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Notice of Public Hearing & Public Comment Period - Alternative NOX RACT

Friday, June 23, 2023

Notice of Public Hearing & Public Comment Period
on Air Quality Issues - Alternative NOX RACT

Notice is hereby given that the Department of Energy and Environment (“DOEE”) will hold a public hearing on Monday, July 24, 2023, at 5:30 p.m. The public hearing will be held using teleconferencing, which allows for both video and voice over internet protocol (VOIP) connections

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- Phone line connection:
  Call-in Number: +1 (650) 479-3208
  Access Code: 2313 066 2060

This hearing provides interested parties an opportunity to comment on DOEE’s proposed response to three (3) submissions made to the agency under the “Alternative Reasonably Available Control Technology (RACT)” provision found in 20 DCMR § 805.2. On October 26, 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) promulgated revised 8-hour primary and secondary ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards (“NAAQS”). 80 Fed. Reg. 65292 (October 26, 2015). To demonstrate compliance, the District is required to submit the State Implementation Plan (“SIP”) revisions to EPA for approval and ensure that any revisions comply with all of EPA’s revised applicable statutory and regulatory requirements. 42 U.S.C. § 7502(b). Because the District is part of the Ozone Transport Region (“OTR”), the District must submit a revision to its SIP and comply with the EPA’s RACT requirements. 40 C.F.R. Part 51, Subpart X.

The requirement to update RACT standards in response to the 2015 ozone NAAQS applies to the two precursor pollutants of ozone, nitrogen oxides (“NOx”) and volatile organic compounds (“VOC”). As part of this requirement, the District must review its regulations and determine if it is necessary to update the existing RACT standards for stationary source categories under its jurisdiction. The action noticed here only considers the requirements to update RACT for NOx.

EPA has defined RACT as:

“the lowest emission limitation that a particular source is capable of meeting by the application of control technology that is reasonably available considering technological and economic feasibility… In evaluating economic feasibility for RACT determinations, the EPA gives significant weight to economic efficiency and relative cost effectiveness.” 83 Fed. Reg.62998, 63007, FN 16 (December 6, 2018).

DOEE revised 20 DCMR § 805 to comply with RACT requirements and update its presumptive NOx emissions standards for RACT. 68 DCR 12420 (Nov. 26, 2021). DOEE submitted this rulemaking to EPA as a SIP amendment on October 14, 2022. EPA has not yet acted on the District’s amendment.

In the SIP submitted to the EPA, DOEE included 20 DCMR § 805.2, which allows facilities to illustrate through analysis control techniques that are reasonable to implement at their facility by demonstrating that presumptive RACT NOx emissions limits are unreasonable for the specific facility and proposing a feasible alternative. The Department received analyses from three (3) applicants prior to the due date, March 1, 2022. Submissions were received from Georgetown University, the Architect of the Capitol for the Capitol Power Plant facility, and the United States General Services Administration for the Central Heating and Refrigeration Plant facility.

DOEE has evaluated the submitted analyses and proposes to approve the submissions from Georgetown University and the United States General Services Administration for the Central Heating and Refrigeration Plant facility. DOEE proposes to deny the submission from the Architect of the Capitol for the Capitol Power Plant facility.

Once the District reviews public feedback received in response to this notice, DOEE will propose individual operating permits for each facility, to include any necessary permit conditions. Drafts of each of the operating permits will be made available for public comment. Upon completion of the permitting process, the Department will submit its analysis and the operating permit details to EPA for SIP approval.

Interested parties wishing to testify at this hearing must submit, in writing, their name, address, telephone number, and affiliation to Air Quality Division (AQD), Department of Energy and Environment at the address: 1200 First Street, NE, Fifth Floor, Washington, DC 20002, or email Mr. Joseph Jakuta at [email protected] by 4:00 p.m. on July 24, 2023. Interested parties may also submit written comments to AQD’s Monitoring and Assessment Branch at the same address or by email to Mr. Joseph Jakuta at [email protected]. Questions can be directed to Mr. Joseph Jakuta at [email protected] or by phone at 202-669-5817. No comments will be accepted after July 24, 2023.

DOEE’s proposed analysis can be found in the attachment section below.