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Proposed Air Quality Regulations and Plans

Following are summaries of proposed new air quality regulations and proposed amendments to existing regulations and the New Mexico State Implementation Plan. For updates, please periodically check back at this webpage. For information on new policies and procedures for air quality permitting, please go to the What's New in Permitting page.


NEWRevisions to New Mexico's State Implementation Plan for Particulate Matter 2.5 microns and less (PM 2.5) under the Clean Air Act Section 110(a)(2).

The New Mexico Environment Department announces an opportunity to comment on and/or request a public hearing on a proposed certification that New Mexico has an adequate, federally-approved State Implementation Plan (SIP) that addresses all elements of a Clean Air Act Section 110(a)(2) infrastructure plan, as applicable to the 2012 PM2.5 revised National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS). The purpose of the proposed certification is to confirm to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that the State of New Mexico has the required “infrastructure” in place under the current SIP to implement, maintain and enforce the 2012 PM2.5 revised NAAQS, promulgated by the EPA on December 14, 2012 (78 FR 3086, January 15, 2013). Comments or requests were due July 29, 2015.

Please contact Neal Butt for more information at neal.butt@state.nm.us or by phone at (505) 476-4317.


NEWProposed Repeal of 20.2.36 NMAC - Petroleum Refinery Sulfur

 

A public hearing is scheduled for December 18, 2015 to consider the repeal of 20.2.36 NMAC.  Part 36 was adopted in 1974 and establishes sulfur limits (sulfur recovery standards) and other requirements for existing and new petroleum refineries.     

The NMED will host informational open houses on the proposed repeal of 20.2.36 NMAC at the NMED Roswell Office training room, 1914 W. Second, Roswell, NM 88201 from 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, October 29, 2015 and at the NMED Albuquerque District Office, Alameda Conference Room, 121 Tijeras Ave. NE, STE 1000, Albuquerque, NM 87102 from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday November 3, 2015.   

Federal New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) regulations, 40 CFR Part 60, Subparts J and Ja (NSPS J and Ja) and other permit conditions require sulfur emission limits that are more directly related to air emissions of sulfur than Part 36.   Part 36 is outdated; it was adopted at a time when Continuous Emissions Monitoring Systems (CEMS) were not widely in use. This leads to enforceability issues due to a lack of monitoring requirements. Also, the regulation is not part of the State Implementation Plan (SIP) under the federal Clean Air Act, and therefore is not federally enforceable by the EPA. In comparison, Subparts J and Ja require continuous monitoring, which provides for more effective enforcement of the emission limits.   Part 36 quarterly reporting can be redundant, as subject facilities are also required to submit semi-annual reports required by NSPS J and Ja, and semi-annual reports and annual compliance certifications required by Clean Air Act Title V permits. Calculating mass balance reports required by Part 36 requires the use of engineering resources at refineries, as well as Department resources to review and process the submittals.   

Repeal of Part 36 would benefit the state by removing outdated, redundant requirements. Since existing federal regulations establish sulfur limits for existing and future refineries, a repeal of Part 36 would not negatively affect air quality.   

Please contact Mark Jones at mark.jones@state.nm.us or at (505) 566-9746 for additional information.


NewProposed Repeal of 20.2.20 NMAC – Lime Manufacturing Plants.

The Improving Environmental Permitting Initial Report identified 20.2.20 NMAC – Lime Manufacturing Plants – Particulate Matter (Part 20) as one of several rules that should be reviewed for potential revision or repeal. Part 20 establishes particulate matter (PM) emissions limits for lime manufacturing plants and lime hydrators. This rule is part of the New Mexico State Implementation Plan (SIP) for air quality. Part 20 differs from federal rules that regulate lime manufacturing (40 CFR 60, Subpart HH, Standards of Performance for Lime Manufacturing Plants (NSPS Subpart HH) and 40 CFR 63, Subpart AAAAA, National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants for Lime Manufacturing Plants (NESHAP Subpart AAAAA)) as follows:

     (1) the Part 20 PM emission limit for lime kilns that are subject to NSPS Subpart HH but not NESHAP Subpart AAAAA is one-half that of the revised New Source Performance Standards (NSPS);

     (2) the Part 20 opacity limit is more stringent than that required by NSPS Subpart HH; and

     (3) Part 20 regulates PM emissions from lime hydrators, about which federal rules are silent. Currently, there are no facilities in New Mexico subject to either NSPS Subpart HH or NESHAP Subpart AAAAA.

