March 11, 2019

Regional Update: Region 1

Brian M. Rayback and Lisa A. Gilbreath

I. EPA Regional Office Issues

The latest Regional Greenhouse Gas Inventory auction on December 5, 2018, resulted in sales of $13,360,649 of carbon dioxide allowances at a clearing price of $5.35. Go here for auction results.

II. States

Connecticut
EPA approved the ozone attainment demonstration portion of a State Implementation Plan (SIP) revision submitted by the State of Connecticut to meet the Clean Air Act (CAA) requirements for attaining the 1997 8-hour ozone national ambient air quality standard (NAAQS). EPA is approving Connecticut’s demonstration of attainment of the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS for the New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, NY-NJ-CT moderate 1997 8-hour ozone nonattainment area. In addition, EPA approved Connecticut’s reasonably available control measures analysis. Go here for the Federal Register notice.

EPA is proposing, however, to find that two areas of Connecticut did not meet the 2008 ozone NAAQS and will be reclassified as “serious,” while denying a 1-year attainment date extension from the July 20, 2021, deadline. Go here for the Federal Register notice.

EPA approved a SIP revision submitted by the State of Connecticut amending requirements for controlling volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions from consumer products and architectural and industrial maintenance (AIM) coatings. Go here for the Federal Register notice.

Maine
On June 27, 2018, Maine Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) posted for public comment a draft petition to EPA to remove most of the state from the Ozone Transport Region (OTR). The petition is based on Maine DEP’s determination that Maine has been and continues to be in attainment with ambient air quality standards for ozone, and Maine sources have a negligible impact on the ozone attainment status of any part of the OTR. Go here for information on the Ozone Transport Region Petition.

Maine DEP proposed changes to its Visible Emissions Regulation (Chapter 101) that will change how opacity is regulated, including during periods of startup, shutdown, or malfunction. Go here for information on the proposed rulemaking.

Maine DEP also proposed changes to its Growth Offset Regulation (Chapter 113) to provide more flexibility in the use of emissions offsets. Go here for information on the proposed rulemaking.

EPA approved most elements of several SIP revisions submitted by the State of Maine regarding:

  • Infrastructure requirements of the CAA for the 2008 lead, 2008 ozone, and 2010 nitrogen dioxide (NO2) NAAQS. Go here for the Federal Register notice.
  • Interstate transport requirements of the CAA with respect to the 2010 primary NO2 NAAQS. This action approves Maine’s demonstration that the state is meeting its obligations regarding the interstate transport of NO2 emissions into other states. Go here for the Federal Register notice.
  • Infrastructure requirements of the CAA for the 2012 fine particle NAAQS. Go here for the Federal Register notice.
  • Infrastructure and interstate transport requirements of the CAA for the 2010 sulfur dioxide (SO2) NAAQS. Go here for the Federal Register notice.

Massachusetts
EPA is proposing to approve a SIP revision submitted by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for the Massachusetts Department of Transportation to construct and operate specified transit facilities and high occupancy vehicle lanes established therein. This action is intended to reduce vehicle miles traveled and traffic congestion in the Boston metropolitan area. Massachusetts has adopted these revisions to reduce emissions of VOC, particulate matter (PM), and nitrogen oxides (NOx). Go here for the Federal Register notice.

The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) is proposing to amend the Massachusetts Ambient Air Quality Standards (Chapter 6.00) to update standards of SO2, PM, carbon monoxide, ozone, NO2, and lead to match the NAAQS and update provisions on monitoring methods promulgated by EPA. Go here for information on the proposed rulemaking.

The MassDEP announced two penalties for violations of asbestos regulations at properties that were being renovated. Go here and here for information on these two cases.

New Hampshire
EPA approved elements of several SIP revisions submitted by the State of New Hampshire regarding:

  • Interstate transport requirements of the CAA, referred to as the good neighbor provision, with respect to the 2010 SO2 NAAQS. Go here for the Federal Register notice.
  • Infrastructure SIP requirements, including the interstate transport requirements, of the CAA for the 2012 fine particle (PM2.5) NAAQS. Go here for the Federal Register notice.
  • Regulation for the enhanced motor vehicle inspection and maintenance program. New Hampshire continues to implement a test and repair network for an on-board diagnostic testing program. Go here for the Federal Register notice.

New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (NHDES) has proposed to readopt and amend its Mitigation of Regional Haze rule (ENV-A 2300), which establishes SO2, NOx, and total suspended particulate standards for large fossil-fuel-fired power plants that contribute to regional haze. Currently the rule applies to only one facility in New Hampshire––Granite Shore Power. Go here for information on the proposed rulemaking.

NHDES announced that it will require installation of air pollution controls at a plastics plant under a new law that authorizes it to require controls for air emissions of certain PFAS compounds that impact soil and water. An investigation concluded that even the low emissions from the facility could contribute to existing groundwater exceedances of New Hampshire’s Ambient Groundwater Quality Standard of 70 ppt for PFOA, PFOS, and PFOA and PFOS combined. Go here for more information.

Rhode Island
EPA approved a SIP revision submitted by the State of Rhode Island. These revisions include regulations to update the enhanced motor vehicle inspection and maintenance (I/M) program. The revised program includes a test and repair network consisting of on-board diagnostic (OBD2) testing for model year 1996 and newer vehicles and tailpipe exhaust test, using a dynamometer, for model year 1995 and older vehicles. Go here for the Federal Register notice.

EPA approved a SIP revision submitted by the State of Rhode Island that updates Air Pollution Control Regulations for volatile organic compound emissions, nitrogen oxide emissions, sulfur content in fuel requirements, and associated general definitions. Go here for the Federal Register notice.

Vermont

Vermont Agency of Natural Resources has amended its rules for low emission vehicles, which incorporate by reference the California motor vehicle emission standards. The amendment states that vehicle manufacturers cannot substitute compliance with federal greenhouse gas emission standards to meet the California greenhouse gas emission standards. Go here for more information.

Brian M. Rayback and Lisa A. Gilbreath

Published: March 11, 2019


Brian M. Rayback is chair of Pierce Atwood’s Environmental and Land Use Practice Group, where his practice involves a broad array of environmental and land use issues, with emphasis on air, water, natural resources, and land use law. He is listed in Chambers USA for environmental law and in Best Lawyers in America for land use and zoning law.

 

Lisa A. Gilbreath is an associate at Pierce Atwood, where she works on a variety of environmental and energy matters, offering clients strategic advice in regulatory, legislative, and judicial proceedings at both the state and federal levels.  She has deep experience in obtaining the regulatory approvals for and permitting of complex energy infrastructure projects, and also is a member of the Energy Infrastructure Group at Pierce Atwood.  Lisa also counsels clients on environmental legislative and regulatory activities, hazardous substances and hazardous waste management, and contaminated property remediation and cleanup, and represents clients in energy and environmental enforcement and litigation proceedings.