Let me preface my comments by expressing my appreciation to yourself, to Art, and to the other members of the advisory panel who have spent many hours revisiting and reviewing the policy choices made by the agency and Board in adoption of the STAR program. While there will not likely be agreement among the stakeholders on some fundamental issues concerning the level to which the tremendous uncertainties in scientific knowledge of the human response to exposure to toxic air pollutants should be accounted for by conservatism in regulatory standard-setting, KRC appreciates the opportunity to participate in providing clarity to some of the regulatory requirements where possible without sacrificing public protection.
KRC has reviewed the proposed regulations, and offer these comments:
KRC supports the clarification and limitation of the scope of “de minimis emission” with respect to reliance on the MSDS information for purchased mixtures. KRC understands that this exemption was intended to provide an accommodation to businesses that do not manufacture or alter (by chemical or physical processes, or by concentrating) a purchased product, by allowing them to use the “trace” status of the chemical of concern as a surrogate for emission potential without the necessity of testing, based on the concentration reported by the manufacturer of the product.
KRC has concerns that there is not a direct correlation between the concentration of a chemical of concern and either the emission potential or potency of the carcinogen, and that allowing those mixtures to be excluded from further consideration in STAR analysis based on concentration shifts the emissions from processes using such mixtures to the “area” source category.
KRC supports the change since it clarifies the intended scope of the de minimis exemption, but would oppose any broadening of the exemption, particularly where the concentration of the chemicals of concern in the product have been altered to become more concentrated or more biologically available, and would also oppose allowing the source to exclude from the TAC in the mixture from consideration if later testing identifies the concentration of the TAC in the mixture.
KRC supports the language clarifying the scope of the de minimis exemption for emissions from the combustion of natural gas, since the data indicates that under a wide range of loading conditions, products of combustion of natural gas do not emit TACs at levels of concern.
KRC supports the proposed revisions to the regulation that clarify the definition of “industrial property” to include several areas where general public exposure is not anticipated, including landfills, railroad switching yards and non-terminal airport properties. KRC would oppose any change in the modeling process that would allow the source to avoid consideration of the first non-industrial property in determining acceptable exposure, since in the case both of the Waste Management of Kentucky Outer Loop landfill and the Louisville airport, the transition from industrial to residential properties as one moves east of I-65 is abrupt.
KRC supports clarification that “permitted stationary source” includes material receiving and shipping areas on the waterfront, but would oppose any designation of the Ohio River as being industrial or commercial given the significant recreational use of the river.
KRC does not oppose the clarification that the EPA-human exposure model can be used as one of the factors to be evaluated in determining whether a request to exceed an Environmental Acceptability goal should be granted, but would oppose the allowance of the model as the sole basis for approving such a request, given the significant limitations of the model and the limited knowledge of human response to chronic toxicant exposure. The full range of potential land uses for surrounding properties must be protected, including uses that would result in maximum potential for exposure over a lifetime.
KRC supports the reduction in the multiplier factor for roadway exposure to 8 from the current value of 10, but as we have indicated during the Advisory Group meetings, questions the bases for the multipliers and believes that the use of exposure assumptions on and off the facility property to lower control obligations is inappropriate as a matter of public policy. The cumulative exposure to an individual working at a facility and living in a surrounding residential area may exceed the assumed levels of exposure, and allowing a source to utilize discounting factors on the workplace, roadways and other industrial properties fails to fully protect such workers.
KRC supports the revisions clarifying the timeframe for re-evaluation of BAT and implementation of revised elements of T-BAT, as being a reasonable that provides some degree of certainty and predictability for the source while assuring the public that new T-BAT elements will be incorporated in a timeframe that is reasonable and requires higher-risk sources to take action more expeditiously.
KRC strongly supports the inclusion of expanded public notification and review-and-comment opportunities for construction permits applications, and for all submitted demonstrations of Environmental Acceptability and for demonstrations of compliance with EA goals.
The District might want to clarify that where the demonstration of environmental acceptability is made as part of a Title V permit submittal, that the public notice and comment procedures of that regulation will govern and that the public notice will inform the public that compliance with the STAR regulations is among the issues for which public comment is sought, and that the Section 5 review procedures are applicable in those instances where the demonstration of environmental acceptability (or the construction permit application) are submitted separately from the Title V permit submittal.
KRC supports the tiered approach to notice that provides a broader initial notice obligation at the administrative completeness stage and then notifies those that have previously indicated interest, as well as posting, at the draft decision stage. The combination of maintenance of a mailing list with annual newspaper notification of such a list and invitation to sign on to receive notices, as well as web-based notice and mailed notices to first- and second-tier property owners, should adequately inform those most likely to be interested in a particular facilities’ demonstration of environmental acceptability; although if the sources desire to have newspaper notice also, KRC would not oppose addition of newspaper notice provided that the source would pay for that notice, since the notice is designed more to provide “legal” closure for opportunities to challenge an agency permitting decision than to meaningfully inform the public.
The implicit commitment to provide a response to comments received should be made explicit by providing that “The District shall provide written response explaining the disposition of comments received” or language to that effect.
Thank you for this opportunity to present these comments, and thanks to the Strategy Committee for considering the comments during their deliberations.