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Merck & Co., Inc.

Letter from Stanley Laskowski to Tedd Jett

March 12, 1995


Tedd H. Jett
Manager Environmental Engineer
Environmental Engineering Department
P.O. Box 7
Elkton, VA 22827-0007

Re: Merck XL Project Agreement

Dear Mr. Jett:

It was a pleasure meeting you and the other representatives of Merck & Co., Inc. at the XL Project Kickoff meeting. EPA is excited about working with Merck to develop a successful XL Project. This letter is in response to Merck's concerns regarding the impending requirements of the Title V of the Clean Air Act, 42 U.S.C. Sections 7661a-7661f. Specifically, Merck has requested that, if the parties are not able to negotiate a Final Project Agreement, the permitting authority implementing Title V in the Commonwealth of Virginia allow Merck to submit it's permit application no earlier than 12 months from the effective date of Virginia's Title V program. See, 42 U.S.C. 7661b(c).

EPA first disapproved Virginia's proposed operating permits program in a Federal Register notice published on December 5, 1994, which became effective on January 5, 1995. Because EPA has neither granted full approval nor interim approval status to Virginia's program, EPA must promulgate, administer and enforce a Federal operating permits program (i.e. 40 C.F.R. Part 71 Federal Operating Permits Program) for Virginia on that date. EPA expects to promulgate the Part 71 rule in the near future.

EPA has outlined to officials of the Commonwealth and to the regulated community the possibility of delegation of the federal permitting program to the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (VDEQ) such that it would be responsible for running the federal program in the State. If Virginia is granted delegation of Part 71, air pollution sources in the Commonwealth subject to Title V could apply directly to and be issued permits by the VDEQ. If EPA delegates the Part 71 Program to the Commonwealth, the VDEQ will determine the schedule for submission of permit applications. If VDEQ were running an approved or delegated program, it would have the authority to allow Merck to submit its permit application no sooner than 12 months after the effective date of the program.

Merck has stated that because of the resource demands it cannot concurrently participate in the XL Project and prepare a Title V permit application. Because of Merck's participation in the XL Project and the information provided by Merck, EPA has no current intention to request that Merck submit the Part 71 Permit Application, if EPA is administering the Part 71 program in Virginia, within less than 12 months of the effective date of the Part 71 Program.

If you have any questions concerning this matter please contact me or Cecil Rodrigues, Senior Assistant Regional Counsel at 215-597-4868.


Stanley L. Laskowski,
Deputy Regional Administrator

cc: John Daniel (VDEQ)
Julie Thomas (National Park Service)

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