VI Petitions EPA to Reconsider Critical Aspects of Final PVC MACT RuleJune 19th, 2012 by DWM Magazine
The Vinyl Institute (VI) announced it has petitioned the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for changes it says are needed in the final PVC Maximum Achievable Control Technology (MACT) regulation to address data errors, textual conflicts and regulatory oversights. According to the VI, most of these changes are supported by performance data and information either not previously sought or not considered by the EPA. The VI notes in its petition that these changes are of “central relevance” and if left unaddressed “will significantly hamper normal facility operations and compliance.”
“We urge EPA to accept our industry’s petition for reconsideration and begin the process to make the needed changes to the final rule,” says VI president and CEO Richard Doyle. “Our shared goal with EPA is to develop a PVC MACT rule consistent with the mandates of the Clean Air Act to enhance environmental protection while continuing production of diverse, high-quality PVC resins that go into products consumers rely on every day. Ultimately, this MACT must allow the PVC resin industry to continue to grow to meet expanding global demands, provide excellent career jobs in communities throughout America, and meet consumers’ needs for our life-saving and energy efficient products.”
According to the announcement, MACT regulations are highly complex, designed to bring all producers in an industry up to the levels of the highest performers in terms of reduced emissions of air pollutants. The PVC MACT covers polymerization, control devices, wastewater and storage of materials involved in producing one of the most versatile polymers on the market.
According to the VI, EPA launched the PVC MACT rulemaking in 2009 with a formal information collection request and the PVC resin industry spent nearly $12 million dollars testing and measuring emissions in a cooperative effort to respond with accurate, meaningful data. VI says it recognizes the EPA’s thorough review and consideration of most of the information submitted during the course of this rulemaking. It adds, though, that a constrained rulemaking schedule, which it says stemmed from an EPA settlement agreement with an environmental interest group seeking to compel promulgation of the PVC MACT, led to some of the problems that it believes still need to be addressed. Ultimately the final rule would have benefitted from a deeper refinement that additional time would have allowed.
Consistent with common practice, VI also filed a separate petition for review with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
“Our industry has fully supported EPA’s MACT rulemaking process,” says Doyle. “We knew this rule was long overdue after the initial update rule was overturned by the court. But the accelerated schedule from the settlement agreement resulted in some unintended consequences. We want to make sure the rule is done right for the environment, the industry and our nation’s economy.”