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Air Quality Update
May, 2006, Vol 9, No 2
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Oklahoma Joins Blue Skyways Collaborative

Oklahoma has joined the newly formed Blue Skyways Collaborative in the mission to significantly reduce diesel emissions and conserve energy in a large part of the central United States. The collaborative is a partnership coordinated by EPA Regions 6 and 7, and the non-profit Central States Air Resource Agencies (CenSARA). Participants include CenSARA’s nine member states (Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana and Texas), Canada, Mexico, numerous federal, state and local government agencies, non-profit and private industry groups.

The primary goal of the collaborative is to improve public health by reducing exposure to emissions in the heartland of the United States. EPA has estimated for every dollar spent, up to thirteen times those dollars in respiratory, circulatory, and cancer health benefits will be achieved by reducing diesel emissions. To improve the public’s health, the Collaborative will strive to achieve faster fuel-related emission reductions, above and beyond those nationally mandated, through strategic, cost effective, and innovative practices, and will maximize efficient use of natural resources while promoting economic growth. In addition they aim to significantly increase efficient energy usage through education, outreach, support for clean energy technologies and renewable energy, and sharing of innovative projects and policies.

The group will use public and private partnerships in seeking voluntary solutions, incentives and shared approaches to reducing diesel and other fuel-related emissions. EPA announced plans to commit an estimated $9 million to finance projects beginning this year. The projects will prevent an estimated 2,300 tons of diesel soot from polluting the air in America's heartland by adding clean diesel technology to some 10,000 diesel engines. The partnerships formed will enable the group to leverage resources, share technology and pool finances for greater reductions than are possible through individual efforts.

Subcommittees have been established within the Collaborative and are focusing on five sectors: on-road vehicles, non-road equipment, energy, fuels and technology, and air/water/rail. A variety of projects are anticipated within these sectors including diesel engine retrofits, idle reduction, and the promotion of biodiesel usage. An outreach and communication subcommittee is responsible for the promotion of the Collaborative and recognition of the projects and participants.

For more information on the Blue Skyways Collaborative visit

ScienceFest 2006

On April 20, the 5th annual ScienceFest took place at the Oklahoma City Zoo. It was a day of interactive science and environmental activities involving 4,500 fourth and fifth grade students from across the state. These students represented over 90 different schools or homeschools and 260 teachers. ScienceFest was designed to promote scientific interest and exposed students to science in a fun and different setting. Twenty agencies and organizations participated with activity stations this year.

OK schools registered for ScienceFest 2006

The event was comprised of 23 activity stations and a Fins and Feathers Show for the classes to attend. Fins and Feathers was specially scripted to accomplish the ScienceFest mission. The activity stations hosted groups of students and presented instruction and information on their specific topic. Activity stations represented many disciplines of science including recycling, energy, and pollution. DEQ hosted five activity stations, two on the topic of air quality, two on the topic of water quality, and one about the benefits of composting. Examples of alternative fueled vehicles were also on location for the students to view. One teacher stated, “I had my students tell me what they learned after leaving each station. Their excitement was contagious. I wish you could have been on the bus on the return trip to school as the students compared what they each had seen.”

ScienceFest 2006 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 DEQ, OGE Energy Corp, Conservation Commission, Tinker AFB, Department of Tourism and Recreation, Indian Nations Council of Governments, Oklahoma Climatological Survey, OKC Zoo, Department of Education, Department of Commerce, and the Office of the Secretary of the Environment.

With the assistance of many hard-working volunteers, the logistics of the event were smooth. Nearly 6,000 people were fed in a short two hours. In addition, the efficiency of the day allowed the students to flow easily from activity to activity. The classes had the opportunity for a wonderful day of education. After five years of modifications and improvements, this was the best ScienceFest yet.

AP-42 Emission Factor Updates

Currently, EPA lists six sections as under review. Four of the sections deal with fugitive dust: Sections 13.2.1-Paved Roads, 13.2.2-Unpaved Roads, 13.2.4-Aggregate Handling and Storage Piles, and 13.2.5-Industrial Wind Erosion. Comments on all four are due by June 16, 2006.

For AP-42 Sections 11.12-Concrete Batching and 12.5.1-Steel Minimills, the comment period is closed. Find more AP-42 information on EPA’s TTN-CHIEF Bulletin Board at

EPA Extends Comment Period

The proposed federal rule “Lead, Renovation, Repair and Painting Program” was published in the Federal Register on January 10, 2006. On March 31, 2006 the Environmental Protection Agency extended the comment period until May 25, 2006. EPA has prepared a paper, “Renovation, Repair and Painting Proposal; Points to Consider” that is available at Comments may be submitted electronically at

Air Quality Survivor Hits the Road

On April 17th, 2006, approximately fifty 6th graders entered Camp Goddard at Lake of the Arbuckles. They tested their wits against each other in a number of puzzles. They tested their brawn in a one-footed contest. They entered the wilderness with only their intellect, a flashlight, and a compass to search for buried treasure. They knew that in the end only one will remain standing and return to the safety of the dormitory with the coveted first-place prize. This is no TV show filmed miles away in the middle of some ocean or savannah. This is the real deal, and it happened in Davis, Oklahoma.

