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Need a detailed look at the Proposed Refinery Air Rule?

October 28, is the current deadline for comments to the Proposed Refinery Air Regulations.  You can find a copy of the rule making and supporting information on EPA's website. This site has links to all the petroleum refinery air regulations as well as information about the current rule making.  If you want to get an overview of some of the critical portions of the rule - Check out this month's cover story in Pollution Engineering.

Washington is back from August Vacations

From the Hill (click here for the article):

There are two items of interest - one related to Hazardous Materials Pipeline emergency response and the other for 36 new Significant New Use Rules under TSCA.  These are scheduled for the Sept. 2, 2014 issue of the Federal Register.

Has the Clean Air Act Worked?

When working in a regulated industry, the focus is usually on how can I comply with the regulation, or questioning why the regulation has been drafted that way.  The ultimate purpose of the regulation has a tendency to get lost in the day-to-day management of how the regulation is worded, how it is inspected, and what types of violations have been recently highlighted.  Such is the case of the Clean Air Act. 

If you look at the history of the Clean Air Act in the United States, there was a need to do something.

Responsible for the Next Safety Meeting or Hot Topic?

For many of us, the daily, weekly or monthly safety meeting is a fact of life.  Usually, the responsibility for leading the meeting rotates or someone is responsible to bring in a hot topic.  But as most of us know - the meetings are generally filled with repeats of the "typical" topics. You know them all - slips, trips, and falls; electrical safety (particularly near the holidays), food safety (near Thanksgiving or Fourth of July or when the office refrigerator needs cleaning), and the list goes on.

The CSB was busy last week

In addition to the Chemical Safety Board's release of the analysis on the 2014 Sulfuric Acid release at a refinery in California, it also "closed the book" on the Anacortes refinery 2010 explosion.  The CSB's analysis on the Sulfuric Acid release can be foundhere. And while the final report on the 2010 explosion was released earlier this year, there were some legal questions being investigated.  The final report can be foundherealong with recommendations from the American Petroleum Institute, the Environmental Protection Agency, and others.

Safety Information - Refinery.

The Chemical Safety Board released its report on a release of sulfuric acid.  Here is the report.

Update - Proposed Petroleum Refinery Air Rule

One may have anticipated that an extension period was likely in the Proposed Petroleum Refinery Risk and Technology Review and New Source Performance Standards rule making process.  EPA has made it official - the comment period on the the proposed rule will now close on October 28, 2014.  (You can see the Extension Noticehere.The Federal Register Notices is locatedhere.

The Public Hearings on the proposed rule have been very active, if local newspaper accounts are to be believed.

The extension in this case is very much needed due to the breadth and scope of the proposed rule making.

EPA's veiw on methane leaks from natural gas pipelines

Just prior to the DOE's meeting on July, 29 - EPA released areporton July 25 from the agency's Inspector General (IG).  In this report, the IG found that EPA was doing too little to limit methane leakage from natural gas transmission lines and the natural gas infrastructure. From the IG's report, it appears that the voluntary programs have not "succeeded in limiting the output of methane emissions from pipelines."

The report suggests that EPA needs to increase its efforts to limit these emissions including proposing new regulations either on its own or working with other agencies such as DOT.

Department of Energy - Announces Initiative - Natural Gas Transmission and Distribution

On July 29, 2014 - The Department of Energy (DOE) announced its initiative to "help modernize natural gas transmission and distribution infrastructure."  You might have seen something about the DOE's effort to minimize methane emissions - or possibly a story on an initiative to improve safety. The Capstone Roundtable event described in theFact Sheet- was a meeting of "leaders from industry, environmental organizations, state regulators, consumer groups, academia, and unions" to provide the Administration with perspectives on opportunities to modernize the infrastructure to reduce methane emissions.

Interesting perspective - Blog from the Huffington Post

For those of you following the newly proposed rule for petroleum refineries - this might be an interesting perspective to read.

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