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Keeping pace with the 1990 Clear Air Act Amendments.

Ensure that your foundry keeps abreast of the EPA's compliance assurance monitoring and case-by-case maximum achievable control technology regulations.

Over the next decade, foundries will find it an increasing challenge to keep up with environmental requirements promulgated by the federal government - especially those that stem from the 1990 Clean Air Act amendments. Successful foundries will have to meet the challenge or fall under the burden of too many rules with too little time to comply. If foundrymen want to win this race, they must see their obstacles clearly and prepare their facilities for these new waste requirements.


After six years of development under several different regulatory formats and two different titles, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) promulgated the Compliance Assurance Monitoring (CAM) Rule in October 1997. In response to the amended Clean Air Act, the EPA was required to develop enhanced monitoring rules that specify major stationary sources covered under Part 70, Operating Permit Rule (Title V). These sources must submit compliance certifications to document compliance with any federally enforceable emission limitation.

To implement the statutory requirements, the EPA proposed a regulation, known as the Enhanced Monitoring Rule, on October 1993. However, after receiving an overwhelming number of objections to the regulatory approach set forth in the rule, the EPA abandoned it.

The agency overhauled its approach for developing a monitoring rule that would provide a means for major sources to ensure compliance with federally enforceable requirements. The new EPA regulatory approach was presented in a proposed rule, entitled CAM, in 1995, and after numerous revisions, the agency published a final version of the rule on August 1996. The main theme in the final rule focuses on control devices and states that all major sources using control devices to meet federally enforceable emission limitations must ensure that these devices are properly operated and maintained. In other words, foundries must routinely measure, monitor and/or test to verify that emissions do not exceed the federal limits.

Applicability Considerations

Figure 1 summarizes applicability decisionmaking under the CAM provisions. The CAM rule has several levels of applicability. First, it applies to major stationary sources subject to Title V. The next level of rule applicability centers on the concept of pollutant-specific emissions units (PSEUs). The CAM rule defines a PSEU as "an emissions unit considered separately with respect to each regulated air pollutant." Thus, one physical emissions unit could be represented by multiple PSEUs, such as a boiler with separate PSEUs for particulate matter (PM), nitrogen oxides (NO), and sulfur dioxide ([SO.sub.2]).

At major stationary sources subject to Title V, the CAM rule applies if all of the following conditions are met:

* the source has at least one PSEU with a federally enforceable emission limit;

* the PSEU requires a control device to achieve compliance with that limit;

* the PSEU has uncontrolled (i.e., pre-control device) emissions greater than or equal to any major source threshold for the pollutant subject to that limit.

For example, a gray iron cupola generally emits PM, carbon monoxide (CO), NO and [SO.sub.2]. Control devices are used to control both the PM and CO, but NO and [SO.sub.2] emissions are controlled by maintenance procedures for the burners in the afterburner section and by selective use of sulfur-containing materials. Assuming that uncontrolled emissions of PM and CO from this cupola are above the major source threshold and that the CO emissions are controlled by an afterburner, then this cupola will require a CAM plan for the control of PM and CO only. Since a control device is not used to control the emissions of NO and [SO.sub.2], these PSEUs are not subject to the CAM rule.

The CAM rule has several exemptions for certain PSEUs. These include PSEUs. These include PSEUs:

* for which either the National Emissions Standard for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) or New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) were proposed after November 15, 1990;

* that are subject to Title VI stratospheric ozone protection requirements;

* that are subject to acid rain provisions under Sections 404 through 406, 407 (a) and (b), and 410;

* with emission limits under a federally approved trading program;

* with an emission cap satisfying Part 70.4;

* with certain backup utility power units.

The first exemption holds substantial relevance for foundries. Essentially, the EPA's rule is communicating that the relatively new NESHAP, including maximum achievable control technology (MACT) standards, and NSPS will automatically define CAM-level monitoring in the emission standard itself. Therefore, those foundries subject to the iron and steel MACT will not have to worry about the CAM rule, because the MACT will contain a CAM-equivalent protocol. However, other foundries still must address CAM requirements since the NESHAP exemption does not apply to them. Furthermore, even iron and steel foundries must evaluate CAM applicability to parts of the facility not addressed in the MACT standard, such as corerooms.