Every year the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality sends members of the Air Quality Division to run the Air Quality Survivor contest. The competition is attended by forty to seventy 6th grade students from Kingston. The students are first divided into four “tribes” and then hear a dramatic story about each tribe.

Air Quality Survivor at Lake of the Arbuckles

The students compete against each other first as teams and then individually as they complete puzzles and games designed to teach them about air quality, air pollution, and how to care for the air. The games include word scrambles, scavenger hunts, true/false quizzes, mazes, a clue-led hunt for buried treasure, and more. The teams compete to win prizes, to win the immunity totem Sally Samplerhead, and to avoid elimination. The entire game completed in less than an hour and a half reveals the winner, who gets a certificate, a prize, and their picture placed on the DEQ website.

The Air Quality Division improves the game each year to make it as fun and educational as possible. Improvements to this year’s game include new prizes, an exciting new look for Sally Samplerhead, a buried treasure hunt, and several more opportunities for eliminated players to return to the game. The 2006 Air Quality Survivor is Jernye Werth, followed by Dillon Jovee as the first runner-up.

Good job, kids!

Students take part in Air Quality Survivor

Lean-Burn Engines and Synthetic Minor/Area Sources

Recently, more and more permit applications are being submitted for synthetic minor facilities using lean-burn engines. The estimated amount of formaldehyde emissions from these types of engines is 0.2 to 0.3 grams per horsepower hour (g/hp-hr) depending on the engine’s manufacturer, make, and model. After the installation of two or three lean-burn engines, oxidation catalysts must be used to ensure that the facility will remain a minor source of Hazardous Air Pollutants (HAP). More lean-burn engines are also being installed at major sources. In order for these Part 70 sources to remain minor sources of HAP, oxidation catalysts again must be used.

For example, a company requests a construction permit for a new facility that will have two 1,340 horsepower (hp) Caterpillar G3516LE engines. For this facility, potential emissions of formaldehyde at a manufacturer’s emissions factor of 0.3 g/hp-hr will be 7.8 tons per year (TPY). However, if the facility wanted to install another 1,340-hp Caterpillar G3516LE engine, potential emissions of formaldehyde would be 11.6 TPY, and to remain a minor facility, the facility would either need to install an oxidation catalyst on one of the engines or limit the hours of operation of the engines. The facility also has the option of conducting EPA reference method testing to get site-specific engine emission factors that may be lower than the manufacturer’s guarantees.

IMPORTANT: In order to be enforceable, a reduction in allowable CO emissions must be established along with a specific condition requiring the oxidation catalyst. Afterward, periodic testing can be used to assured that the catalyst is working properly.

Air Quality Advisory Council Passes Bart Rules, Considers Mercury Rules

The Air Quality Advisory Council held its April 19 meeting at Oklahoma State University in Tulsa. The Council voted to forward to the Environmental Quality Board (EQB) in August new rules in Subchapter 8 for the implementation of the Best Available Retrofit Technology (BART), which is a part of the Regional Haze State Implementation Plan. An update to the incorporations by reference for commercial and industrial solid waste incineration (CISWI) units in Subchapter 17 was also forwarded to the August EQB meeting.

The Council heard options for a new proposed Mercury rule. Morris Moffett presented three options for a new Subchapter 44 for the Control of Mercury from Coal-fired Electric Steam Generation Units. The first is to incorporate by reference the federal Clean Air Mercury Rule (CAMR). A second option is to adopt the model rule issued in November by the State and Local Air Program Administrators and Association of Local Air Pollution Control Officials (STAPPA/ALAPCO). A third option would be to rewrite the federal CAMR with state developed timelines and requirements. The Council voted to defer decisions on the Mercury rule to the July meeting.

Other business continued to the July Council meeting, includes:

  • Proposed amendments to Subchapter 5 to clarify the requirement to provide documentation for emission changes of 30% or more on emission inventory documents;

  • A new Appendix P, Regulated Air Pollutants, and proposed amendments to Subchapters 5,7,9 and 23 to add a new definition for Regulated Air Pollutant;

  • A new Part 11 for Subchapter 17 Other Solid Waste Incinerators (OSWI), to
    establish state emission standards and other enforceable requirements for existing OSWI, and

  • Proposed amendments to reformat and update the information in Appendices
    H. De Minimis Facilities, I. Insignificant Activities (Registration) List and J. Trivial Activities (De Minimis) List.

The next Council meeting will be held at DEQ headquarters in Oklahoma City on July 19, 2006. The Environmental Quality Board will meet on August 22 in Ardmore.



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