The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency sent its final rule banning exemptions from air emissions limits during periods of startup, shutdown and malfunction to the White House Office of Management and Budget for review July 23. This review is the final step before publication and normally takes several weeks before Federal Register publication, but can take longer.
Existing state rules have typically allowed excess emissions during SSM events. In 2011, the Sierra Club filed a petition that these exemptions were violations of the Clean Air Act, and in 2013 EPA responded by proposing to eliminate all exemptions for startup and shutdown, and greatly limit exemptions for malfunctions. NSSGA submitted comments on the proposed SSM rule in 2013, noting that EPA’s proposal went far beyond agency policy and previous court decisions, and detailed numerous instances where excess emissions at startup are not avoidable at aggregates operations.