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Project XL Logo

Dow Chemical Company, Freeport Texas

Letter from Jerry Martin to Jerry Clifford

BCC: Dayle Ranay, Dow Chemical, 504/353-8001
Sandy Henderson, Dow Chemical, 409/238-000
Jonathan Gledhill, EOP Group, 202/833-8945

The Dow Chemical Company
Midland, Michigan 486742020 Dow Center
January 7, 1997
Mr. Jerry Clifford
Deputy Regional Administrator
EPA Region VI
1445-6PD Ross Avenue
Dallas, TX 75202
VIA FACSIMILE 214/665-6648

cc: Sam Coleman 214/665-7446 Laurie King 214/665-7263
Al Davis 214/665-7263 Mike Shapiro 703/308-0513
Steve Gilrein 214/665-7263

LA-DEQ
TNRCC
Dear Mr. Clifford:
In our letter of November 27, 1996 to you, The Dow Chemical Company outlined the revised structure of its Project XL application. As promised in our November 27 letter, this letter provides further details of our draft Project XL application.
Dow reiterates its commitment to work with EPA to implement a successful XL project that streamlines compliance requirements and achieves superior environmental performance from Dow BIF facilities in Louisiana and Texas. Dow has taken several steps to strengthen its XL resources. Dow has appointed Larry Burmeier as the Project XL manager in its Texas operations to coordinate Dow's Project XL efforts. This proposal reflects the renewed work of Dow's facility and corporate managers. Senior Dow corporate managers have reviewed this proposal. Dow believes its XL team has crafted a proposal with sufficient detail to begin intensive dialogue with the Agency and to form the basis of a comprehensive XL project. Based on the discussions between you, our representatives, and Dow senior managers, we will meet with EPA Region 6 staff January 10, 1997 to review this proposal. We hope this meeting will provide EPA staff with the opportunity to understand the Dow XL project proposal so that formal approval of the XL application can occur shortly thereafter. We are also sharing this letter with the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) and the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission (TNRCC) to assist their participation in this process.
SCOPE OF XL PROJECT
The November 27 letter contained several options for the scope of the XL project. However, since Dow believes that the best project scope encompasses the BIFs in both Dow's Louisiana and Texas operations (together Gulf Coast operations), the remainder of this proposal presents a project encompassing these facilities and units. We look forward to the Agency's view on the scope of draft Dow XL project in our ongoing discussions.
TIMING OF XL PROJECT
In the November 27 letter, we proposed a five-year XL project from 1997 to 2002. Upon further analysis, Dow believes a project extending an additional two years would allow an increase in the Company's superior environmental performance.
DOW GOALS FOR THE XL PROCESS
Dow offers the following conceptual goals to improve the environmental performance at its Gulf Coast facilities:
Dioxin and Furan Emissions Reduction
Yearly Dioxin and Furan Emissions Rate (Mass/Year) - Ninety-Five Percent Reduction. Dow would adopt a goal of reducing its yearly dioxin and furan emission rate every year of the XL project. All dioxin and furan measurements for this XL proposal are TEQ (Toxic Equivalency Quotient). Thus, the company would reduce its dioxin and furan emissions in a systematic method much earlier than expected dioxin and furan regulatory limit compliance dates. The goal would be that the yearly dioxin and furan emission rate, during the project (1997 to 2004) would not exceed the straight-line reduction goal shown in the graph below. In 2004, Dow's goal is to have a 95% reduction in its yearly dioxin and furan emission rate, from a 1994 base.
Dow would calculate its XL BIF percentage reductions using Dow's 1994 estimate of its dioxin and furan emissions from these units. Dow assumes its BIF units will be in compliance with new Federal emission limits. The reductions are calculated from the initial 1994 level.
Total Dioxins and Furans (Mass) Emitted During the Project - 45% Reduction. As a result of Dow's progressive reduction in dioxin and furan emission rates, Dow would have a goal of reducing its cumulative dioxin and furan emissions (mass) from the XL BIFs in Dow's Gulf Coast facilities a minimum of 45 percent, from the 1994 base.

