Assessment of Public Comments 6 NYCRR Part 225-1 and 200
Comments received from October 31, 2012 through December 28, 2012
Comment 1: Since Part 225-1 does not define residential emission sources or number 2 heating oil. Where can I find the definition for these terms? (Commenter 1)
Response to Comment 1: Both terms fall within existing definitions contained in 6 NYCRR Part 200. The term residential emission source is covered by the definition of stationary source in subdivision 6 NYCRR 200.1(cd). The term number 2 heating oil is covered by the definition of distillate oil in subdivision 6 NYCRR 200.1(r).
Comment 2: While Part 225-1 (f) implies that owners and operators of commercial, industrial, and residential emission sources that combust number 2 heating oil on or after July 1, 2012, are limited to combusting number 2 heating oil with a sulfur content of 15 ppm by weight or less; Part 225-1 (g) states that owners and operators of any stationary combustion installation that combust distillate oil are limited to purchasing distillate oil with a sulfur content of 15 ppm by weight or less on or after July 1, 2014, and are limited to combusting distillate oil with a sulfur content of 15 ppm by weight or less on or after July 1, 2016. Why are (f) and (g) different and why is NYSDEC differentiating between emission sources which combust number 2 heating oil and those that combust distillate oil? Under the federal regulations number 2 heating oil is defined as a subset of distillate oil, in essence one in the same. (Commenter 1)
Response to Comment 2: Environmental Conservation Law (ECL) section 19-0325 requires that all number 2 heating oil sold for use in New York State must be at or below the 15 ppm sulfur content by July 1, 2012. DEC cannot change that statutory requirement through rulemaking. The Department, however, determined that this requirement did not apply to all of the distillate oil sold for use throughout the State (e.g. distillate oil used in power plants and emergency generators). Historically, there is a 75 percent heating oil to 25 percent non-heating oil usage in the State. Non-heating oil users generally have much larger stockpiles of their fuel oil on site. Therefore, the Department decided to provide additional time for compliance for the non-heating oil users. However, several commenters stated that they have not had sufficient time to use their previously purchased non-compliant fuel by the July 1, 2012 deadline. As a result we have removed "firing" from the July 1, 2012. For further information, please see pages 7 thru 9 of the RIS under the Section titled Number 2 Heating Oil Sulfur-in-Fuel Limit vs. Distillate Oil Sulfur-in-Fuel Limit.
Comment 3: The implementing statute for the proposed regulation does not limit the firing of number 2 fuel oil in excess of the 15 ppm sulfur limitation. Instead Section 225-1.2(f) of the proposed regulation extends the July 1, 2012 deadline to owners and operators of commercial, industrial, or residential emission sources that fire number 2 heating oil on or after July 1, 2012. We believe that this proposed action supersedes statutory requirements and must be addressed so as not to negatively impact the industry in New York State by limiting the use of number 2 heating oil that does not meet on the standard as of the July deadline, but is currently stored in on-site. The commenters recommend the revision of the proposed language in Section 225-1.2(f) to relate to the sale of number 2 heating oil and not the firing of number 2 heating oil. (Commenters 2, 5 and 7)
Response to Comment 3: The Department has carefully reviewed this issue and concerns about the use of previously purchased non-compliant fuel. As a result, the Department has removed "firing" from the July 1, 2012 deadline. All facilities using number 2 distillate oil will now be limited to firing only number 2 distillate oil with a sulfur content of 15 ppm by weight or less on or after July 1, 2016.
Comment 4: Require that all generating facilities who are not able to comply with the 2016 deadline be allowed to document that they have not purchased non-compliant fuel since the proposed regulations were published in the ENB (Oct 31, 2012). This will ensure that no entity needing relief from the requirement is increasing its inventory. (Commenters 3 and 4)
Response to Comment 4: The Department believes that it has provided sufficient time to comply with the proposed revisions to sulfur limitations in subpart 225-1 based upon outreach conducted during the development of the rulemaking. Subdivisions 225-1.2(e) and (g) require that owners or operators of oil firing equipment purchase compliant oil on or after July 1, 2014 and fire the compliant oil on or after July 1, 2016. The Department believes that the proposed rule adequately requires that subject facilities monitor the purchase of compliant fuels for two years prior to the firing compliance date.
