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Weyerhaeuser Company

Fact Sheet - Proposed Air Toxics Standard for Pulp and Paper Production

3/18/96 FACT SHEET

PROPOSED AIR TOXICS STANDARD FOR PULP AND PAPER PRODUCTION:
NOTICE OF AVAILABILITY OF SUPPLEMENTAL INFORMATION FOR
PUBLIC COMMENT

INTRODUCTION ...

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced on March 8, 1996 the availability of additional data that it will consider in developing the final air toxics regulation for pulp and paper production facilities. The notice also requests public comment on changes that EPA is considering to the 1993 proposed air toxics regulation for this industry.
BACKGROUND

Under the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990, EPA is required to regulate emissions of 189 listed toxic air pollutants. Air toxics are those pollutants that are known or suspected of causing cancer or other serious health effects, such as birth or development effects.
Only July 16, 1992, EPA published a list of source categories that emit one or more of these air toxics. For listed categories of "major" sources (those that emit 10 tons annually or more of a listed pollutant or 25 tons or more of a combination of pollutants), the Clean Air Act requires EPA to develop standards that will require the application of stringent air pollution controls, known as maximum achievable control technology (MACT).
In its July 16, 1992, published list of industry groups to be regulated, EPA identified pulp and paper production facilities as a major source of air toxics.
On December 17, 1993, under joint authority of the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act, EPA proposed standards to reduce the discharge of water pollutants (effluent guidelines) and emissions of hazardous air pollutants from the pulp, paper, and paperboard industry. This multi-media, integrated regulation is known as the "cluster rule."
Various industry groups were still collecting air emissions data on this industry at the time the public comment period for the proposed rule closed in April 1994. Therefore, EPA stated in the preamble of the proposed rule that it would accept and consider these additional data in developing the final rule. EPA is now requesting public comment on the new data, as well as changes to the proposed rule based on the new data.

WHAT ARE THE MAIN COMPONENTS OF EPA'S NOTICE ON THE PROPOSED AIR TOXICS REGULATION FOR PULP AND PAPER PRODUCTION?

EPA is considering the following changes to the proposed air toxics regulation for the pulp and paper production industry:

There are several types of mills that use different processes for producing pulp (the first step in the process of manufacturing paper) and bleaching (the process used to whiten pulp and paper products). Various types of pulping mills differ in the type and amount of chemicals they use to turn wood into pulp for the production of paper. Emissions of air toxics are released during this process. The changes outlined in this notice recognize the unique characteristics of different types of pulping mills and processes (e.g., kraft, sulfite, soda, and semi-chemical mills) by subcategorizing each type of mill for the purposes of setting MACT requirements.
EPA's notice is requesting public comment on providing an additional five years beyond the usual three years to comply with MACT requirements for two types of equipment (oxygen delignification (OD) units and brownstock washers) at kraft mills. EPA recognizes that the pulp and paper industry will be implementing both the water and air regulations simultaneously; many of the changes a mill will need to implement to comply with the water requirements must be considered before the control of air emissions from brownstock washers and OD units can be enacted. EPA believes that an extended compliance time for mills may be warranted given the complex engineering requirements, capital expenditures, permitting requirements, and the time to install pollution control equipment. EPA is hopeful that the extra compliance time would allow mills to implement the most cost-effective, environmentally protective pollution control option.
The changes in EPA's notice would simplify how a mill determines what emissions points are subject to MACT requirements by specifically naming the sources of emissions that must be controlled (rather than requiring mills to test each emissions point).
EPA is requesting public comment on its determination that control devices installed to comply with the air toxics (MACT) portion of the cluster rule are environmentally beneficial and as such, should be viewed as pollution control projects. Under current EPA policy guidance, pollution control projects would be exempted from major New Source Review, a preconstruction permitting program required under the Clean Air Act to regulate the construction and changes or modifications at large industrial sources of air pollution.
The notice also announces and requests comment on proposed emissions standards for other types of mills that do not use a "traditional" pulping process, such as mechanical mills (that manufacture newspaper) and mills that recycle paper. These types of mills were not addressed in the 1993 proposal.
WHAT IS EPA'S SCHEDULE FOR ISSUING THE PULP AND PAPER CLUSTER RULE?

EPA plans to issue a similar notice in early April to request public comment on changes to the proposed effluent guidelines of the pulp and paper "cluster rule."
EPA plans to review and incorporate comments received on this notice and issue the final "cluster rule" for the pulp and paper industry in August 1996.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION ...

Anyone with a computer and a modem can download the rule from EPA's electronic Technology Transfer Network (TTN) by calling (919) 541-5742 (look under menu "Clean Air Act Amendments," submenu "Recently Signed Rules"). For further information about how to access the board, call (919) 541-8384. For further information about the notice, contact Penny Lassiter at (919) 541-5396 or Stephen Shed at (919) 541-5397 of EPA's Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards.


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