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September 8, 1997

Chuck Feinen, Hearing Officer
Illinois Pollution Control Board
James R. Thompson Center
100 West Randolph Street, Suite 11-500
Chicago, Illinois  60601

Dear Mr. Feinen:

By this letter I wish to supplement my earlier comments on rulemaking R97-13, for the Emission Reduction Market System (ERMS).  I wish in particular to urge removal of a tentative rule revision made in response to a request by Tenneco.

As you know, the rule proposed by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) provides that facilities currently subject to maximum achievable control technology (MACT) requirements may establish their baseline to reflect MACT implementation but then be exempt from the normal 12 percent deduction in allotment trading units (ATUs).  Tenneco requested that the rule provide that promulgation of future MACT rules lead to a redetermination of baseline emissions and subsequent issuance of ATUs at the potentially revised baseline level without 12 percent deduction.

The provision requested by Tenneco would jeopardize Illinois' ability to meet the 9 percent "rate of progress" emission reductions that the ERMS is intended to help achieve.  It is unclear what MACT standards will be adopted in the future and how these will affect Chicago area industry.  Consequently, we cannot predict the quantity of emissions that would be affected by future MACT standards, what reductions if any might be achieved by complying with such new standards, and what the magnitude of the foregone 12 percent reductions might be.

In addition, we believe that the provision requested by Tenneco is unwarranted.  First, the implementation of MACT for controlling air toxics emissions does not necessarily mean that a source is implementing best available technology for controlling total volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions.  This is true because air toxics regulations that apply to an emissions unit may not apply to unit operations that only emit non-toxic VOC, and because controls which reflect MACT on a national basis may not be best available technology for any individual Chicago area source.  Second, the scenario Tenneco is concerned about is already addressed in the State rule.  In the event that a future MACT rulemaking in fact signifies that existing control reflects best available control for VOC, the source has already had the option to seek the relief requested by Tenneco by demonstrating application of best available technology pursuant to Section 205.405(b).  This latter option provides a warranted case-by-case review and has the further advantage of eliminating the long-term uncertainty in what emission reductions are to be achieved.

Aside from the merits of Tenneco's request, we are concerned at the rule revisions the Board has proposed to make in response.  The language proposed by the Board appears to make the MACT exemption from the 12 percent deduction available without the criterion that the source be in operation prior to 1999.  An alternate interpretation of this language revision is that the MACT exemption from the 12 percent deduction applies in cases of post-1999 MACT standards, even though no provision is made for adjustment of baseline emissions.  That is, the language proposed by the Board appears either to be ineffectual or to provide a 12 percent windfall for sources subject to future MACT standards.  We urge instead that the final rule provide no adjustments of allotments when future MACT standards are promulgated.

Please feel free to call me if you have any questions on any of these comments.

Sincerely yours,


David Kee, Director
Air and Radiation Division

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This Information Last Modified On: 09/18/2008 03:58 PM