Material Matters - Fall 2012 - (Page 12)

COUNSEL’S CORNER By Michael Fogel, Esq. Gilberti Stinziano Heintz & Smith, P.C. Legal and Regulatory Update DEC PROPOSED AMENDMENTS TO THE SEQRA REGULATIONS The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation proposes to amend the regulations that implement the State Environmental Quality Review Act (6 NYCRR Part 617). According to DEC, the principal purpose of the amendments is to streamline the SEQRA process without sacrificing meaningful environmental review. The DEC will be preparing a generic environmental impact statement (GEIS) to discuss the proposed amendments and to provide opportunity for public participation. The proposed amendments include: • Mandatory scoping for all Environmental Impact Statements. • Extending the time for preparation of Final Environmental Impact Statements from 60 days to 180 days after acceptance of a draft EIS. • Changes to the list of Type I (significant) and Type II (insignificant) actions. DEC is conducting a public scoping of issues to be addressed in the GEIS. A draft scope has been prepared to facilitate the scoping discussion. A copy of the draft scope is posted on the DEC’s website (http://www. drftscope617.pdf). EPA PROPOSES CHANGES TO NATIONAL AMBIENT AIR QUALITY STANDARDS FOR PARTICULATE MATTER EPA proposed to strengthen the 2006 national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS) for fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and impose separate PM standards designed to improve visibility, primarily in urban areas. The proposed standards fulfill EPA’s 12 Material Matters • Fall 2012 obligation to review each NAAQS every five years; they also respond to a 2009 court decision remanding two of the existing PM2.5 standards back to EPA for further review. Among other things, EPA proposed to: • Lower the existing primary (health-based) annual PM2.5 standard from 15 micrograms per cubic meter (μg/m3) to a range of 12 to 13 μg/m3, although EPA is accepting comments on alternative levels down to 11 μg/m3. According to EPA, recent studies show that the current standard does not adequately protect public health. • Retain the existing 24-hour PM2.5 standard of 35 μg/m3. • Retain the existing 24-hour primary standard for coarse particles (PM10) of 150 μg/m3. • Establish a new secondary standard for PM2.5 of 28 or 30 deciviews, a visibility metric. The higher the deciview value, the greater the level of visibility impairment. Under the proposed rule, an area would meet the standard if the 90th percentile of 24-hour visibility index values in one year, averaged over three years, is no more than the level of the standard. EPA is accepting comments on alternative levels down to 25 deciviews and on alternative averaging times. • Retain the existing secondary standards for PM (with minor changes) to protect against other welfare impacts. As part of the rulemaking, EPA also proposed to: (1) relocate approximately 50 PM2.5 monitors to sites near roadways in major cities; (2) revise the air quality index to reflect the new PM2.5 standards; and (3) grandfather facilities from compliance with the prevention of significant deterioration program if a draft permit or EPA PROPOSES CHANGES TO THE NATIONAL EMISSION STANDARDS FOR HAZARDOUS AIR POLLUTANTS FOR RECIPROCATING INTERNAL COMBUSTION ENGINES (40 CFR PART 63, SUBPART ZZZZ) EPA proposed changes to the National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) for new and existing stationary reciprocating internal combustion engines (RICE) located at major and area sources of hazardous air pollutants (HAPs). The standards, which are set forth at 40 CFR Part 63, subpart ZZZZ, were adopted in stages, imposing different emission limits, management practices and other requirements on RICE depending on various factors, including the type of source (major versus area), whether the source is new or existing, the type of engine, the type of fuel burned, and whether the unit is used for emergencies. The standards have been the subject of multiple lawsuits and petitions for reconsideration; this rulemaking is intended to address the issues raised in these challenges. Major changes include: • Allowing stationary 4-stroke rich burn spark ignition engines subject to a 76 percent reduction in formaldehyde emissions to demonstrate compliance by showing that the engine is achieving at least a 30 percent reduction in total hydrocarbon (THC) emissions. According to EPA, testing for preliminary determination has been issued for public comment by the effective date of the revised standards. The proposed rule can be found in the  June  29, 2012 Federal Register at:

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Material Matters - Fall 2012

Breaking the Bottlenecks
Glacial Materials Goes Emerald Green
The System Works
Giving HMA Driveway Advice
Promotion Doesn’t Cost – It Pays
Exposed Aggregate Pervious Concrete
Stuyvesant Falls Hydroelectric Plant: Steel Fiber Reinforcement in Action By Dan Casale

Material Matters - Fall 2012