December 3, 1997

Jenny L. Reinertsen, Supervisor
Permit Unit I
Permit Section
Air Quality Division
Minnesota Pollution Control Agency
520 Lafayette Road
St. Paul, Minnesota 55155

Dear Ms. Reinertsen:

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) has reviewed the part 70 DRAFT Air Emission Permit No. 16300003-001 for Ashland Petroleum Company, for its facility located at 459 3rd Avenue, St. Paul Park, Washington County, Minnesota.  The USEPA is aware that the public comment period for the DRAFT permit has ended.  However, it has come to our attention that three issues that directly affect the issuance of the Part 70 permit need to be resolved, preferably before the start of the 45-day review period.  The first issue involves the format in which the proposal to revise the site-specific State Implementation Plan (SIP) is presented in the permit.  The second issue has to do with Amendments Two and Three of the proposal to revise the Administrative Order in the Minnesota SIP through the part 70 permit.  The emission requirements proposed in Amendments Two and Three of the sulfur dioxide (SO2) Order do not appear to be acceptable under federal standards.  The third issue concerns the fact that Ashland Petroleum Company is considered a significant violator, and therefore, the part 70 permit for this source may be required to have a compliance schedule.  Thus, the permit as currently drafted may not meet the requirements of the Clean Air Act (CAA), and failure to resolve these issues before the end of the
45-day review period may result in a USEPA objection to the permit.

The State proposes to modify the site-specific SIP requirements in the part 70 permit for the Ashland Petroleum Company.  These changes are expected to occur through Amendments Two and Three of the Administrative Order for the St. Paul Park/Ashland Nonattainment Area.  However, the modifications to the site-specific SIP need to be written in the format as delineated in the  April 4, 1997, document entitled “Procedures for Using Permits as the Federally Enforceable Document in Site Specific State Implementation Plan (SIP) Submittals” which was submitted to USEPA from MPCA.  The April 4, 1997, letter concerns the use of permits as the federally enforceable documents in Minnesota’s site-specific SIP submittals.  As recommended in this document, both the proposed and existing SIP requirements need to be written in the permit for all requirements undergoing a revision.  The proposed SIP conditions should include a statement that these new SIP conditions will become effective upon USEPA approval of them as a SIP revision; the existing requirements should include a similar statement that the existing conditions expire upon approval of the SIP revisions.  If the currently approved SIP conditions are not placed in the permit, USEPA will be forced to object to the issuance of this permit in accordance with 40 CFR 70.8 (c).

Secondly, as you know, the DRAFT permit contains revised emission limits based on limits submitted as part of Amendments Two and Three to the Ashland Company SIP.  Many of the revised limits in the DRAFT permit are not as stringent as what appears to be currently in the SIP.  The proposed SIP revision contains emission requirements in Amendment Three that appears to be unacceptable for the following units: distillate unifier heater, naphtha unifier heater, platformer charge heater, platformer interheater No. 1, asphalt oxidizer, FCC regenerator, platformer heater No. 2, guard case reactor, reactor heater Nos. 1 and 2, reactor heaters Nos. 3E and 4E, reactor heaters Nos. 3W and 4W, reactor charge heater, Product Stripper
Re-boiler, and Reformer Heaters.

Other issues remain which would prevent the approval of Amendments Two and Three.  Specifically, the emission limits assumed during the periods when the sulfur reduction unit is being maintained have not shown modeled attainment with the National Ambient Air Quality Standards for SO2.  This is a requirement for SIP approvability.  It is understood that resolution of the remaining SIP issues and approval of the amended administrative orders is necessary before the permit conditions can be considered federally enforceable.  The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) may keep these proposed conditions in the permit but the permit must state that they are not the applicable requirements until they have been approved into the SIP.

In addition, Ashland Petroleum Company is currently considered a significant violator and, thus, may require a compliance schedule in accordance with
40 CFR 70.5 (c)(8)(iii)(C).  If it is determined that a compliance schedule
is required in the permit, the Ashland Petroleum Company part 70 permit must undergo another 30-day Public Notice period in accordance with
40 CFR 70.4(b)(3)(viii).  

The MPCA has informed USEPA that the State is carrying out actions that are expected to bring Ashland Petroleum into compliance before the 45-day review period.  However, after these actions are carried out, MPCA must submit a letter to USEPA stating that these actions are fulfilled and will assure that the source will not be in violation of any applicable requirement at the time of permit issuance.  This letter should state the violation(s), the specific corrective actions being taken, if the action is federally enforceable, if the nature of the corrective action is permanent or an operational limit, and any other information that identifies the compliance status of the source.  If the State fails to assure that the source is not in violation or to submit a schedule of compliance before the end of the
45-day review period, the part 70 permit for Ashland Petroleum will receive an EPA objection in accordance with 40 CFR 70.8 (c).

If we object to the permit because it does not contain a required compliance schedule, the MPCA can add a compliance schedule to the permit, but the permit would then have to go through another 30-day public comment period.  The State can also choose to delay issuance of the permit until the source is brought into compliance with all applicable requirements as a means of addressing the objection.

Also, the New Source Performance Standard definition of malfunction as defined in 40 CFR 60.2 needs to be added to the startup, shutdown, and malfunction (SSM) provisions of the permit for this refinery source.  It is USEPA’s position that malfunction should be clearly defined in the permit and the determination of a malfunction be made by the regulatory agency.

The USEPA apologizes for its timing in sending these comments to the State. However, USEPA needed to make the State aware of these important issues.    
Based on the considerations outlined above, it is the position of the USEPA that the permit as currently drafted does not meet the requirements of the Clean Air Act.  We hope that the information outlined in this letter is useful to you, and we will continue to work with you to develop an acceptable, flexible permit.  If you have any questions on this letter, please contact Shaheerah Fateen at (312) 353-4779.

Sincerely yours,


Robert Miller, Chief
Permits and Grants Section

cc: Amrill Okonkwo, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency
Scott Parr, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency
Susan Mitchell, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency