Ohio EPA’s Draft Startup, Shutdown or Malfunction and Scheduled Maintenance Rules


Ohio EPA is soliciting comments on the draft Startup, Shutdown or Malfunction and Scheduled Maintenance (SSM & SM) Rules contained in Ohio Administrative Code (OAC) Rules 3745-14-11, 3745-15-01, 3745-15-06, and 3745-17-07. Comments are due by December 14, 2016.

These rule changes are in response to a settlement agreement between US EPA and the Sierra Club. US EPA issued a SIP call (80 FR 113 p. 33840) to 36 states, including Ohio, to address concerns about excess emissions that occur during SSM & SM periods. US EPA is requiring each affected state to submit corrective SIP revisions by November 22, 2016. This draft rule package is Ohio EPA’s attempt to respond to US EPA’s SIP call.

OAC Rule 3745-15-01 - Definitions

For the first time, OAC rule 3745-15-01 will now include a definition for “Malfunction.” The draft rule defines a malfunction as “a sudden, infrequent, and not reasonably preventable failure of air pollution control equipment, process equipment, process monitoring equipment or a process to operate in a normal manner. Equipment failures that are caused in part or whole by poor maintenance or careless operation are not malfunctions.” This definition may exclude certain episodes that were historically considered “malfunctions” under the current rule.

OAC rule 3745-15-06(A) – Scheduled Maintenance

This draft rule package proposes significant changes to the scheduled maintenance provisions of OAC rule 3745-15-06(A). In cases where a complete source shutdown may result in damage to the source or is otherwise impossible or impractical, the draft rule requires owners or operators to notify Ohio EPA two weeks prior to the planned shutdown. Currently, this notification is voluntary.

The draft changes to the scheduled maintenance provisions imposes work practice requirements in cases where a complete source shutdown during the scheduled maintenance of air pollution control equipment may result in damage to the source or sources or is otherwise impossible or impractical. The owner or operator must: (1) implement practicable measures to minimize the duration of the shutdown period and (2) implement control measures to reduce emissions during the shutdown period. These requirements do not exist in the current rule.

Within five business days of completion of the scheduled maintenance of air pollution control equipment, the owner or operator of the source will be required to notify the director that the scheduled maintenance activity has been completed including any deviations from the initial notification. This requirement does not exist in the current rule.

The exceedance of any emission limit or permit term and condition during scheduled maintenance periods must be reported as a deviation in a Permit Evaluation Report for non-Title V facilities and in quarterly reports for Title V facilities. Currently, scheduled maintenance periods are not considered deviations.

OAC rule 3745-15-06(B) through (D) – Malfunction Reporting

The draft rule changes the timeline by which the owner or operator must notify Ohio EPA of an equipment malfunction. The agency should be immediately notified of any malfunction. If the malfunction continues for more than twenty-four hours, a written statement must be provided to the director within one week of the malfunction. Previously malfunctions lasting less than 72 hours did not require a written report and reports for malfunctions lasting longer than 72 hours required a written report within two weeks.

The draft rule contains new language that requires the Director of Ohio EPA to evaluate each initial notification and written malfunction report to confirm that it meets the criteria for being a “malfunction”. The draft rule states that initial notifications and written reports do not constitute a violation of an applicable emission standard. The draft rule requires any episode that is deemed to be in excess of an allowable emission limitation or contrary to another permit term and condition be reported as a deviation in a Permit Evaluation Report for non-Title V facilities and in quarterly reports for Title V facilities

OAC rule 3745-15-06(E) – Alternative Emission Limits

OAC rule 3745-15-06(E) establishes new criteria for owners or operators to request alternative emission limitations during periods of startup, shutdown, malfunction, and scheduled maintenance for any new or existing source.

OAC rule 3745-15-06(F) & (G) – Routine Maintenance

OAC rule 3745-15-06(F) and (G) contain new language that exempts coke oven batteries and glass melting furnaces from PTI, PTIO and Title V permit terms and conditions during periods of routine maintenance of add-on pollution controls so long as certain criteria are met.

If you have any questions, contact Ron Hansen at 614-794-3570 Ext. 21.