NMED intends to propose to the Environmental Improvement Board (EIB) that this rule be repealed. A repeal of Part 20 would eliminate the 0.15 pound per ton of lime feed PM emissions limit for lime hydrators. Affected facilities would only be required to comply with the applicable portions of NSPS Subpart HH and NESHAP Subpart AAAAA.

Because Part 20 is part of the NM SIP, NMED would be required to demonstrate to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that the proposed repeal will not negatively affect the attainment or maintenance of any National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS), as required by Section 110(l) of the Clean Air Act (CAA). The 110(l) demonstration would provide that:

  1. There are no lime manufacturing sources in New Mexico subject to NSPS Subpart HH or NESHAP Subpart AAAAA that would be affected by the repeal of Part 20.
  2. The only source currently subject to Part 20 is Lhoist North America’s (a/k/a Chemical Lime Co.) lime hydrator, located in Belen, NM. The most recent dispersion modeling analysis conducted for this facility demonstrates that the facility will not cause a violation of the NAAQS, as permitted and constructed.
  3. This source’s potential to emit PM is based on a permit limit, which is federally enforceable via SIP-approved 20.2.72 NMAC, Construction Permits (Part 72). If Part 20 were repealed, an NSR permit would still be required for the Lhoist facility. Should Lhoist apply for a permit revision, Part 72 would still require the applicant to show compliance with the NAAQS. Therefore, the facility would not interfere with attainment or maintenance of the NAAQS.

The proposed repealed rule may be downloaded from the link below.

 

Please contact Neal Butt at (505) 476-4317 or neal.butt@state.nm.us if you have questions or comments concerning the proposed repeal.


NewAmendment of 20.2.77 NMAC, 20.2.78 NMAC and 20.2.82 NMAC to Incorporate Federal Rules by Reference.

A public hearing has been scheduled for October 15, 2015 to consider amending 20.2.77 NMAC, 20.2.78 NMAC and 20.2.82 NMAC to incorporate by reference the new rules, corrections, revisions, and amendments to the federal New Source Performance Standards (“NSPS”), National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants ("NESHAP") and Maximum Achievable Control Technology Standards for Source Categories of Hazardous Air Pollutants (“MACT”), respectively, which were promulgated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and published in the Federal Register from the most recent date of incorporation through September 15, 2015. Incorporation by reference effectively delegates to New Mexico the authority to implement and enforce these federal rules.

Please contact Cindy Hollenberg at cindy.hollenberg@state.nm.us or at (505) 476-4356.

Recently Approved Changes to Air Quality Regulations and Plans

Following are summaries of recently approved changes to New Mexico air quality regulations and the New Mexico State Implementation Plan.  These changes were approved by either the Environmental Improvement Board or U.S. EPA within the last two years. For updates, please check back periodically at this webpage.


»Revisions to 20.2.1 NMAC - General Provisions

On January 23, 2015, the Environmental Improvement Board unanimously voted to approve amendments to 20.2.1 NMAC - General Provisions to include language authorizing the electronic submittal of data, reports and permit applications in lieu of paper submittals. The amendments to 20.2.1 NMAC are a revision to the State Implementation Plan (SIP) for air quality.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requires state agencies which accept required submittals electronically, in lieu of paper submittals, to comply with the federal Cross-Media Electronic Reporting Rule (CROMERR), 40 CFR Part 3.

For more information about the CROMERR requirements and New Mexico's plans to comply, please go to:

/aqb/CROMERRImplementation.htm.

The amended 20.2.1 NMAC and the statement of reasons and final order may be downloaded from the below links.

Please contact Neal Butt at neal.butt@state.nm.us or at (505) 476-4317 if you have questions or comments concerning the rule.


»Repeal of 20.2.12 NMAC – Cement Kilns

A public hearing in front of the Environmental Improvement Board (EIB) was held on July 11, 2014 to consider the New Mexico Environment Department’s proposed repeal of 20.2.12 NMAC – Cement Kilns. The Environmental Improvement Board unanimously voted to repeal the rule. The repeal is in response to a NMED initiative to improve environmental permitting through revising or repealing outdated rules, while maintaining environmental protections and setting clear requirements for the regulated community. The rule will no longer be part of the New Mexico Administrative Code (NMAC) or the NM State Implementation Plan (SIP) 30 days after the repeal is submitted to the State Records Center.

