Court Places Aerospace Manufacturing/Rework Facility Air Pollution Control Technology (MACT) Challenge On Hold

March 8, 2016

On March 3, 2016, U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit placed on hold a lawsuit challenging revised toxic air pollutant emissions limits for the aerospace industry.  A joint motion filed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) and the Aerospace MACT Group, an industry trade group, requested that the litigation be held in abeyance  to provide additional time for the EPA to review an earlier-filed administrative petition demanding reconsideration of the EPA’s aerospace rulemaking.

The administrative petition, filed by the Aerospace Industries Association, challenges the EPA’s 2015 maximum achievable control technology (“MACT”) standards for aerospace manufacturing and rework facilities.  As part of the revised standards, the EPA established the first-ever emissions limits for organic and inorganic emissions of hazardous air pollutants from specialty coating application operations; removed exemptions for periods of startup, shutdown and malfunction (“SSM”) so that affected units will be subject to the emission standards at all times; and revised provisions to address recordkeeping and reporting requirements applicable to periods of SSM.  The amendments include a requirement to report performance testing through the EPA’s Compliance and Emissions Data Reporting Interface (“CEDRI”).

The EPA projects that the new emissions limits will reduce emissions of toluene, glycol ethers, and other pollutants by 58 tons per year, and would cost the average facility less than $10,000 per year to comply. In granting the stay, the D.C. Circuit ordered the parties to submit status reports on the reconsideration petition every 60 days beginning June 1.

We will keep you apprised of further developments

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