[Federal Register Volume 63, Number 192 (Monday, October 5, 1998)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 53288-53290]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 98-26632]


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ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

40 CFR Part 60

[FRL-6168-9]


New Source Performance Standards (NSPS)--Applicability of 
Standards of Performance for Coal Preparation Plants to Coal Unloading 
Operations

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION: Interpretation of standards of performance.

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SUMMARY: EPA issued an interpretation of the New Source Performance 
Standards (NSPS) for Coal Preparation Plants, 40 CFR part 60, subpart 
Y, on October 3, 1997, in response to an inquiry from the Honorable 
Barbara Cubin, United States House of Representatives. After a careful 
review of NSPS Subpart Y, the relevant regulations under Title V of the 
Clean Air Act, and associated documents, EPA issued an interpretation 
concluding that coal unloading that involves conveying coal to coal 
plant machinery is subject to the NSPS, and that fugitive emissions, if 
any, from coal dumping must be included in a determination of whether a 
coal preparation plant is a major source subject to Title V permitting 
requirements. The full text of the interpretation appears in the 
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of today's document.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Chris Oh, United States 
Environmental Protection Agency (2223A), 401 M Street, SW., Washington, 
D.C. 20460, telephone (202) 564-7004.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This interpretation does not supersede, 
alter, or in any way replace the existing NSPS Subpart Y--Standards of 
Performance for Coal Preparation Plants. This notice is intended solely 
as a guidance and does not represent an action subject to judicial 
review under section 307(b) of the Clean Air Act or section 704 of the 
Administrative Procedures Act.

Analysis Regarding Regulatory Status of Fugitive Emissions From 
Coal Unloading at Coal Preparation Plants

    This analysis addresses the treatment of fugitive emissions from 
coal unloading at coal preparation plants. The first question is 
whether coal unloading is regulated under the New Source Performance 
Standard (NSPS) for coal preparation plants, 40 CFR part 60, subpart Y. 
The second question is whether fugitive emissions from coal unloading 
must be included in determining whether the plant is a major source 
subject to Title V permitting requirements. In this analysis, we use 
the term ``coal unloading'' to encompass ``coal truck dumping'' and 
``coal truck unloading,'' as well as dumping or unloading from trains, 
barges, mine cars, and conveyors.
    In a February 24, 1995, letter to the Wyoming Department of 
Environmental Quality, signed by the Branch Chief for Air Programs, EPA 
Region VIII concluded that coal unloading is not regulated by NSPS 
Subpart Y (i.e., is not an ``affected facility''). Region VIII 
approached the Title V issue by first determining whether coal 
unloading is part of the NSPS coal preparation plant source category. 
Having decided that coal unloading at the coal preparation plant site 
is part of the source category, Region VIII concluded that fugitive 
emissions from coal unloading must be included in determining whether 
the plant is a major source subject to Title V permitting requirements.
    Our independent review of NSPS Subpart Y and associated documents 
leads us to conclude that coal unloading that involves conveying coal 
to plant machinery is regulated under Subpart Y. Thus, we disagree with 
the Region VIII letter to the extent it says that this type of coal 
unloading is not an affected facility. We agree with Region VIII's 
conclusion that fugitive emissions from coal unloading must be included 
in determining whether the plant is a major source subject to Title V 
permitting requirements. However, the relevant Title V regulations and 
related provisions indicate that the analysis should focus on the 
``source'' rather than the ``source category.'' In other words, the 
central question is not whether coal unloading is within the NSPS 
source category. Rather, it is whether coal unloading at a coal 
preparation plant is part of the source that belongs to this source 
category.
    Accordingly, this analysis primarily addresses two issues: whether 
coal unloading is an affected facility under NSPS Subpart Y, and 
whether coal unloading is part of the source belonging to the coal 
preparation plant NSPS source category. Underlying the second issue is 
the question of whether fugitive emissions associated with coal 
unloading should be included in major source determinations.
    The question of whether fugitive emissions from coal unloading 
should be included in major source determinations has implications for 
permitting requirements under Title V of the Clean Air Act (``CAA'' or 
``the Act''). Under the current Title V