Yearly Emission Rate (Mass/Year)

    [insert graphics here]

     

Note: This graph depicts both the 95% reduction in yearly dioxin and furan emission rate goal and the 45% reduction in total dioxin and furan emissions goal. The 95% reduction in yearly dioxin and furan emission rate goal is shown by the line representing yearly emission rate being at the 5% level in 2004 (a 95% reduction from the 1994 base). The 45% reduction in total dioxin and furan emissions goal is represented by the percentage the shaded area is of the total area under the 100% line.

Better Dioxin and Furan Data for the Public

Each year Dow would provide the Agency and the public dioxin and furan information, representing both the yearly emission rate and the Gulf Coast cumulative reduction in emissions, for Dow's XL BIFs.

Dow would use a combination of EPA's Method 23, the company's new, more efficient measuring techniques (discussed later in this letter), and detailed process knowledge to provide these annual estimates, over the life of the project. Dow would also revise its annual emission estimates to include any new testing data collected during the past year.

Sharing Dioxin and Furan Technology

Sampling Techniques. Dow has gained substantial insights on how to sample and monitor for dioxin and furan emissions more efficiently. As part of its XL project, Dow will share these findings with the Agency so that the Agency and other members of the regulated community may collect data more cost-effectively. Broadly applicable, Dow's new techniques would allow operators to collect samples at lower cost with improved timing. Dow's new techniques obtain data comparable in quality to EPA approved methods.

Technology Effectiveness. To reduce its dioxin and furan emissions, Dow evaluated alternatives to incineration and numerous process and control technologies that may have broad applicability to combustion units. Dow is willing to share, subject to confidentiality agreements, its technical evaluation of alternatives, performance and feasibility assessment of several control and process technologies.

Technology. Dow has a patent application pending on one novel technique to reduce dioxin emissions from its BIFs. As part of its XL project, Dow will license, under commercial terms, any patent assigned to Dow covering this technology so that other operators can have the opportunity to adopt the results of Dow's research to reduce dioxin and furan emissions.

Source Reduction

Dow has already made public its Environmental Health & Safety 2005 goals, which include challenging waste and emission goals. Source reduction is the preferred method to reach these goals. This XL project will help Dow communicate its progress toward these goals.

Dow pledges that source reduction activities will be taken to achieve Dow's overall dioxin and furan reduction commitment. However, based on recent experience, Dow is concerned that committing to specific source reduction projects in advance will deprive the company and the public of the opportunity to use the most effective and efficient approach. New markets or new research could reveal other, more cost-effective opportunities to reduce emissions than any identified in a specific, formal commitment. We are also trying to balance the important goal of stakeholder review with the vital need to preserve confidential business information. We look forward to EPA's suggestions on an approach to include source reduction explicitly into the XL project. One option Dow is actively considering is to include in its annual emissions progress report the cumulative amount of waste that was not burned as a result of source reduction during the XL project.

Summary of Environmental Benefits

As part of this XL project, Dow is offering to:

reduce dioxin and furan emissions, from its XL BIFs, sooner than would be required by regulations,

enhance public participation by sharing dioxin and furan emission data with the public and government agencies

share the technology Dow has developed to assist managing its BIF units and

implement source reductions.

DOW'S EXPECTATIONS FROM THE XL PROJECT

Dow proposes the following efforts to streamline paperwork and reduce duplication to enable the Company and regulatory agencies to focus on important environmental issues.

Mutually-Agreed Upon BIF Permitting Schedule

Dow believes that replacing the existing permitting process with an agreed upon permitting schedule that encompasses the significant BIF permitting tasks has substantial advantages for Dow, EPA, State regulatory agencies and the public. With a known schedule, stakeholders can avoid recurring scheduling debates, plan more effectively, and devote their scarce resources toward improving environmental protection.