Comment 5: Revise section 225-1.4 to include the option of co-firing natural gas with the higher sulfur fuel to achieve an effective SO2 emission equal to or lower than that resulting from the compliant fuel. (Commenters 3, 4 and 5)
Comment 6: We further recommend that this co-firing calculation be done on a daily basis. (Commenters 3 and 4)
Comment 7: Specifically, we recommend that a second equation be included in this section to demonstrate co-firing of oil and natural gas. (Commenters 3 and 4)
Comment 8: Averaging would allow facilities to burn down existing supply of non-conforming oil without waiting for a fuel shortage or emergency. (Commenter 5)
Response to Comments 5-8: Subdivision 225-1.4(a) states "Fuel mixtures and equivalent emission rate variances only apply to processes or stationary combustion installations. Compliance will be based on the total heat input from all fuels fired, including gaseous fuels." Thus, the use of gaseous fuel is allowed when co-fired with non-compliant oil to reduce the equivalent sulfur dioxide emission rate of a subject emission source. Because existing language permits this, the Department does not believe that specific language needs to be added to this proposed regulation. The Department believes that this is better addressed on a case-by-case basis for each affected facility.
Comment 9: Allow purchase of lower sulfur fuel (i.e. 0.3 percent S) in sufficient quantities such that the resultant fuel would be compliant. Since many of the larger residual oil tanks are not equipped with mixing capabilities, it may be difficult to demonstrate that the as-burned fuel is compliant. The DEC should allow for a calculated or "paper" demonstration of compliance. (a tank has 100 gallons of 0.7 percent S fuel, the purchase of 100 gallons of 0.3 percent S fuel would result in 200 gallons that would have a compliant S content of 0.5 percent) (Commenters 3 and 4)
Response to Comment 9: The Department believes that the proposed rule already allows this and that any facility specific monitoring should be addressed in the subject facilities monitoring requirements and permits on a case-by-case basis.
Comment 10: For facilities where other previously mentioned options are not viable, we recommend that the DEC develop site specific agreements that those facilities be allowed to burn down existing inventory and demonstrate that the SO2 emission from the facility do not exceed permit limits. (Commenter 3)
Comment 11: The option of selling inventories of non compliant fuel and transferring the fuel off site presents serious concerns. The existing fuel oil, though possible to sell, has engineering, technical and logistics issues to transfer from storage tanks to barges and would have the increased risk of a significant spill and the liability to sell the product. We do not believe this is therefore an option that the Department should include in its regulations. (Commenter 4)
Comment 12: Please note that should the economics or other operational changes require more oil burn than currently forecast prior to July 2016, these options may not be utilized. However, we strongly believe that they should be incorporated into the regulations. (Commenter 3)
Response to Comments 10-12: The Department respectfully disagrees with the commenter that the regulation should contain facility specific requirements. For facilities that are not able to comply with the regulation a case-by-case determination must be conducted to address the issues. Any case-by-case analysis and determination would be incorporated into both the affected facility's permit and the State Implementation Plan (SIP) as a single source SIP revision.
Comment 13: The footnotes to the solid fuel limit tables refer to the heat content of solid fuel delivered. In practice, the heat input is calculated using CEMS. As long as that is understood then no changes are necessary. (Commenter 4)
Response to Comment 13: Thank you for your comment. No changes are necessary.
