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Notice of Second Proposed Rulemaking Public Comment Period - Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Intensity Limits for Fuels Used in Fuel-Burning Equipment

Friday, May 22, 2020

On June 28, 2019, DOEE published a proposed rulemaking to establish a maximum carbon dioxide (CO2) intensity threshold of 180 lbs/mm BTU for fuel burned within the District, either for electricity or heating.

The proposed rule established a compliance deadline of December 31, 2019. One comment letter was submitted to the rulemaking docket. The commenter requested that DOEE provide a rationale for the chosen limit and also encouraged DOEE to consider alternative options for complying with the proposed limit, specifically recommending the following alternatives:

  • Provide for an emission limitation averaging period that is greater than one day and allow averaging across fuels. 
  • Allow for a site-wide average limitation for facilities that operate multiple emissions units. 
  • Include an option to create or procure CO2 allowances for emissions above the limitation.
  • Provide an option in the rule to set a source-specific CO2 emission limit.
  • Provide an allowance for backup fuels that are unable to meet the limitation such as an annual fuel usage limitation or capacity factor limitation.
  • Extend the compliance deadline to allow a longer compliance timeline for existing sources.

DOEE has evaluated these suggestions and has determined that the last suggestion, an extension of the compliance deadline, is the most consistent with the purpose of the rule and is therefore amending and republishing the rule for purposes of making this change. DOEE is proposing a compliance deadline of March 31, 2023, with an option to request an extension until March 31, 2025. The 2023 deadline coincides with federal requirements to evaluate the adequacy of existing reasonably available control technologies (RACT) and establish and implement new standards where appropriate. Facilities that are subject to this rule are also likely to be subject to the RACT requirements, and therefore would likely already be required to perform upgrades to their emission unit(s) by 2023. DOEE is proposing to align the two deadlines so that facilities may evaluate compliance options for both regulatory requirements at the same time. DOEE is reopening the rulemaking in order to solicit comments on whether the proposed deadline is appropriate in light of the rule’s purpose to regulate the burning of carbon intense fuels in the District and the ability of facilities to make the necessary upgrades to comply.

For a more detailed response to the comments, including the rationale for the chosen limit, please see documents in the attachments section below.

The proposed rulemaking document is also attached below or can be accesed at DC REGS.

All persons desiring to comment on the proposed rulemaking should file comments in writing not later than June 22, 2020. Comments should be clearly marked “Public Comments: Section 807 of the Air Quality Regulations” and filed with DOEE, Air Quality Division, 1200 First Street, N.E., 5th Floor, Washington, DC 20002, Attention: Stephen Ours, or e-mailed to [email protected]. Copies of the above documents may be obtained from DOEE at the same address or at the links below.