[[Page 53289]]

implementing regulations, States must require ``major sources'' to 
obtain a permit. 40 CFR 70.3. ``Major source,'' in turn, is defined as 
``any stationary source (or any group of stationary sources that are 
located on one or more contiguous or adjacent properties, and are under 
common control of the same person (or persons under common control)) 
belonging to a single major industrial grouping * * *'' that is also a 
major source under section 112 or a major stationary source under 
section 302 or part D of Title I of the Act. 40 CFR 70.2. Relevant to 
the analysis here is the section 302(j) definition of major stationary 
source as any stationary source that emits or has the potential to emit 
100 tons per year (tpy) or more of any air pollutant. Section 302(j) 
also provides that fugitive emissions count towards the 100 tpy 
threshold as determined by EPA by rule.
    Pursuant to CAA section 302(j), the EPA has determined by rule that 
fugitive emissions count towards the major source threshold for all 
sources that belong to source categories regulated under the New Source 
Performance Standards (NSPS) as of August 7, 1980. 49 FR 43202, 43209 
(October 26, 1984). Because coal preparation plants are regulated by an 
NSPS (40 CFR part 60, subpart Y) which was proposed on October 24, 1974 
and promulgated on January 15, 1976, fugitive emissions from sources 
that belong to the coal preparation plant source category count towards 
this threshold. Thus, if coal unloading is part of the source belonging 
to the coal preparation plant source category, then fugitive emissions 
from coal unloading must be included in the major source determination.
    After a careful review of NSPS Subpart Y, the relevant Title V 
regulations, and associated documents, we conclude that: (1) Coal 
unloading that involves conveying coal to plant machinery is an 
affected facility under NSPS Subpart Y; and (2) All coal unloading at a 
coal preparation plant is a part of the source belonging to the coal 
preparation plant source category. We also determine that all coal 
unloading at a coal preparation plant fits within the NSPS source 
category. Finally, we conclude that fugitive emissions from coal 
unloading must be counted in determining whether a coal preparation 
plant is a major source subject to Title V permitting requirements. The 
reasons for our conclusions are discussed below.

I. Is Coal Unloading an Affected Facility Under NSPS Subpart Y?

    In NSPS Subpart Y, several emission points are identified and 
regulated as part of a coal preparation plant. Subpart Y lists the 
following affected facilities: thermal dryers, pneumatic coal-cleaning 
equipment (air tables), coal processing and conveying equipment 
(including breakers and crushers), coal storage systems, and coal 
transfer and loading systems. Because coal unloading is not 
specifically listed, the relevant question is whether it is covered 
under one of the listed affected facilities.
    EPA concludes that coal unloading that involves conveying coal to 
plant machinery fits within the definition of ``coal processing and 
conveying equipment.'' 40 CFR 60.251(g) defines ``coal processing and 
conveying equipment'' as ``any machinery used to reduce the size of 
coal or to separate coal from refuse, and the equipment used to convey 
coal to or remove coal and refuse from the machinery. This includes, 
but is not limited to, breakers, crushers, screens, and conveyor 
belts.'' The key phrases are ``the equipment used to convey coal to * * 
* machinery'' and ``but is not limited to.'' While the ``equipment'' 
involved in coal unloading varies from plant to plant (the definition 
is written broadly enough to accommodate the differences), what is 
important is that the equipment perform the function of conveying. It 
should be noted that if the coal is unloaded for the purpose of 
storage, then the unloading activity is not an affected facility under 
NSPS Subpart Y. The coal must be directly unloaded into receiving 
equipment, such as a hopper, to be subject to the provisions of NSPS 
Subpart Y.
    In addressing this question, EPA also reviewed a number of 
supplementary documents associated with NSPS Subpart Y.1 The 
supplementary documents, with one exception, are consistent with our 
conclusion that coal unloading, if it involves conveying coal to plant 
machinery, is an affected facility.
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    \1\ The documents used in this discussion are the following: EPA 
document number 340/1-77-022 (dated 11/77): ``Inspection Manual for 
Enforcement of New Source Performance Standards: Coal Preparation 
Plants'' (``1977 Inspection Manual''); EPA document number 450/3-80-
022 (dated 12/80): ``A Review of Standards of Performance for New 
Stationary Sources--Coal Preparation Plants'' (``1980 Review''); EPA 
document number 450/3-88-001 (dated 2/88): ``Second Review of New 
Source Performance Standards for Coal Preparation Plants'' (``1988 
Review'').
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    The 1977 Inspection Manual identifies coal unloading areas as key 
areas for fugitive emissions. It addresses fugitive emissions from coal 
unloading in the context of both emission performance tests and 
periodic compliance inspections. The manual states that the emission 
performance tests are ``intended to serve as a basis for determining 
[the] compliance status of the plant during later inspections.'' The 
manual provides a checklist for recording test results; this checklist 
includes places for recording emission opacity percentages associated 
with unloading from trucks, barges, or railroads. The manual also 
instructs the inspectors to use the emissions test checklist for 
periodic compliance inspections. The inspectors are instructed to 
compare current plant operations with those recorded during the 
emissions performance tests. Clearly, this manual, which was issued 
less than a year after Subpart Y was promulgated, treats coal unloading 
as an affected facility.
    The 1980 Review, in contrast, states that ``[a] significant source 
of potential fugitive emission not regulated by current NSPS are coal 
`unloading' or `receiving' systems.'' This is later tempered by the 
statement that ``coal unloading systems were not mentioned as affected 
facilities.'' The 1980 Review does not explore whether coal unloading, 
although not specifically listed, might be covered by the definition of 
``coal processing and conveying equipment.''
    The 1988 Review does not specifically address coal unloading as an 
affected facility, but it assumes that coal unloading is one of the 
sources of fugitive emissions covered by the NSPS. For example, the 
1988 Review identifies truck dumps as one of the sources of fugitive 
emissions at a coal preparation plant and lays out the cost of 
controlling fugitive emission sources at the plant. These cost figures 
are used in calculating the cost effectiveness of the existing NSPS. 
This cost effectiveness calculation is based on the premise that 
complying with the NSPS means controlling fugitive emissions, including 
emissions from truck dumps.
    In light of the above information, EPA concludes that coal 
unloading that involves conveying coal to machinery at coal preparation 
plants is an affected facility under the NSPS for coal preparation 
plants (40 CFR part 60, subpart Y) and is subject to all requirements 
applying to ``coal processing and conveying equipment.'' EPA recognizes 
that past determinations on the applicability of Subpart Y to coal 
unloading varied from Region to Region. Therefore, we will notify all 
Regional Offices of this conclusion. In the Regions that have been 
exempting coal unloading from NSPS Subpart Y, no penalties will be 
sought for past violations. We expect that coal preparation plants will 
be able to control emissions from such coal