20.2.12 NMAC was adopted at the first hearing held for the NM SIP in 1970. Since that time, the rule has not changed and the level and format of the particulate matter (PM) emission limits have become outdated and unnecessary. Additionally, there are no cement kilns under NMED’s jurisdiction (which excludes Bernalillo County and Tribal Lands). The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) amended the New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) for new, modified or reconstructed cement kilns in February 2013. In addition to setting PM emission limits for the cement kiln, the NSPS also limits emissions from the grinding, cooling and materials-handling steps in the manufacturing process. The NSPS PM emission limit for kilns is more stringent than that contained in Part 12. If a cement kiln were to be constructed in New Mexico, NMED would apply the more stringent NSPS requirements during the permitting process.

Please contact Michael Baca at michael.baca1@state.nm.us or at (575) 288-2050 for additional information.


»Repeal of 20.2.85 NMAC - Mercury Emission Standards and Compliance Schedules for Electric Generating Units.

The Environmental Improvement Board unanimously approved the repeal of 20.2.85 NMAC (Part 85) on March 21, 2014.

Part 85 was adopted at a public hearing April 4, 2007 in response to the Clean Air Mercury Rule (CAMR) issued by the U.S. EPA on March 15, 2005. The New Mexico Environment Department chose to achieve the mandated reductions by developing Part 85. On Feburary 8, 2008, the District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals, in a unanimous decision, vacated CAMR. The vacatur of CAMR left the Department without any federal enforceability of Part 85. On February 10, 2012, the Air Quality Bureau withdrew Part 85 from consideration as a SIP submittal.

In response to the vacatur of CAMR, the EPA issued the Mercury Air Toxics Standards (MATS). The implementation of the federal MATS rule adequately replaces Part 85, which gives the state federal backing for regulating mercury emissions from EGUs within the jurisdiction of the Department.

Proposed 20.2.85 NMAC Repeal

Order and Statement of Reasons

SIP withdrawal letter

Please contact Robert Spillers at robert.spillers@state.nm.us or at (575) 476-4324 for additional information.


»Repeal of 20.2.98 NMAC– Conformity of General Federal Actions to the State Implementation Plan.

The Environmental Improvement Board approved repeal of 20.2.98 NMAC on October 8, 2013.

The repeal of 20.2.98 NMAC - Conformity of General Federal Action to the State Implementation Plan was in response to the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) amendments to the federal general conformity rule, 40 CFR Part 93, Subpart B on March 24, 2010. A portion of the amendments to the federal general conformity rule were in response to revisions made in August 2005, to the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU) that removed the requirement for states to adopt and submit General Conformity State Implementation Plans under the Clean Air Act. Before this revision to SAFETEA-LU, states were required to adopt regulatory State Implementation Plans that corresponded to the federal general conformity rule.

In its March 2010 revision to the federal general conformity rule, EPA made the adoption and submittal of General Conformity State Implementation Plans optional rather than mandatory for states. The New Mexico Environment Department believes it would be the most beneficial to the state to opt out of the general conformity State Implementation Plan requirement, as allowed by the revised federal general conformity rule, by repealing Part 98.

Please contact Gail Cooke at gail.cooke@state.nm.us or at (505) 476-4319 for additional information.


»Streamlining of 20.2.99 NMAC – Conformity to the State Implementation Plan of Transportation Plans, Programs and Projects.

A public hearing was held on July 11, 2014 to consider the repeal and replacement of 20.2.99 NMAC. The Environmental Improvement Board adopted the repeal and replacement of this rule unanimously. This regulation, sometimes called “Transportation Conformity,” was first adopted on October 20, 1994 as a required element of the New Mexico State Implementation Plan. The purpose of the rule is to ensure that federal transportation projects do not contribute to air quality problems in certain areas of the state. Previous amendments were required to match changes in the federal rule. This adopted repeal and replacement deletes large portions of the current rule; those portions which apply to the state’s role in implementing the federal rule will be retained.

Contact Cindy Hollenberg at cindy.hollenberg@state.nm.us or (505) 476-4356 for more information.


»Revisions to 20.2.74 NMAC - Permits - Prevention of Significant Deterioration

A public hearing in front of the Environmental Improvement Board (EIB) was held on July 11, 2014 to consider the New Mexico Environment Department’s proposed amendments to 20.2.74 NMAC – Permits – Prevention of Significant Deterioration. The Environmental Improvement Board approved the proposal on a 4-1 voice vote. The adopted revisions are in response to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) December 9, 2013, amendments to federal rules 40 CFR 51.166 and 52.21. The amendments by the EPA to the federal rules address the January 22, 2013, United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit vacatur and remand of two prevention of significant deterioration provisions that were promulgated by EPA in 2010. The two provisions include the Significant Impact Levels (SILs) and Significant Monitoring Concentrations (SMC) for particulate matter 2.5 microns in size and less (PM2.5). The Court’s vacatur of the PM2.5 SILs and the SMC means that these provisions can no longer be relied upon by either permit applicants or permitting authorities.

