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OEPA Adopts Many of OCTC’s Proposed Amendments to Ohio’s Scheduled Maintenance and Malfunction Reporting Rule

On February 9th, the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (OEPA) finalized its amendments to Ohio Adm.Code 3745-15-06 and other rules related to the state's startup, shutdown, and malfunction (SSM) rules within the State Implementation Plan (SIP). OEPA has now finalized and submitted its response to the SSM SIP Call – and many of its amendments reflect suggestions and proposals that originated with OCTC.

Those changes include adopting a clarified definition of the word malfunction as well as several changes to the scheduled maintenance rule especially when complete shutdown is impossible, impractical, or unsafe. The changes also retained the existing exemptions to the visible particulate emissions rule for shutdown and malfunction periods. While the OEPA also included several of our revisions on the malfunction reporting requirements, they did choose to amend the regulation to require written reporting for malfunctions lasting longer than 24 hours (as opposed to the current 72 hours), and to require that report within a week (as opposed to two weeks).

OCTC has been advocating for many years to encourage OEPA to clarify and improve its SSM rules. OCTC has led a coalition of associations, submitting more than 10 sets of comments on the topic. In January 2022, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) cited Ohio for failing to revise its SIP to address USEPA’s finding, in 2015, that parts of Ohio’s SSM rule were “substantially inadequate” to meet the Clean Air Act’s requirements. OCTC commends the action from OEPA. The action now goes to USEPA for approval.

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