by GRI also estimated that glycol dehydrators produced about 85% of Hazardous Air Pollutants (HAPs) and 81% of VOC emissions from the industry.2,3 The EPA, DEQ, and industry have placed a high priority on reducing emissions from glycol dehydrators.

Several simple and effective options exist for reducing these emissions; however, some require a net energy increase in operations, loss of valuable fuel, and/or loss of valuable natural gas liquids (NGL) over more advanced technology. These options include:

1. Thermal oxidation (TO) or flaring of rich glycol flash tank gases and glycol still vent gases. (Loss of valuable fuel and possibly NGL).

2. Replacement of gas-assisted glycol circulation pumps with electric driven pumps (Recovery of methane with increased investment and operating costs).

3. Recycling of rich glycol flash tank gases to compressor inlet suction. (Requires additional energy to recycle gas, but recovers fuel and possibly NGL).

4. Combustion of rich glycol flash tank gases in heater firebox. (Energy efficient, but possible loss of NGL).

5. Routing glycol still vent gases through a condenser and separator before venting to the atmosphere or before combustion in a TO, flare or heater firebox, or recycling to compressor suction. (Less wasteful and recovery of NGL possible).

An article in the July 26, 2004 issue of the Oil and Gas Journal reported EPA's verification testing of a new natural gas dehydration technology.4 The testing verified nearly complete removal of VOCs and HAPs from the vent streams, a significant reduction on carbon dioxide emissions, and a calculated payback of about 6 months (based on recovered products) over a conventional unit that uses gas-assisted lean glycol pumps and a thermo oxidizer or flare to combust the glycol still vent gases. An eductor driven by lean glycol circulation and a vacuum separator are the most unique components of the new design.


1. "Methane Emissions from the Natural Gas Industry," Vol. 2, EPA-600/R-96-080b.
2. "National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants for Source Categories: Oil and Natural Gas Production and Natural Gas Transmission and Storage - Background Information for Proposed Standards," EPA-453/R-94-079a.
3. "Preliminary Assessment of Air Toxic Emissions in the Natural Gas Industry, Phase I," GRI-94/0268.
4. "Advanced dehydrator design recovers gas, reduces emissions," Kirchgessner, Richards, Heath, and Smith, as published in the Oil and Gas Journal, July 26, 2004.

Air Quality Update is published quarterly and is issued by the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality as authorized by Steve Thompson, Executive Director. Your opinion is important to us! We would like to know what you think of the Air Quality Update and the types of articles you would like to read. Please send suggestions and comments to Randy Ward or Kevin Tallant


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