Particulate Matter National Ambient Air Quality Standards

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Particulate Matter National Ambient Air Quality Standards

Postby Wilberforce » Mon May 11, 2015 9:48 am

Infrastructure Requirements for the Fine Particulate Matter National Ambient Air Quality Standards ... -11343.pdf
II. Response to Comment
The EPA received two sets of comments on our proposal.
Commenter #1: The commenter raised several issues related to wood smoke. First, the
commenter thanked the EPA for our involvement in addressing wood smoke health risks in
Washington State. Second, the commenter expressed disappointment with the Washington State
Legislature for not taking seriously the toxicity and multiple health hazards of wood smoke.
Third, the commenter requested that the EPA establish filtration controls on wood smoke
emissions from restaurants and food trucks, such as pizza and barbeque establishments. Fourth,
the commenter noted several apartment buildings in the Seattle area that have uncertified wood
burning devices and requested a date for removal or upgrade of the existing devices.

Response #1: The EPA appreciates the commenter’s general concerns with respect to
wood smoke. However, the commenter raises issues that are outside the scope of an action
related to infrastructure SIP requirements. In this context, the EPA is merely evaluating the
State’s September 22, 2014, submission intended to establish that the Washington SIP meets the
basic infrastructure requirements of the CAA for the PM2.5 NAAQS. In this final action, the
EPA is determining that the State has met those requirements, except for certain elements related
to the PSD and regional haze FIPs, and specific requirements related to interstate transport which
the state will address in a separate submission. The points raised, and requests made, by the
commenter are thus not germane to this specific rulemaking action.

The EPA notes that there have been improvements related to wood smoke in Washington
through other substantive actions. The EPA’s involvement in addressing wood smoke health
risks in SIP provisions is driven by our CAA statutory authorities and responsibilities. Under
CAA section 109, the EPA sets NAAQS for six criteria pollutants, including particulate matter.
These NAAQS are set using the best available scientific and health studies, with a focus on
protecting sensitive populations such as asthmatics, children, and the elderly (78 FR 3086,
January 15, 2013). Under part D of the CAA, Plan Requirements for Nonattainment Areas, the
states have an obligation to develop and submit SIP provisions that provide for attainment and
maintenance of the NAAQS in designated nonattainment areas. The EPA has the authority and
responsibility to review this type of SIP submission to assure that they meet applicable statutory
and regulatory requirements. Through this process, the EPA recently worked with the
Washington Department of Ecology (Ecology) and Puget Sound Clean Air Agency (PSCAA) to
address PM2.5 nonattainment in the Tacoma area (74 FR 58688, November 13, 2009). This
resulted in more stringent statutory and regulatory provisions related to residential wood stoves
at both the local level (78 FR 32131, May 29, 2013) and the state level (79 FR 26628, May 9,
2014). Currently all areas in Washington State are meeting the NAAQS, including the Tacoma
area (77 FR 53772, September 4, 2012).

The commenter also requested EPA intervention in regulating wood smoke emissions
from restaurants and food trucks, such as pizza and barbeque retail establishments. Currently the
EPA has not promulgated Federal emission limitations or control technologies specific to food
preparation at restaurants and other retail food establishments; nor is the EPA seeking comment
on this issue at this time. If necessary for purposes of attainment and maintenance of the
NAAQS, it may be necessary for states to control emissions from such sources in SIP provisions.
However, the EPA would typically expect such actions to occur in the context of the
nonattainment plan requirements of CAA sections 172 and 189 rather than the general
infrastructure provisions of CAA section 110. Given that all areas in Washington State are
currently attaining the PM2.5 NAAQS, however, there appears to be no need for such regulations
for these sources at this time. To the extent that particulate matter emissions from retail food
establishments could trigger air permitting obligations, these would be addressed under the
EPA’s requirements for state minor source permitting programs under 40 CFR 51.160 through
51.164 (larger commercial or industrial food preparation facilities could be subject to other air
permitting requirements). The EPA’s minor source permitting requirements generally give states
and local authorities discretion to regulate sources in ways that most effectively address pollution
problems in that area. In the case of PSCAA, with jurisdiction in the Seattle area, the EPA
approved minor source permitting rules that exclude “restaurants and other retail food-preparing
establishments” under PSCAA Regulation I – section 6.03(b)(13).6 To the extent that restaurants
and food trucks may violate other regulatory provisions of the SIP, such as the EPA-approved
opacity limits of PSCAA Regulation I – section 9.03, the EPA provides a citizen hotline for
possible Federal oversight and enforcement.

Lastly, the commenter alleged that nearby Seattle apartment buildings are using
uncertified wood burning devices and requested that a date be set for removal or upgrade of the
devices. This comment is also one that falls outside of the scope of the current action, where the
EPA is finalizing its determination that Washington’s SIP satisfies the infrastructure
requirements of CAA section 110(a)(2) (A), (B), (C) - except for those elements covered by the
PSD FIP, (D)(i)(II) (prong 4) – except for those elements covered by the regional haze FIP,
(D)(ii) – except for those elements covered by the PSD FIP, (E), (F), (G), (H), (J) - except for
those elements covered by the PSD FIP, (K), (L), and (M). Additionally, Federal action is being
taken separately to address emissions from wood burning stoves. On March 16, 2015, the EPA
finalized updated Federal standards for residential wood burning devices.8 The EPA’s final
rulemaking explicitly stated that it would not ban the use of uncertified devices that are already
in existing homes. In this respect, Washington’s statutes and regulations are already more
stringent than the Federal requirements. Under Washington Administrative Code (WAC) 173-
433-155 Criteria for Prohibiting Solid Fuel Burning Devices that are not Certified, Ecology or a
local clean air agency may prohibit uncertified solid fuel burning devices in a nonattainment area
or an area with an approved PM2.5 maintenance plan, if certain criteria are met. Beginning in
2015, this provision will apply to the Tacoma PM2.5 area as a maintenance plan requirement.9
However the commenter’s request to expand the ban on uncertified solid fuel devices in other
geographic areas of the State is outside the scope of this current rulemaking action which is
limited to the consideration of the adequacy of Washington’s SIP submission with respect to the
infrastructure requirements of the CAA.
• The Surgeon General has determined that there is no safe level of exposure to ambient smoke!

• If you smell even a subtle odor of smoke, you are being exposed to poisonous and carcinogenic chemical compounds!

• Even a brief exposure to smoke raises blood pressure, (no matter what your state of health) and can cause blood clotting, stroke, or heart attack in vulnerable people. Even children experience elevated blood pressure when exposed to smoke!

• Since smoke drastically weakens the lungs' immune system, avoiding smoke is one of the best ways to prevent colds, flu, bronchitis, or risk of an even more serious respiratory illness, such as pneumonia or tuberculosis! Does your child have the flu? Chances are they have been exposed to ambient smoke!
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