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Assuring Compliance With Air Emissions Limits

Fortnightly Magazine - March 15 1998

CAM rule compared with its environmental benefits. Title V facilities have just finished the federal operating permit process and corrective action required. CAM will be expensive to comply with and resource intensive for state agencies to administer. F

James P. O'Brien is a partner in the international partnership of Baker & McKenzie in Chicago office. O'Brien concentrates his practice on environmental and energy law.

Identifying Sources

By Pollutant & Control Device

THE EPA uses several tests to determine which control devices and what specific pollutants from those devices fall under the CAM rule.

CONTROL DEVICES. The EPA uses three criteria to distinguish process equipment from pollution control devices: (1) Is the primary purpose of the equipment to control air pollution? (2) Where the equipment is recovering a product, how do the cost savings from the product compare to the cost of the equipment? (3) Would the equipment be installed if no air quality regulations were in place?

TYPES OF POLLUTANTS. CAM applicability is determined with respect to each pollutant at an emissions unit separately. For example, a coal-fired boiler emitting through a single stack could make up several pollutant-specific emissions units, such as for particulate matter, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide and carbon dioxide.

So Who's Covered Anyway?

Overlaps and Exemptions Cloud the Issue

THE Acid Rain Program already has monitoring requirements. Many operating permits include continuous emissions monitoring requirements. Recently promulgated New Source Performance Standards have monitoring requirements. There is so much overlap, it is sometimes difficult to determine what equipment CAM actually covers.

The CAM requirements apply to active pollution control devices that control emissions of specific pollutants on individual air emission units. The applicability of the CAM requirements should be evaluated for the following typical devices or practices.


•  Electrostatic precipitators for particulates

•  Flue gas desulfurization units

•  Bag filters for coal handling and ash management for fugitive dust

•  Combustion techniques that do not improve the efficiency of the system

•  Cyclonic separators for coal handling

•  Flue gas recirculation techniques

•  Selective catalytic reduction equipment with ammonia injection


•  Steam or water injection for NOx control

•  Selective catalytic reduction equipment with ammonia injection for NOx

•  Dry-low NOx combustion operation

1 The rule was added as Part 64 of title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations. Unless otherwise indicated, section cites below reference title 40 of the code.

2 62 Fed. Reg. at 54902&54907.

3 The credible evidence rule was published by EPA on Feb. 27, 1997 at 62 Fed Reg 8314.

4 An environmental group has filed suit against EPA claiming that the CAM rule requiring monitoring of control equipment does not satisfy the mandate of the 1990 amendments to the Act that EPA require monitoring of actual emissions. Natural Resource Defense Council v. EPA, Case No. 97-1727, pending in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia (filed Dec. 19, 1997). The suit alleges that the legislative history of the 1990 amendments shows Congress intended EPA require monitoring of actual emissions.