Comment 14: Section 225-1.5 Emissions and Fuel Monitoring(b) notes in "'performance specification 2', appendix B, part 60 of title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations (see Table 1, Section 200.9 of this Title)" but the reference in the table is for Section 225-1.7(b). Section 225-1.5, Emissions and Fuel Monitoring (b)(3) states "stationary combustion installations required to use the continuous monitoring specifications under 40 CFR part 75 (see Table 1, Section 200.9 of this Title)", but Part 75 and this section are not included in this table. Section 225-1.5, Emissions and Fuel Monitoring (b)(3) states "stationary combustion installations required to use the continuous monitoring specifications under 40 CFR part 75 (see Table 1, Section 200.9 of this Title)", but Part 75 and this section are not included in this table. (Commenter 4)
Response to Comment 14: Changes to Table 1, Section 200.9 are part of this rulemaking. Please see the Part 200 express terms where these changes are listed.
Comment 15: Exceptions to the sulfur-in-fuel limits, as discussed in Section 225-1.3, appear to be limited to the unavailability of fuel that complies with the requirements of this regulation and neglects fuel shortages created by local natural gas curtailment during the heating season. Local natural gas curtailments would not initially trigger the responses required under Section 225-1.3, but would still affect gas fired facilities under Subpart JJJJJJ to maintain their heating capabilities. Since these facilities have a limited allowable annual burn time for fuel oil under non-emergency conditions, it may be difficult for these facilities to burn down number 2 heating oil with a sulfur content of greater than 15 ppm purchased prior to July 1, 2012, within the next two to four years. Any variance or exception should also require that any new fuel added to their storage tanks be compliant under 6 NYCRR Subpart 225-1. Therefore, we recommend the Department add an exception under Section 225-1.3 for facilities which have boilers with dual fuel combustion capabilities and meet the definition of a gas-fired unit under 40 CFR 63 Subpart JJJJJJ National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants for Industrial, Commercial, and Institutional Boilers Area Sources to allow the combustion of their existing supply of number 2 heating or distillate oil purchased prior to July 1, 2012 and compliant with the regulations that existed at the time of purchase. (Commenter 5)
Response to Comment 15: Please note that the Department has not accepted delegation of 40 CFR 63 Subpart JJJJJJ. Also the Department's regulations do not include the same definition of boiler as 40 CFR 63 Subpart JJJJJJ. Please note that the affected facility will be required to purchase compliant fuel as per the relevant applicability date. Please also see the response to comment numbers 10-12.
Comment 16: Number 2 heating oil is normally considered a subset of distillate oil as presently defined under 6 NYCRR Subpart 200, General Provisions, Section 200.1, paragraph (r) and 40 CFR 60.41c Distillate Oil. Generally, the regulated community tends to use these terms interchangeably. Therefore, using two different regulatory concepts for nearly the same item to create a separate set of regulatory requirements for number 2 heating oil is confusing and can potentially lead a user to misread the requirements for the application that affects them. The Department should either remove the distinction between distillate oil and number 2 heating oil from this regulation; or add to Section 225-1.1 Definitions, wording that specifically defines how these terms are to be applied in this regulation. If the State intends to maintain this difference in other regulations, then the general definitions of Subpart 200 of this Title should also be amended to reflect these concepts. (Commenter 5)
Response to Comment 16: ECL section 19-0325 carved out "number 2 heating oil" from "distillate oil". Therefore, the initial regulatory compliance requirements carve out number 2 heating oil. The Department does not intend to maintain a differentiation between number 2 heating oil and distillate oil beyond July 1, 2016. Once this date occurs, all distillate oils will have the same requirements in the rule. Please also see the response to comments number 2 and 3.
Comment 17: The National Bio-diesel Board (NBB) supports these regulations and New York's efforts to improve air quality through the reduction of allowable sulfur content in heating fuels. (Commenters 6,8)
Response to Comment 17: Thank you for your support.
