Weekly Compliance Digest – EU PIC Regulation, EPA Air Pollution Rule

December 11, 2015 By
In this edition of the Weekly Compliance Digest, we cover an update to Annex I of the EU Prior Informed Consent (PIC) regulation ((EU) 649/2012), and the U.S. EPA Cross-State Air Pollution Rule Update for the 2008 Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards (40 CFR Parts 52, 78, and 97).

Update to Annex I of the EU Prior Informed Consent (PIC) Regulation 

What is it?

The EU Prior Informed Consent (PIC) regulation administers the import and export of certain hazardous chemicals, and places obligations on companies that wish to export these chemicals to non-EU countries. On December 4, 2015, ECHA announced that Annex I of the PIC regulation had been amended with 12 new entries that cover a total of 143 chemicals. Chemicals listed in Annex I are subject to the export notification procedure (part 1) and to the explicit consent requirement (parts 2 and 3).

Who is affected?

Companies in the EU that want to export certain hazardous chemicals and pesticides to any country outside the EU.

What are the requirements?

As a result of the amendment to Annex I of the PIC regulation, these entries now require an export notification before they can be exported outside the EU:

  • 1,1-Dichloroethene
  • 1,1,2-Trichloroethane
  • 1,1,1,2-Tetrachloroethane
  • 1,1,2,2-Tetrachloroethane
  • Dibutyltin compounds
  • Dioctyltin compounds
  • Fenbutatin oxide
  • Lead compounds
  • Pentachloroethane
  • Trichlorobenzene

The export notification must be submitted to the EU Member State authorities at least 35 days before the expected date of export, through the IT tool ePIC.

In addition, the following entries are added to part 3 of Annex I.  Exports of these chemicals are banned (with the exception of quantities below 10 kg per year per importing country for research and analysis purposes):

  • Commercial pentabromodiphenyl ether, including tetrabromodiphenyl ether and pentabromodiphenyl ether
  • Commercial octabromodiphenyl ether, including hexabromodiphenyl ether and heptabromodiphenyl ether

With the changes, the Annex I list now contains 199 entries that cover just over 1,000 chemicals.

What is next?

The amendment to Annex I of the PIC regulation was published in the Official Journal of the European Union on December 3, 2015. It will enter into force on February 1, 2016. Since companies must submit export notifications at least 35 days before the expected date of export, they must submit their notifications this month for the export of affected chemicals.
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EPA Cross-State Air Pollution Rule Update for the 2008 Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards

What is it?

On November 17, 2015, the U.S. EPA proposed updates to the agency’s Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR) to address interstate air quality impacts for the 2008 ozone air quality standards. The proposed CSAPR Update Rule aims to reduce summertime emissions of oxides of nitrogen (NOx) from power plants in 23 states in the eastern U.S.

The Clean Air Act’s “good neighbor” provision requires states to address interstate transport of air pollution that affects the ability of downwind states to attain and maintain clean air standards. Under the “good neighbor” provision, states develop state implementation plans while EPA plays a backstop role by issuing federal implementation plans if a state fails to submit a plan.

Who is affected?

The proposed CSAPR Update Rule affects 3,047 electric generating units at 913 coal-, gas-, and oil-fired facilities located in states that are in yellow in the map below:

CSAPR

What are the requirements?

The EPA is proposing to update the existing CSAPR NOx ozone season emission budgets for each state’s fleet of electricity generating units, and implement these budgets through the existing CSAPR NOx ozone season allowance trading program. The program allows facility owner/operators to determine their own compliance path, the EPA says. The EPA is proposing unit-level allowance allocations. But the proposal does not make any unit-specific requirements except that facilities hold enough allowances to cover their emissions for the ozone season and that emissions are monitored and reported in compliance with 40 CFR Part 75.

Since the proposed update may require cuts in power plant NOx emissions, the EPA says that meaningful NOx reductions can be made by:

  • Optimizing operation of existing pollution control technology.
  • Turning on existing pollution controls that are currently idled.
  • Upgrading to state-of-the-art low-NOx combustion controls.
  • Shifting generation to lower-emitting power plants.

The EPA has made available a number of technical support documents (TSDs), including a TSD on costs and emission reduction potential for common electric generating unit NOx emission control systems.

What is next?

The CSAPR Update Rule was published in the Federal Register on December 3, 2015. The EPA will accept comments until January 19, 2016 and will hold a public hearing on December 17, 2015 in Washington, D.C.

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Categories: EHS

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