Timing Considerations

The timing of CAM plan submittals is tied to two key factors: the level of emissions from a potentially subject PSEU and the status of the Title V permit application for the stationary source as a whole. For emission units with a potential to emit (after control) that is greater than or equal to any major source threshold, the following criteria applies:

* if the Title V permit application has not yet been submitted, CAM must be addressed in the permit application;

* if the Title V permit application has been submitted but is not yet deemed complete, CAM must be addressed in a supplement to the permit application. This supplement was due on April 20, 1998;

* if the Title V permit application has been submitted and deemed complete, CAM must be addressed when the permit is scheduled for renewal.

In addition to the above requirements for emissions units with a potential to emit after control that is greater than or equal to major source status, CAM plans must be submitted as a part of a significant permit revision under Part 70 or 71. This submittal applies only to the affected PSEU.

For all other PSEUs, CAM must be addressed when the facility's Title V operating permit is up for renewal.

The overall thrust of the CAM rule is clearly to have subject facilities address the requirements by the time of their Title V operating permit renewal applications. Since many facilities will not actually have to do anything until that point in time, it would appear that the CAM rule has quite a bit of delay before taking effect. However, the key exceptions to this general trend are subject facilities in states that have yet to call Title V operating permit applications. Those facilities may need to address CAM requirements within the initial Title V application may need to address CAM for the affected PSEU in the modification request.

Developing a CAM Plan

The main steps a facility must follow to meet CAM requirements are:

1 Identify the appropriate parameter(s) for monitoring - If direct measurement of the controlled pollutant is not required, evaluate a means for monitoring control equipment operations to demonstrate compliance. Select a parameter based on cost-effectiveness and accuracy.

2 Develop indicator ranges for each parameter - Determine ranges based on compliance data published within the last five years. It is advantageous to select the fewest number of indicative parameters that can be controlled and provide reliable data. Ranges and limits that constitute compliant operation and excursions must be determined through testing or through sound engineering practice.

3 Refine the indicator ranges into permit limits - The facility must provide justification for the selected parameter and range. Clearly, it would be advantageous for the facility to request as wide of a range as possible that still demonstrates compliance.

4 Determine the measurement means and frequency for each parameter - The facility must propose a frequency of monitoring for each parameter and develop all data collection procedures. The facility should propose parameters, ranges and recording frequencies such that normal operating variations will not indicate a violation of permit conditions.

5 Develop performance criteria used for judging data validity - The facility must provide sufficient information to establish:

* location and installation requirements;

* verification procedures to confirm reliable operating status;

* QA/QC procedures to ensure data validity.

6 Determine minimum data availability for each pollutant - The facility must ensure that the monitoring satisfies the minimum data availability specified for any averaging time under any federally enforceable requirement.

7 Develop a corrective action plan for excursions - The facility must take corrective action to restore a control device to proper operation after an excursion. Such action may include inspection, trouble-shooting and necessary follow-up. Procedures must be established to ensure that corrective action occurs. Repeat excursions will constitute a violation of permit conditions.

The impact of the CAM rule will vary depending on the applicability to each particular foundry, source within the foundry and the state of the foundry's emissions control facilities, practices and procedures. For some foundries there may be significant plan development and training required to implement a CAM plan.


The EPA is preparing specific Hazardous Air Pollutant (HAP) control regulations for iron and steel foundries, and this regulation, MACT, is due to the adopted by November 15, 2000. However, HAP rules may affect foundries much sooner than this for certain new sources. These new rules, referred to as 112(g), "new source MACT" or "case-by-case MACT" regulations, went into effect this past summer and could delay permitting and require potentially costly controls. These new rules may affect any planned foundry expansion over the next several years.

These new rules require that new process equipment that meets specific applicability criteria must use the maximum degree of control achieved in practice by a similar foundry source anywhere in the country. State agencies were required to adopt and implement the new source MACT requirements this past July. Most states have adopted the federal regulations found in Title 40, Subpart B, of the Code of Federal Regulations. New source MACT may include the use of add-on control equipment or implementation of specific work practices to reduce air toxic emissions. Sources subject to these rules must include a specific assessment of available control technologies to identify MACT for the new process equipment, and regulatory agencies must evaluate the assessment and incorporate control and compliance monitoring requirements into construction and operating permits.


