Rural Area Flexibility Analysis 6 NYCRR Subpart 225-1 and Part 200
Types and Estimated Numbers of Rural Areas Affected
The proposed rule (6 NYCRR Subpart 225-1) is not expected to have a substantial adverse impact on rural areas in New York State. The proposed rulemaking will apply statewide and thus all stationary sources that fire oil in New York State will be equally affected.
Rural areas are defined as rural counties in New York State that have populations of less than 200,000 people, towns in non-rural counties where the population densities are less than 150 people per square mile, and villages within those towns.
The proposed rule will lower sulfur-in-fuel limits for distillate oil, residual oil, and waste oil. However, no changes will be made in the monitoring, recordkeeping, or reporting requirements in the current version of Subpart 225-1. Therefore, no new compliance requirements will be incurred by stationary sources subject to the provisions of the proposed rule.
Stationary sources subject to the Subpart 225-1 provisions may incur increased fuel oil costs associated with this proposed regulation. There are several factors that may affect fuel oil prices. These factors include but are not limited to fuel availability, price of crude oil, production costs, storage costs, increase in taxes on oil, overall demand based on weather conditions, and natural gas availability and price. The refining process used to produce lower sulfur content oils (less than 500 ppm sulfur content oils) is different from the refining process currently used to manufacture oil with a sulfur content greater than 500 ppm. There will be an initial cost to the oil manufacturers associated with conversion of the current refining process to the new refining process. Therefore, the Department anticipates that production costs will increase. However, based on all of the above listed factors there may or may not be an increase in oil prices (there is the possibility that oil prices could decrease). Setting aside the other factors, the Department conducted a cost analysis based solely upon the increase in production costs and availability of oil to the consumer.
Minimizing Adverse Impact
The Department does not expect any adverse impacts on rural areas. There will be positive environmental impacts from the regulation in rural areas. Rural areas should witness improved visibility with an associated decrease in airborne particulate matter and acid deposition.
Subpart 225-1 is a statewide regulation. Its requirements are the same for all facilities, and rural areas are impacted no differently than other areas in the state.
Rural Area Participation
During the drafting of Subpart 225-1, the Department held stakeholder meetings on June 24, 2010 and November 21, 2011. The meetings were held to give representatives from the oil companies, oil distributors, and end users (which include the rural-area stakeholders as well as industry), an opportunity to meet with Department staff and discuss various issues during the rulemaking process. Finally, the Department will hold public hearings on Subpart 225-1 in upstate and other rural areas and will notify interested parties of this proposed rulemaking.