The National Grain and Feed Association has begun an extensive review of the Environmental Protection Agency's proposal, released Wednesday, that would amend the current section of its new source performance standards to update provisions that affect grain handling, receiving and load-out operations, the group said Thursday.
The NGFA is pleased that the proposed rule references EPA's decision to rescind a Nov. 21, 2007, letter of interpretation under which it had equated temporary storage structures with permanent storage facilities when it came to determining whether elevators were subject to permitting requirements under the Clean Air Act.
EPA in its proposed rule notes that it is rescinding that interpretation since it is "now aware that (temporary storage facilities) typically handle the grain less time throughout the year than other types of permanent storage facilities, and may require different treatment."
Since 2009, NGFA has been collaborating closely with other national grain handling and processing organizations to urge EPA to rescind the temporary storage letter of interpretation, and we're pleased those collaborative efforts and engagement with EPA have been successful on this aspect of this issue.
During that engagement with EPA, NGFA says it has been aware of the agency's plan to eventually issue a proposed rule reexamining and updating its air emission standards for grain elevators.
NGFA says there are several issues of concern, including a new percentage-based formula proposed by EPA under which about one-third of the capacity of temporary storage space would be included when calculating whether an air permit is required.
EPA also is proposing to clarify definitions and provisions in its existing requirements, as well as add a new section to the rule that would apply to grain elevators where construction, modification or reconstruction begins after the July 9 date when this proposal was published in the Federal Register.
The new section includes new emissions limits for certain elevators, as well as additional testing, monitoring, recordkeeping and reporting requirements. Each of these, as well as other, aspects of the proposed rule will warrant meticulous review by the industry.
"We look forward to future engagement with our industry partners and with EPA in an effort to make sure any changes to the new source performance standards for grain-handling, receiving and loading activities are based on technically accurate information and sound science, and preserve our industry's ability to efficiently and cost-effectively serve farmers as well as domestic and export markets," the NCFA continued.