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Section 13.0 Reasonably Available Control Measures (RACM)

Sections 172(a)(2)(A) and 181(a) of the CAA require ozone non-attainment areas to attain the NAAQS as expeditiously as practicable, including such reductions as may be obtained through RACT, and to provide outer-limit dates for attainment based on an area's classification. Furthermore, CAA Section 172(c)(1) states, "IN GENERAL - Such plan provisions shall provide for the implementation of all reasonably available control measures as expeditiously as practicable (including such reductions in emissions from existing sources in the area as may be obtained through the adoption, at a minimum, of reasonably available control technology) and shall provide for attainment of the national primary ambient air quality standards." The Department submitted a RACT SIP revision to EPA on September 15, 2006.

The RACM requirement applies to all non-attainment areas that are required to submit an attainment demonstration, whether covered under only CAA Subpart 1 or also Subpart 2.

EPA issued several guidance documents for implementing the RACM provisions of the CAA that interpret that provision to require a demonstration that the state has adopted all reasonable measures to meet RFP requirements and to demonstrate attainment as expeditiously as practicable and thus, that no additional measures that are reasonably available will advance the attainment date or contribute to RFP for the area:

  • "State Implementation Plans; General Preamble for Proposed Rulemaking on Approval of Plan Revisions for Nonattainment Areas" (44 FR 20372 - 20375).
  • "State Implementation Plans; General Preamble for the Implementation of Title I of the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990; Proposed Rule" (57 FR 13498 - 13560 (April 16, 1992)).
  • "Guidance on the Reasonably Available Control Measures (RACM) Requirement and Attainment Demonstration Submissions for Ozone Nonattainment Areas." John S. Sietz, Director, Office of Air Quality Standards and Planning, November 30, 1999
  • "Additional Submission on RACM for States with Severe One-Hour Ozone Nonattainment Areas SIPs." John S. Sietz, Director, Office of Air Quality Standards and Planning, December 14, 2000.
  • "Guidance on Incorporating Bundled Measures in a State Implementation Plan." Stephen D. Page, Director, Office of Air Quality Standards and Planning, August 15, 2005.

OTC staff and member states, including New York, formed and participated in several workgroups to identify and evaluate candidate control measures that could be used to demonstrate attainment of the 8-hour ozone NAAQS. Initially, the workgroups compiled and reviewed a list of approximately 1,000 candidate control measures. These control measures were identified through published sources such as EPA's CTGs, National Association of Clean Air Agencies (NACAA) "Menu of Options" documents, the AirControlNET database, emission control initiatives in member states as well as other states including California, state/regional consultations, and stakeholder input. The workgroups evaluated data regarding emissions benefits, cost-effectiveness (economic feasibility) and implementation issues (technological feasibility) to develop a preliminary list of 30 candidate control measures to be considered for more detailed analysis. These measures were selected to focus on the pollutants and source categories that are thought to be the most effective in reducing ozone levels in the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic regions. "Identification and Evaluation of Candidate Control Measures - Final Technical Support Document," dated February 28, 2007 is included in this SIP revision as an Appendix as supporting documentation of the process and product of the workgroups.

Based on the analysis conducted by the workgroups, the OTC Commissioners recommended that states consider reductions from the following source categories:

Consumer Products
Portable Fuel Containers
Adhesives and Sealants Applications
Diesel Engine Chip Reflash
Cutback and Emulsified Asphalt Paving
Asphalt Production Plants
Cement Kilns
Glass Furnaces
Industrial, Commercial and Institutional (ICI) Boilers
Regional Fuels

With the exception of Diesel Engine Chip Reflash and Regional Fuels, the State of New York is developing new or revised regulations for all of the source categories recommended by the OTC Commissioners that will provide for the implementation of all reasonably available control measures and attainment of the NAAQS as expeditiously as practicable. Hence, New York State believes that these measures represent RACM as they are reasonably available and can be expected to advance the attainment date and contribute to RFP. These measures, referred to as "Beyond On The Way" measures in the modeling scenarios, are anticipated to provide an additional 1 to 2 ppb reduction benefit in the projected 2009 and/or 2012 design values beyond what was projected for "On The Books / On the Way" measures as detailed in the modeling section of this SIP.

Additionally, the Commissioners directed the OTC to evaluate control measures for EGUs and HEDD units.

Despite significant reductions of ozone precursor emissions achieved to date, a significant portion of the ozone problem continues to be caused by NOx transported into and generated within the OTR by EGUs. HEDD operation of EGUs generally has not been addressed under existing air quality control requirements, and these units are operated on very hot summer days when air pollution levels are highest. Department staff has participated in discussions with OTC staff, other state environmental and utility regulators, EPA staff, EGU owners and operators and independent regional systems operators to assess emissions associated with HEDD during the ozone season and to address excess NOx emissions on HEDDs.

The OTC has developed the "Memorandum of Understanding Among the States of the Ozone Transport Commission Concerning the Incorporation of High Electrical Demand Day Emission Reduction Strategies into Ozone Attainment State Implementation Planning" (HEDD MOU) to address NOx emissions on days when electricity demand is highest. These HEDDs have a strong correlation to days with the highest potential for ozone formation. Given the high emissions and the favorable meteorology for ozone formation, the OTC states have resolved to pursue reductions from units operating on HEDDs during the ozone season. The reductions are to be achieved beginning with the 2009 ozone season or as soon as feasible thereafter, but not later than 2012.

The State of New York is currently evaluating the potential mechanisms and strategies for achieving these emission reductions. The OTC HEDD MOU lists potential mechanisms and strategies. They are:

  • Regulatory emission caps on HEDD units on HEDDs
  • Performance standards
  • State/Generator Partnership Agreements
  • Energy efficiency programs
  • Demand response programs, provided that these programs do not shift emissions to units with unacceptably high pollutant emissions
  • Regulatory standards or controls for distributed generation
  • NOx allowance retirements at adjusted ratios that provide for effective reductions on HEDDs

The Department will implement measures to meet its obligations under the OTC HEDD MOU. These measures are expected to impact ozone levels on the days when the potential for ozone formation are the greatest. It is, however, not possible through the planning and attainment demonstrations performed within this document to predict the impact of these measures. In addition, it is not possible to develop estimates of creditable emissions reductions that will result from the mechanisms and strategies needed to achieve reductions on HEDDs.

Ozone SIP inventories are based on typical daily emissions during the peak ozone season ("Emission Inventory Requirements for Ozone State Implementation Plans," EPA-450/4-91-010, USEPA OAQPS, March 1991). HEDD units do not operate on typical ozone season days. Emissions from HEDD units are not fully accounted for using this methodology to quantify ozone season day emissions. HEDD measures will, therefore, likely reduce ozone levels on ozone exceedance days, but emission reductions from these measures will not be accounted for as creditable emission reductions in the rate-of-progress or attainment year inventories.

The HEDD emission reductions will provide additional weight-of-evidence towards attaining the ozone NAAQS in 2012.

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