There are unique opportunities at the Dow operations that emphasize the need for planning. Dow is dramatically improving its BIF units in its Gulf Coast operations. Dow has closed several older units with less effective emission controls and transferred their capacity to newer, more effective BIF units and may well close several more. In addition, Dow is optimizing the performance of units destined for long-term use to reduce their dioxin and furan emissions.

At the same time, these units face numerous and potential duplicative emission limits, testing, recordkeeping, and permitting requirements under RCRA and various sections of the Clean Air Act. While we fully support the permitting process, we believe EPA, the States, and Dow should expend their scarce resources on the units planned for long-term operation. Therefore, Dow seeks a schedule that has three underlying principles:

trial burns or other significant compliance tests should not occur for units which Dow will cease hazardous waste combustion during the time period of the XL project;

trial burns or other significant compliance tests for a unit should occur after Dow optimizes the unit's performance; and

trial burns or other significant compliance tests for a unit should occur after all anticipated regulatory emission limits have been determined.

Consolidated Clean Air Act and RCRA Permitting Requirements

We propose to consolidate the multiple permit requirements for the XL BIF units into one permit. For example, Title V Federal Operating Permits require Dow to identify, list, and consolidate for the enforcement agencies all applicable air requirements to which a source is subject. EPA has indicated a need to identify and hold sources to the strictest requirements of all overlapping requirements.

EPA has also expressed their desire to reduce or eliminate redundant and non-environmentally beneficial requirements through a consolidated rulemaking such as those contemplated for fugitives and for industrial combustion devices. Dow believes that one permit can serve as the vehicle to consolidate and streamline multiple permitting requirements for the BIF units.

Dow proposes the following permitting reforms for the BIF units:

Use a mutually agreed upon modified permit to include all emission limits, testing, monitoring, and reporting requirements for:

RCRA BIF requirements and

NESHAP standards.

      Compliance with the XL permit provisions would thus constitute compliance with all applicable permit requirements.

Establish only the most appropriate limit or control requirement for each pollutant, in the permit. This single limit would eliminate redundancy and confusion

Incorporate all testing requirements in an agreed upon testing protocol. The test protocol would include the determination of those constituents required by the above rules. Once a unit is initially tested, tests would be required only when a new requirement that addresses a pollutant become s applicable or when the unit would need to be retested for a permit renewal.

Consolidate all the monitoring requirements in the modified Title V permit. These requirements would be considered sufficient to determine compliance with all applicable regulations. This approach would eliminate redundant monitoring for pollutants that are indicators of proper operation or good combustion.

Include all recordkeeping requirements in the one permit, eliminating or substantially minimizing redundant monitoring.

Streamline all reporting requirements into the semi-annual reports and compliance certifications required by 40 CFR, Part 70.

Combine permit modification procedures under Title V, NESHAPs, and RCRA into one process that encompasses all their information requirements.

Renew permits based on an application that details what, if any, conditions have changed since the previous permit approval to avoid unnecessary paperwork.

Dow also proposes to offer to provide EPA with data and information related to the development of the MACT rule.

Consolidated Clean Air Act and RCRA Compliance Requirements

Dow is also concerned that current and future requirements under the Clean Air Act (such as the BIF NESHAP) could require testing and compliance requirements that substantially duplicate existing requirements under RCRA. For example, based on the HWC NESHAP, the BIF NESHAP may have an initial mandatory testing requirements once these regulations are effective. Thus, if Dow has recently completed a trial burn or certificate of compliance test under RCRA, Dow could be required to perform a substantially similar, very expensive test on the same unit BIF.

To avoid this inefficient use of EPA, State, and company resources, Dow proposes to:

Defer trial burns under RCRA until the testing requirements under the upcoming NESHAP are clarified.

Couple existing emission information and limited new testing to provide during this brief interim period the emission data EPA generally seeks in a trial burn. This approach is an appropriate balance between the Agency's interest in information and the goal to avoid duplicative, expensive testing.

 

Source Reduction

 

To help facilitate source reduction projects when they occur, Dow proposes to include both streamlined de-listing and permitting flexibility or process exemption for processes that reduce wastes as part of this source reduction element of Dow's XL project. The XL project would contain a structure to allow these types of projects, related to Gulf Coast BIFs, to be considered for streamlined de-listing and/or permitting flexibility. Each nominated source reduction project would need to be considered on a case specific basis, during the life of the XL project.

 

PUBLIC COMMUNICATIONS

 

As stated the November 27 letter, Dow has put forward for the Agency's consideration several suggestions to enhance public communication and participation in the XL project. We look forward to the Agency's view on the scope of draft Dow XL project in our ongoing discussions and in our upcoming meeting.

 

Summary of Dow's Expectations

As part of this XL project, Dow expects:

Mutually-agreed upon BIF permitting schedule;

Consolidated clean air act and RCRA permitting and compliance requirements; and

Regulatory flexibility to encourage source reduction.

 

CONCLUSION

 

Dow is willing to pursue this XL project provided that EPA Region VI, Louisiana DEQ and Texas TNRCC all agree, at the highest levels, to the following XL project framework:

1. Enhanced dioxin and furan emission reduction from Dow's Gulf Coast BIF units,

2. Source reduction will be one method to achieve the XL project's goals,

3. Certainty in permit timing and sequence,

4. Streamlined regulatory process and

5. Commitment to making people available to complete the XL project review in a timely manner.

 

We would be happy to discuss this proposal with you or your staff in more detail. Our representatives will contact you shortly to arrange a mutually convenient time for our upcoming meeting.

Sincerely,

 

Jerry B. Martin

Vice President and Global Director of EH&S Regulatory Affairs

Phone: 517/636-8790

Fax: 517/636-0389

 


The Dow Chemical Company
2301 N. Brazosport Blvd.
Freeport, Texas 77841-3257

May 16, 1996

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
401 M Street SW - Mail Code 4101 401 M Street SW - Mail Code 4101
Attention: Walter Walsh Attention: Eileen McGovern
Regulatory Reinvention Pilot Projects Regulatory Reinvention Pilot Projects
FRL-5197-9, Water Docket FRL-5197-9, Water Docket
Washington, DC 20460 Washington, DC 20460

 

RE: THE DOW CHEMICAL COMPANY'S PROJECT XL APPLICATION, TEXAS BIF COMPONENT

 

Dear Walter and Eileen,

 

This is in response to EPA's request for additional information on the Project XL proposal related to projected reductions in the ratio of liquid halogenated materials burned per pound of product and in total pounds of materials burned through the year 2005. We are sending you this additional information with the hope that this will help speed the approval process for our Project XL.

 

Dow has identified seven source reduction projects that are expected to be implemented by 2005. The first project is already in operation and five of the other projects are proposed for implementation before the year 2000. These projects require a capital commitment of approximately $150 million dollars with a potential reduction/utilization of approximately 200 million pounds per year of halogenated materials that would otherwise be burned in our BIF units. There are eleven prime products that are incorporated into the ratio of materials burned to product produced. These products are those that produce the majority of the halogenated materials for incineration, not the entire Dow, Texas Operations product line. Projected production of these prime products is expected to increase by 30% from 1995 to 2005. Even with these projected increases in production, total liquid halogenated materials burned are expected to be reduced by up to 100 million pounds per year from a 1995 base year.

 

Through Project XL, Dow is looking for certainty in the schedule for conducting RCRA trial burns and MACT Compliance Testing so that duplicative trial burns can be avoided, retrofitting of units to be shut down can be eliminated, and sufficient time will be allowed to conduct testing and permitting of the BIF units remaining in service.

We hope this additional information is useful, and we are willing to discuss this with EPA in more detail in person. If you have any questions or comments, please call me at 409-238-4132.

 

Sincerely,

Sandy Henderson

Senior Environmental Associate

Environmental Services



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