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Air Quality Update
May, 2007, Vol 10, No 2
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AP-42 Emission Factor Updates

Currently, EPA lists only two sections under review; the comment period has closed on both. The comment period for Chapter 15, Ordnance Detonation closed February 28, 2007. The comment period for Section 12.5.1, Steel Mini-mills was extended to April 16, 2007 and has now closed.

Find more AP-42 information on EPA’s TTN-CHIEF Bulletin Board at

Advisory Council Hears From Public On Mercury Rule

The Air Quality Advisory Council held its first meeting this year in Tulsa on April 18. The agenda for the meeting included hearings on several proposed rules for Chapter 100.

Customary business for the Council’s first meeting each year begins with the election of officers. David Branecky was elected Chair for 2007, and Rick Treeman Vice-Chair. Mr. Branecky represents the electric utilities industry, and Mr. Treeman represents the agriculture community.

The Council voted to forward to the Environmental Quality Board for consideration at its August 22 meeting the following rules:

• Revocation of Subchapter 37, Section 38, Pumps and compressors. The language in that section is obsolete; and
• Appendix E, Primary Ambient Air Quality Standards and Appendix F, Secondary Ambient Air Quality Standards. The updates will make the two appendices consistent with recent changes to the federal Particulate Matter Standards.

A large portion of the meeting was focused on the proposed Subchapter 44, Mercury Emissions rule. The Council heard comments from a number of citizens expressing their concern over the implementation of the mercury rule as proposed. In addition, Dr. Leonard Levin with the Electric Power Research Institute gave a presentation on the effects of mercury on the environment, on behalf of the electric utility industry. The Council deferred the decision on adoption of the rule until its July 2007 meeting.

Other proposed amendments that were deferred to the July meeting include:

• Subchapter 7, Permits for Minor Facilities;
• Subchapter 17, Incinerators; and
• Definitions sections in Subchapters 1, 8, 37 and 39.

Comments were requested on the existing Subchapter 9, Excess Emission Reporting Requirements. The Council voted to consider proposed changes to this rule at the October 2007 meeting.

The next Council meeting will be held in Ponca City on July 18, 2007.

General Permit for Oil and Gas Facilities (GP-OGF)

A general permit is now available that can be used for most minor source oil and gas facilities including production sites, compressor stations, gas processing plants, bulk storage facilities, and pipeline breakout stations. The GP-OGF has several features that may make it a better choice for an owner/operator than obtaining a minor source construction and/or operating permit. The most significant are:

1. An owner/operator may start construction as soon as a Notice of Intent (NOI) to construct is received by AQD. Upon receipt of the application, AQD will check that the source is eligible for the general permit, and that the proper fee was submitted, and will issue an Authorization to Construct (letter) advising the applicant that they were authorized to begin construction upon the date the NOI was received (the date the application was mailed to or delivered to AQD). The source is covered under and must meet the requirements of the general permit during construction and initial operation.

2. The fee for an Authorization to Construct is $400 versus $1,000 to $1,500 for a minor source construction permit. The fee for an Authorization to Operate is $150 versus $500 for a minor source operating permit.

3. Under the GP-OGF, the facility operates under a facility-wide emissions cap not to equal or exceed major source thresholds of 100 tpy for any one criteria pollutant, 10 tpy for an individual HAP, or 25 tpy for total HAP. The cap on emissions is based on an annual basis so that, in general, the permittee keeps the same records required to calculate an annual emissions inventory to demonstrate compliance with the facility-wide emissions cap.

4. Most of the typical modifications made at these type of facilities (such as installing a new engine, replacing an existing engine with a larger engine, installing additional storage tanks, installing a new or modifying a glycol dehydration unit, etc) may be constructed without a construction permit or a modified operating permit as long as the facility remains a minor source. The facility needs only to (1) update their equipment inventory, (2) recalculate potential emissions to make sure the facility remains a minor source, and (3) send a Notice of Modification to AQD to inform the agency of the modification. Installation of a controlled engine requires a Notice of Modification that establishes lb/hr emissions limits for NOX and CO from that engine.

5. For facilities that are defined as a True Minor Facility (have the potential to emit less than or equal to 80 tpy each of NOX and CO), the permittee must only test an uncontrolled engine once rather than the quarterly testing (progressing down to annual testing) required for a minor source operating permit.

6. An existing permitted source may apply for an Authorization to Operate simply by filling in the General Facility Information and Landowner Affidavit forms and including a marked-up copy of the current permit with any requested changes identified.

The permit memorandum, permit, fact sheet, and application forms (#100-305A - N) for the GP-OGF may all be viewed and downloaded at If you have additional questions please contact Grover Campbell or Dave Dimick at 405-702-4100.

Important Compliance Date Upcoming!

On January 3, 2007, EPA promulgated changes to the “NESHAP for Oil and Natural Gas Production Facilities,” 40 CFR Part 63, Subpart HH, to include area source requirements. Of particular importance to facilities in Oklahoma is that all TEG dehydration units are now subject to HH (unless they don’t emit a HAP), and all such units are subject to a requirement under HH unless they meet certain exemptions in the rule.

