A Notice of Proposed Rulemaking was published in the D.C. Register for a thirty (30) day public notice and comment on February 3, 2017 at 64 DCR 001168. At the request of one commenter, the comment period was extended until March 24, 2017 by publication of notice on the DOEE website. The Department received comments from the DC Water and Sewer Authority (“WASA”), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”), and the Sierra Club on the proposed rulemaking. The Department has made four (4) changes in this Final Rulemaking in response to comments received.
DC Water submitted two (2) comments that were supportive of the rulemaking, and therefore required no further response. EPA submitted two (2) comments on the rulemaking. The first comment identified a typographical error in § 200.8, which the Department has corrected. EPA also commented that the Department should clarify the distinction between a “general permit” as provided under 20 DCMR § 303.6(a)(2)(D), and a “general permit” as provided under 20 DCMR § 200, which the Department has done in this Final Rulemaking by amending § 303.6.
The Sierra Club submitted six (6) comments on this rulemaking. The first comment was that the proposed rulemaking undermined public participation in the agency decision-making process because it did not provide a rationale for the proposed changes. The Department notes that it extended the public comment period for this rulemaking in order to enhance public participation and that it fully met the requirements for rulemaking under the D.C. Administrative Procedure Act, therefore the Department did not make any changes in response to this comment. The second comment was that the proposed synthetic minor permit program is incomplete and arbitrary because it does not set forth specific requirements for the synthetic minor permits and does not specify that the limits in the permits must be federally and practicably enforceable. The Department did not make any changes in response to the first portion of this comment, as it disagrees with the commenter’s assertion that the permitting process is insufficiently clear, however did make amendments to clarify that the emission limits in synthetic minor permits must be both federally and practicably enforceable, including adding a definition for “enforceable as a practical matter.” The third comment was that the proposed synthetic minor permit program threatens the public health with unregulated hazardous air pollutants. The Department did not agree with Sierra Club’s assessment in this comment because there are other regulatory requirements that would apply to synthetic minor sources of hazardous air pollutants, therefore, the Department did not make any changes in response to this comment. The fourth comment was that the notice and comment procedures for draft permits are inadequate. The Department did not make any changes in response to this comment because this rulemaking action did not propose any substantive changes to the notice and comment provisions, and it maintains that they are sufficient to meet federal requirements. The fifth comment was that the provisions for source category permits improperly exclude public participation. The Department did not make any changes in response to this comment because this rulemaking action did not propose any substantive changes to the source category permit requirements, it believes that that public participation is adequately accounted for in these procedures, and because source category permits are an efficient and effective regulatory mechanism that is employed by many other jurisdictions. Sierra Club’s final comment was that the judicial review procedures under 20 DCMR § 303 are unclear. The Department agreed with this comment and has clarified the procedure for review of Title V permit decisions in this Final Rulemaking.
A detailed summary of the comments and responses is in the attachments swction below.
This final rulemaking can be found in the D.C. Register (click on “View text”).