Please contact Gail Cooke at gail.cooke@state.nm.us or at (505) 476-4319 for additional information.


»Revisions to New Mexico's State Implementation Plan for Nitrogen Dioxide under the Clean Air Act Section 110(a)(2)

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency revised the National Ambient Air Quality Standard for nitrogen dioxide on January 22, 2010. The SIP certification matrix outlines the requirements of section 110(a)(2)(A) through (M) of the federal Clean Air Act (CAA) and addresses how New Mexico will implement, maintain and enforce the revised NAAQS for nitrogen dioxide.

Please contact Mike Baca at michael.baca1@state.nm.us or at (575) 288-2050 for additional information.


»Revisions to New Mexico's State Implementation Plan for Sulfur Dioxide under the Clean Air Act Section 110(a)(2)

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency revised the National Ambient Air Quality Standard for sulfur dioxide on June 2, 2010. The SIP certification matrix outlines the requirements of section 110(a)(2)(A) through (M) of the federal Clean Air Act (CAA) and addresses how New Mexico will implement, maintain and enforce the revised NAAQS for sulfur dioxide.

Please contact Mark Jones at mark.jones@state.nm.us or at (505) 566-9746 for additional information.


»Adoption of Sulfur Dioxide Limited Maintenance Plan for Grant County, NM

The Environmental Improvement Board approved the Sulfur Dioxide Limited Maintenance Plan for Grant County, NM on October 8, 2013.

Section 175A of the Federal Clean Air Act (CAA) requires states to develop state implementation plans to provide for the maintenance of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for those areas that have violated a standard (referred to as a nonattainment area) and have sufficient data to prove that area is now in compliance with the standard. In February 2003, NMED submitted to EPA a Redesignation Request and Maintenance Plan for the Grant County 24-hour SO2 nonattainment area. This submittal was subsequently approved by EPA on September 18, 2003.

Clean Air Act Section 175A(b) requires states to revise maintenance SIPs ten (10) years after EPA approves an area’s initial maintenance plan. The proposed State Implementation Plan revision to the Grant County Sulfur Dioxide Maintenance plan has been developed to satisfy the 10 year plan revision as required under Section 175A of the Federal Clean Air Act. The proposed State Implementation Plan revision does not impose any new regulatory requirements.

Please contact Gail Cooke at gail.cooke@state.nm.us or at (505) 476-4319 for additional information.


»Repeal of 20.2.88 NMAC - Emission Standards for New Motor Vehicles Repeal of 20.2.88 NMAC - Emission Standards for New Motor Vehicles.

A public hearing was held November 7, 2013 to consider the repeal of 20.2.88 NMAC. This regulation, sometimes called “Clean Cars,” was first adopted in 2007 to apply the California motor vehicle emissions standards, or “California standards,” within New Mexico beginning with model year 2011. The start date was later revised to 2016. When the Clean Cars regulation was adopted, the California standards were more stringent than the federal motor vehicle emissions standards. However, since that time the federal programs have been revised to achieve the same emissions reduction as the California standards. As a result, the administrative burdens of implementing the Clean Cars regulation now outweigh the potential benefits of having a State program.

Please contact Kerwin Singleton at kerwin.singleton@state.nm.us or at (505) 476-4350.

Recent EPA Approvals of Regulatory Changes or Plans

Following are links to recently approved regulatory changes or plans. To view all EPA approvals related to the State Implementation Plan, please visit the electronic code of federal regulations.

NM Regulations:

Source-specific Requirements:

  • San Juan Generating Station BART (effective November 10, 2014) 79 FR 60992

Other:

  • Second 10-year SO2 Limited Maintenance plan for Grant County (effective September 16, 2014) 79 FR 41904
  • Visibility requirements for 8-hour ozone and fine particulates (effective Nobember 10, 2014) 79 FR 60992
  • Infrastructure and Transport for 2008 lead (Pb) NAAQS (effective July 13, 2015) 80 FR 33191
  • Infrastructure for the 2008 ozone NAAQS (effective July 24, 2015) 80 FR 36246
  • Infrastructure for the 2010 NO2 NAAQS (effective July 24, 2015) 80 FR 36246
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