A TEG dehydration unit is exempt from emission reduction requirements if its actual annual average natural gas flow rate is less than 3 MMSCFD or its actual average emissions of benzene are less than 1.0 TPY. Any source meeting either of these criteria is also exempt from any reporting requirements, including initial notification. However, the source must maintain records demonstrating that the TEG dehydration unit meets the exemptions each year. For the benzene emissions exemption, the owner or operator must use GLYCalcTM, Version 3.0 or higher and representative actual operating conditions to calculate actual annual emissions of benzene. Also, benzene emissions must be determined either uncontrolled or with federally enforceable controls in place. Therefore, if the benzene emissions exemption is determined based on controlled emissions, such as a condenser or combustion of the vent stream, the source must have an operating permit.

In general, requirements under the rule are based on whether the unit is located within a high population density area, referred to as an urban county, area, or cluster, e.g., “Urban-1 County,” “UA plus offset and UC.” TEG dehydration units within a UA plus offset and UC are subject to the same control requirements as major source dehydrators. TEG dehydrators outside of a UA plus offset and UC must operate at a glycol circulation rate less than or equal to an “optimum circulation rate.”

The rule is effective immediately for any area source constructed or modified on or after July 8, 2005, and for any area source located within an Urban-1 County that was constructed or modified on or after February 6, 1998. These area sources must achieve compliance immediately upon initial startup or January 3, 2007, whichever date is later. Initial notifications must be submitted by January 3, 2008 if startup was prior to January 3, 2007. Otherwise the notification is due 180 days after the source becomes subject to the standard. A “Notification of Compliance Status Report” is also due within 180 days of the compliance date.

Existing sources (constructed or reconstructed before February 6, 1998) located within an Urban-1 County must achieve compliance by January 4, 2010, if located within a UA plus offset and UC boundary, or by January 5, 2009, if not located within a UA plus offset and UC boundary. Existing sources (constructed or reconstructed before July 8, 2005) not located within an Urban-1 County must achieve compliance by January 4, 2010, if located within a UA plus offset and UC boundary, or by January 5, 2009, if not located within a UA plus offset and UC boundary.

A key date for many sources is July 12, 2007 (180 days after the January 3, 2007 compliance date), the due date of the Notification of Compliance Status Report. Note that the rule allows the information required in the “Notification of Compliance Status Report” to be submitted in an operating permit application, an amendment to an operating permit application, or a separate submittal. Since some facilities with dehydration units subject to this rule may not have a permit, or conditions in existing permits may not be representative of, and consistent with the requirements of this new rule, it is recommended that an application for a permit, or permit modification be obtained prior to the July 12, 2007 date.

Clean Air Mercury Rule

On March 15, 2005, EPA issued the Clean Air Mercury Rule (CAMR) to permanently cap and reduce mercury emissions from coal-fired power plants. The estimated 48 tons of mercury they emit is about one-third of the total amount of mercury released annually by human activities in the United States. The EPA model rule would decrease these annual emissions to 15 tons by 2018. Regulation of the coal-fired power plants is the latest in a series of measures intended to reduce the mercury man emits to the atmosphere.

Mercury levels reached a peak around 1960 with levels about 10 times greater than those before 1900. By the 1980s, however, depositions had fallen to less than half of the level of the 1950s. Mercury emissions continued to decline in the decade of the 1990s. In 1993, U.S. yearly emissions totaled about 242 tons. By the end of the decade, emissions had declined to less than 160 tons per year.

These reductions in mercury emissions are due to changes in the industrial processes and products that use mercury. The use of mercury in batteries, fungicides and paints has been reduced. Thermometers, thermostats, gauges and instruments using mercury have been phased-out or replaced. In addition, municipal waste combustors, hazardous waste combustors, and medical waste incinerators have been regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Federal regulations reducing mercury emissions by 90 percent from municipal waste combustors and by 94 percent from medical waste incinerators were released in October 1995 and in August 1997. The number of operating chlor-alkali plants has also declined from about 20 in 1990 to 12 in 2000, and those still operating have reduced their mercury use.

The chart illustrates the effect these actions had on mercury emissions in the Great Lakes basin in a twelve year period. The figure represents a larger land area with more emissions than Oklahoma, but is a good representation of the trends in mercury emissions since 1988.

Power plants are the largest remaining anthropogenic source of mercury emissions and they will be reducing their emissions by at least 70% to comply with the CAMR. Overall reductions will be greater since some states that are dependent on coal power already have or will adopt mercury rules msore stringent than the CAMR. The intent of the EPA is to limit mercury emissions and power plants are going to reduce mercury.

Mercury is global, naturally occurring and does not simply go away. It will always be present, since the largest natural sources are volcanoes and re-emission from the ocean. The efforts of the EPA and of the states to reduce emissions and educate the public to the dangers of mercury represent the best protection we have against mercury.