Comment 18: The National Bio-diesel Board serves to promote bio-diesel, which is a trans-esterified version of usually vegetable or animal waste oils into a diesel-like fuel that meets ASTM Standard 6751. This standard itself incorporates sulfur limitations of 15 parts per million. So, bio-diesel, as a product, inherently meets any and all sulfur regulations that exist here in New York State as well as across the nation and for what we anticipate coming in the future as the various states transition to ultra-low sulfur fuels for thermal purposes. The concern that - or suggestion I would offer is that under the definition of waste oils, which is one of the first paragraphs in the published material here, it makes specific reference to animal and vegetable waste oils. I think that needs some additional attention, clarification and definition. (Commenter 8)
Response to Comment 18: Subpart 225-1 neither defines nor prohibits bio-diesel or bio-derived oil. This regulation only sets specific sulfur-in-fuel limits on solid and liquid fuels fired throughout New York State. Please note that the definition of waste oil is found in Subpart 225-2 and is beyond the scope of this rule making.
Comment 19: The animal and vegetable fats-based oils often represent the first time that that this material has been used in an oil application. But there are other liquid alternative fuels that are entering the market place without the rigorous testing and evaluation that has been performed on biodiesel in the past. There is a lot of oil that is finding its way into the thermal market outside the umbrella of all of the ASTM standards for heating oil that we normally refer to. We suggest that this needs some closer attention. The Department needs to be very careful to stay ahead of the curve in regulating these fuels as they come into the marketplace. Some of these alternate fuels will have substantial sulfur contents. After all, sulfur, as we already know, is part and parcel of many plant products but, in addition, I know this starts to go outside the realms of this particular regulation, we also have to be concerned about CORID contents and then also mercury and other heavy metals. The proposed sulfur limit for the waste oils is 0.75 percent. That actually is higher than what we have seen in much of the products that are going into bio-diesel manufacturing. We would suggest that this particular category of waste based oils perhaps be subject to their own sulfur standards. We really want to encourage the reprocessing of these oils into a higher quality product such as what occurs with bio-diesel manufacturing in order to reduce air pollution. (Commenters 6 and 8)
Response to Comment 19: Bio-diesels and other bio-derived oils must meet the sulfur-in-fuel requirements listed in Subpart 225-1. As long as they meet the appropriate limits their use will be considered to be compliant with the requirements. However, the Department believes that the request to define bio-derived oils differently in the term 'waste oil' is beyond the scope of this rule making. Please also see the response to Comment number 18.
Comment 20: I would encourage the Department to consider implementation of additional requirements that would require the blending of bio-diesel into Number 6 oil, similar to what New York City has done recently with their bio-heat mandate. Bio-diesel enhances combustion performance cleanliness rather significantly when used with number 6 oil systems. It helps to reduce viscosity, it improves atomization, finer droplets in the atomization process and, thus, cleaner combustion. It helps to keep the burners clean and with all this plus the inherent chemistry of oxygenated content it helps to reduce PAH formation during the combustion process. So, we could encourage the Department to give this further consideration. (Commenter 8)
Response to Comment 20: The Department notes this comment. The proposed regulation does not prohibit a facility from blending bio-diesel or bio-derived oils with their fossil fuels. At this point in time the Department does not plan to mandate the blending and/or use of bio-diesel or bio-derived oil in New York State.
Comment 21: The regulations inappropriately applies retroactively to the firing of number 2 home heating oil. (Commenter 5)
Response to Comment 21: The Department has carefully reviewed this issue and concerns about the use of previously purchased non-compliant fuel. As a result, the Department has removed "firing" from the July 1, 2012 deadline. All facilities using number 2 distillate oil will now be limited to firing only number 2 distillate oil with a sulfur content of 15 ppm by weight or less on or after July 1, 2016. Please also see the response to Comment 3.
1) William Guerrera
2) New York Farm Bureau
3) National Grid
4) Environmental Energy Alliance of New York, LLC
5) US Department of Energy
6) Mr. Raymond Albrecht - National Bio-diesel Board
7) Mr. Darren Suarez - Business Council of New York State Inc.
8) Mr. Raymond Albrecht - National Bio-diesel Board, Public Hearing, Albany
9) Mr. Darren Suarez - Business Council of New York State Inc., Public Hearing, Albany