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Pennsylvania proposes emissions controls on glass furnaces

Post Time:Nov 12,2013Classify:Industry NewsView:27

The Pennsylvania Environmental Quality Board proposed to limit nitrogen oxide emissions from glass furnaces to reduce ground-level ozone during ozone season in Pennsylvania May 1 through Sept. 30, according to a release of the proposed amendment in The Pennsylvania Bulletin April 19. The amendment will be submitted to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as a revision to the Pennsylvania State Implementation Plan. “Glass furnaces are one of the largest industrial emitters of NOx, accounting for 21 percent of the 45,000 tons of NOx generated by industry annually in Pennsylvania,” says Tom Rathbun, information specialist, Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, Harrisburg, Pa. “Different types of furnaces will have different limits. The four types under this proposed rulemaking are: container, fiberglass, pressed and blown, and flat.” There are 16 glass manufacturers with 26 furnaces in Pennsylvania. Flat glass production accounted for about 7,450 tons of NOx emissions in 2002 out of about 11,900 total emissions from glass melting furnaces, according to the proposal. “Since 2002 a number of furnaces/facilities have discontinued operation or made process changes and total NOx emissions during 2004 were approximately 9,230 tons,” says Robert Reiley, assistant counsel, Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, Harrisburg. The proposal does not call for a specific percent of NOx emission reduction, Reiley says. “Proposed § 129.304 (relating to emission requirements) provides that the owner or operator of a glass melting furnace shall determine allowable NOx emissions during the interval from May 1 through Sept. 30, 2009, and each year thereafter, by multiplying the tons of glass pulled by each furnace by: 4.0 pounds of NOx per ton of glass pulled for container glass furnaces; 7.0 pounds of NOx per ton of glass pulled for pressed or blown glass furnaces; 4.0 pounds of NOx per ton of glass pulled for fiberglass furnaces; and 7.0 pounds of NOx per ton of glass pulled for flat glass furnaces.” The proposed rulemaking will impact approximately 16 glass melting facilities in Pennsylvania, Reiley says. “There will be compliance costs related to the installation and operation of add-on control technology and NOx emissions monitoring equipment such as continuous emissions monitoring systems, if an owner or operator elects to install such controls and CEM systems,” he says. “However, the owners and operator of these facilities will be able to apply for an alternate monitoring system or method, which would significantly reduce their monitoring cost under this proposal.” The proposal provides compliance alternatives including emissions averaging and use of Clean Air Interstate Rule NOx Ozone Season allowances as near term compliance options, Reiley says. “This regulatory flexibility will allow an owner or operator of an affected glass melting furnace to select the least-expensive compliance alternative, including emissions averaging or the use of CAIR NOx Ozone Season allowances, to demonstrate compliance with the NOx emission limits until the next scheduled furnace rebuild.” Possible ways to cut down NOx emission includes purchasing NOx allowances, adding emission controls to furnaces, or ultimately, when the furnace is rebuilt, redesigning to burn a higher oxygen mixture, Rathbun says. The cost to cut emission “will depend on the type and age of furnace, as well as other factors. We expect industry to present estimates during the review and comment period before this rule becomes final,” Rathbun says. The proposal will likely become law sometime in early 2009, Reiley says. Pennsylvania, along with Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and the District of Colombia, is a member of the Ozone Transport Commission created under section 184 of the federal Clean Air Act (42 U.S.C. § 7511c), to develop and implement regional solutions to the ground-level ozone problem in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions. The NOx emission regulatory limits for the glass industry developed by the San Joaquin Valley Unified Air Quality Management District in California are deemed appropriate NOx emission limits for glass melting operations in all the OTC states. The San Joaquin Valley regulation was first adopted in 1994 and amended in 1998, 2002 and 2006. It was used as a model when developing this proposal, but was fashioned to be a Pennsylvania-specific regulation. To comment on the proposal, visit www.depweb.state.pa.us. —By Sahely Mukerji Share this article:

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