Regulatory Developments

New Requirements for Wool Fiberglass Sector

In a final rule, the EPA has revised several Clean Air Act (CAA) requirements and established new requirements for five existing facilities engaged in wool fiberglass manufacturing. The rule is the product of the technology review the Agency conducted as part of its residual risk and technology review (RTR). The new requirements affect emissions of formaldehyde, methanol, and phenol and also set work practice standards and monitoring and recordkeeping requirements.

Affected facilities

CAA Section 112 directs the EPA to conduct RTRs for categories of sources subject to the National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP). The wool fiberglass manufacturing source category consists of facilities that produce wool fiberglass from sand, feldspar, sodium sulfate, anhydrous borax, boric acid, or any other materials. This source category currently comprises three facilities operating bonded rotary spin (RS) lines and two facilities operating bonded flame attenuation (FA) lines. The EPA says it is not currently aware of any planned or potential new or reconstructed bonded RS or FA lines.

2015 rule amended

The EPA promulgated the wool fiberglass manufacturing NESHAP in 1999. In 2015, the Agency issued its RTR for the sector along with amendments to the 1999 NESHAP. However, at that time, the EPA did not issue final formaldehyde, methanol, and phenol emissions limits from one manufacturing process because it had learned that the data it had used to propose those limits were incorrect. Subsequently, the Agency issued an information collection request to the industry and obtained the corrected data that are the basis for the revised technology review and the new requirements.

Among other actions, the final 2015 rule established a chromium emissions limit for gas-fired, glass-melting furnaces; revised the particulate matter emissions limit for gas-fired, glass-melting furnaces; established work practice standards for hydrogen chloride and hydrogen fluoride emissions from glass-melting furnaces; eliminated the use of formaldehyde as a surrogate and established revised limits for formaldehyde and first-time limits for methanol and phenol emitted from FA lines; and established chromium emissions limits for both new and existing gas-fired, glass-melting furnaces at area sources.

New and revised requirements

Based on its corrected technology review, the current final rule:

  • Establishes first-time limits for methanol emissions from forming, cooling, and collection processes on new and existing bonded RS lines;
  • Establishes work practice standards for phenol emissions from forming, cooling, and collection processes on new and existing bonded RS lines;
  • Creates three subcategories of FA lines based on the type of product that is manufactured;
  • Finalizes emissions limits for formaldehyde, methanol, and phenol for two of these subcategories; and
  • Finalizes formaldehyde and methanol emissions limits and work practice standards for phenol for the third subcategory.

The final rule also requires affected facilities to submit initial notifications of compliance and conduct additional monitoring and recordkeeping. Also, affected facilities with FA lines will need to demonstrate compliance with new emissions standards.

According to the EPA, none of the five facilities will need to undertake control measures beyond what they currently implement to meet the new emissions limits. Compliance costs are mainly associated with monitoring, recordkeeping, and the phenol work practice standard.

The Agency estimates that the total annual cost of this final action is approximately $13,131 per year, or less than 0.01 percent of the revenues of the affected facilities.

The final rule was published in the December 26, 2017, FR.

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