[[Page 53290]]

unloading in the future through use of add-on controls.

II. Is Coal Unloading Part of the Source That Belongs to the Source 
Category for Coal Preparation Plants?

    Whether a facility has been regulated as an affected facility does 
not determine whether fugitive emissions from that facility are to be 
counted in determining whether the source as a whole is major under 
Title V. Rather, if the facility is part of a source that falls within 
a source category which has been listed pursuant to section 302(j) of 
the Act, then all fugitive emissions of any regulated air pollutant 
from that facility are to be included in determining whether that 
source is a major stationary source under section 302 or part D of 
Title I of the Act and accordingly required to obtain a Title V permit.
    Section 302(j) of the Act provides that EPA may determine whether 
fugitive emissions from a ``stationary source'' count towards the major 
source threshold. For purposes of the 302(j) rulemaking, the term 
``stationary source'' is defined as ``any building, structure, 
facility, or installation which emits or may emit any air pollutant 
subject to regulation under the Act.'' 40 CFR 51.166(b)(5) and 
52.21(b)(5). Building, structure, facility, or installation means ``all 
of the pollutant emitting activities which belong to the same 
industrial grouping, are located on one or more contiguous or adjacent 
properties, and are under the control of the same person (or persons 
under common control) except the activities of any vessel.'' 40 CFR 
51.166(b)(6) and 52.21(b)(6).
    EPA has determined by rule that fugitive emissions count towards 
the major source threshold for all sources that belong to the source 
category regulated by NSPS Subpart Y. 49 FR 43202, 43209 (October 26, 
1984). Under the definition of source used in the 302(j) rulemaking, 
all types of coal unloading at coal preparation plants are covered. 
Coal unloading normally belongs to the same industrial grouping as 
other activities at coal preparation plants, is located on contiguous 
or adjacent property, and is under common control. Therefore, EPA 
concludes that all coal unloading at a coal preparation plant is part 
of the source belonging to the source category for coal preparation 
plants.
    Coal unloading of all types also fits within the NSPS source 
category. A survey of EPA Regional Offices indicated that the majority 
of the Regions treat coal unloading at a coal preparation plant as 
being within the NSPS source category. Coal unloading that is regulated 
under Subpart Y is clearly within the source category. Common sense 
would dictate that coal unloading for temporary storage be treated no 
differently. It is performed at the same facility and is an integral 
part of the operations at that facility. The latter type of coal 
unloading is simply an optional first step in the coal preparation 
process.
    EPA concludes that fugitive emissions from coal unloading must be 
counted in determining whether a coal preparation plant is a major 
source subject to Title V permitting requirements.

    Dated: September 16, 1998.
Kenneth A. Gigliello,
Acting Director, Manufacturing, Energy and Transportation Division, 
Office of Compliance.
[FR Doc. 98-26632 Filed 10-2-98; 8:45 am]
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