The first step in evaluating the impact of this rule on a new process is to determine whether the rule applies, and this depends on a number of factors. The 112(g) rule applies to new or reconstructed emission units that have the potential to emit more than 10 tons/year of any single HAP or 25 tons/year of the combination of all HAPs. There are 187 HAPs listed by the EPA, and a number of them are emitted by various foundry processes. For example, melting processes generally emit various metallic HAPs including lead, manganese and nickel. Certain coremaking processes also can emit significant quantities of organic HAPs, such as triethylamine (TEA). Pouring, cooling and shakeout processes also can emit a variety of organic HAPs, which are formed from the various organic materials used in molds and cores.

The rules only affect new or reconstructed emission sources and do not apply to modified sources. For example, the construction of a new cupola would be considered a new source and would be subject to this rule. However, modifying an existing cupola to increase its melt capacity would not be subject to the rule. If modifications were extensive enough to cost 50% or more of the replacement cost of the cupola, it would be considered a reconstructed source and could be subject to the rule. There will likely be a number of circumstances where it will be unclear whether a proposed project is a modification of an existing process or a new or reconstructed source. Ask the appropriate regulatory agency to determine applicability as early in the process as possible.

The 112(g) rules also do not apply to emission units that are subject to a specific MACT regulation, including the iron and steel foundry regulation currently under development. Once the iron and steel foundry MACT regulation is adopted, it will include a standard for new sources, and therefore there will be no need for a case-by-case MACT determination under the 112(g) rules. Other new non-foundry processes, such as a painting operation that is located at the foundry site, also could be subject to the 112(g) requirements.

The MACT Impact

One of the most critical aspects in evaluating the impact of the 112(g) rule is estimating emissions of HAPs from the new process. There is currently no universally accepted reference for emission factors for HAPs. If emission estimates show that potential emissions are close to the regulatory thresholds, regulatory agencies may require that the emission factors be verified through testing.

The applicability of these rules is based on an emission unit's "potential to emit," or estimated emissions assuming that the unit is running at its maximum capacity constantly throughout the year (8760 hr). In reality, emissions are often much lower than the "potential to emit."

One way to avoid the permitting delays associated with a case-by-case MACT determination is to accept limits in your permit restricting actual emissions to less than the 10 tons/year single HAP or 25 tons/year total HAP thresholds. These limits are often written in terms of production or raw material usage limits, but also could include control technology limits. A common example would be a new phenolic urethane coldbox core machine that uses an acid scrubber to control TEA emissions. While the acid scrubber may represent the maximum achievable control technology, permitting delays could occur, and it may be possible to accept a control efficiency limit in the permit that would limit emissions to below the applicability thresholds.

Another way to avoid the requirements of this rule would be to evaluate process design changes or alternative raw materials. The use of alternate materials can generally reduce HAP emissions at a lower cost than the use of add-on control technologies. One of the principal disadvantages of using alternate materials is the difficulty of documenting the lower emission rates to regulatory agencies, especially if they are unfamiliar with foundry processes. Again, permits may include post-construction testing requirements to verify the emission levels.

Assessing Appropriate Controls

If the case-by-case MACT requirement for a new emission unit cannot be avoided, then the foundry will face the challenge of identifying an appropriate level of control and convincing the permitting authority that it is in fact the maximum degree of control achieved in practice. One starting point for this assessment is the EPA RACT/BACT/LAER Internet clearinghouse, which can be accessed at The clearinghouse contains determinations of Best Available Control Technology (BACT) and Lowest Achievable Emission Rate (LAER) for new sources subject to federal air permitting programs. Regulatory agencies use this information to make similar assessments.

New emission units with significant HAP emissions must face MACT controls sooner than existing emission units at foundries under these new rules. Since there is no single information source that will identify MACT for new sources and regulatory agencies have little experience in administering these rules, 1999 will be the most difficult time to address this rule. As emission factor and control technology information is developed and the EPA develops a clear position on MACT for foundry processes, the difficulty of interpreting the 112(g) requirements will lessen.
COPYRIGHT 1998 American Foundry Society, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1998, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

Article Details
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Author:Rarick, Thomas W.
Publication:Modern Casting
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Dec 1, 1998
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