Late LBP Quarterly Reports Are Still a Problem in 2007

The LBP Management Program rule OAC 252:110-13-4 Activities Report states, “A quarterly report of all LBP services performed in target housing and child-occupied facilities by certified persons must be submitted to the Department. These reports are due by the 10th day of January, April, July, and October on forms available from the department.”

Every individual that is certified by the DEQ to participate in any of the LBP disciplines is required to submit a quarterly activity report.

In the 2007 certification period, less than 50% of the expected reports were submitted on time. These reports are important to each individual’s certification because all quarterly reports must be filed before any certification can be renewed. When reports are not filed in a timely manner, already limited program resources must be used to send late notices. These additional expenditures are totally avoidable.

DEQ has previously brought this situation to the attention of LBP contractors, but there has been little improvement in the timeliness of reports. DEQ is in the process of issuing letters of non-compliance to those individuals that have failed to submit the required reports on time. In the event that an individual fails to submit the required reports on time after receiving a letter of non-compliance, formal enforcement action may be taken against the individual. Quarterly report forms are available on request or If you have questions, feel free to contact Richard Hooper or Kevin Tallant at 405-702-4100.

ScienceFest 2007

The spirit of Oklahomans helping others was evident as DEQ employees provided support at ScienceFest 2007. On April 19, DEQ staff, 65 in all, set aside their normal workload to focus on the education of Oklahoma’s fourth and fifth graders. As the state’s environmental agency, DEQ considers science and environmental education to be an important component of our mission. Relating science, human actions, and the impacts of those actions to the youth of our society will enable them to have a greater appreciation of the environment in their future.

Over 5,000 students, teachers, and chaperones converged for this event. Educational content was provided through 23 hands-on activity stations, an exhibit booth, and a narrated live animal show.

DEQ interacted with the classes through six educational booths on the subjects of air quality, composting, and water quality. The activity at each booth was designed to allow the students to participate in the learning experience. Thirty employees helped ScienceFest in this primary capacity.

An event this size requires a large behind the scenes logistical component. Many concurrent measures must take place for ScienceFest to run smoothly. Among them are over 100 buses that need to be parked and unloaded, class entries and exits to be controlled, and lunches to be served. Every year DEQ employees rally in support roles to help make ScienceFest a great day for the participants. This year 35 staff members voluntarily accepted unglorified but extremely important jobs such as serving hot dogs, directing bus traffic, delivering water, and crowd control and safety. A total of 115 volunteers from all ScienceFest partner agencies assisted with the successful execution of the event, each one a valued asset.

The influence of ScienceFest on the students of Oklahoma will be measured later in their actions and attitudes. But this opportunity for impact would not be possible without the assistance of the many volunteers, partners, and educators. ScienceFest is held at the Oklahoma City Zoological Park and Botanical Garden and is sponsored by DEQ, OGE Energy Corp., Department of Commerce, and the Office of the Secretary of the Environment. In addition to the sponsors, six partner agencies help plan and deliver the event including Conservation Commission, Department of Tourism and Recreation, State Department of Education, Oklahoma Climatological Survey, Tinker Air Force Base, and the OKC Zoo.

Self-Disclosures Can Help

The regulated community does have a choice when issues of non-compliance occur. The facility may wait until the Department of Environmental Quality discovers the issue(s), starting the alternative or traditional enforcement procedures. Another choice would be to submit a Self-Disclosure at the time the company discovers the issue of non-compliance. Full or partial mitigation of all civil and administrative penalties is the primary advantage over traditional enforcement procedures. A possible reduction in the level of enforcement may be granted and there will not be a Notice of Violation drafted, unless the facility does not cooperate. The Department reviews all circumstances on a case by case basis, before giving full, partial, or no credit for a Self-Disclosure. If the regulated entity does not have habitual non-compliance and all eight criteria are met as outlined below, mitigation may be received. An Economic Benefit from Non-compliance (“BEN”) cannot be reduced through the Self-Disclosure process.

To meet the criteria in a Self-Disclosure:
1. The regulated entity must voluntarily, promptly, and fully disclose the apparent failure before the Department learns of it or is likely to learn of it imminently.
2. The failure cannot be deliberate or intentional.
3. The environmental management systems in place must be appropriate to the size and nature of the regulated entity.
4. Immediate and reasonable action must be taken to correct the failure.
5. Remedial action taken to prevent recurrence of such failure.
6. The regulated entity must address any environmental impacts.
7. Disclose any economic or competitive advantage due to the result of non-compliance.
8. Full cooperation with the Department of Environmental Quality is expected as the Department performs its duties to confirm the entity’s compliance with all conditions.

The Department understands issues of non-compliance occur in the field. By offering the regulated community the choice of submitting a Self-Disclosure, the Department intends to resolve issues of non-compliance quickly with partial or full mitigation of penalties. If you have questions, feel free to contact Jarrod Gregg at 405-702-4100. Considerations for self-reporting of non-compliance are under OAC 252:4-9-5 and is found at The Self-Disclosure form may be found at


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