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Update to District’s Risk Management Policy to Address OEHHA’s Revised Risk Assessment
Guidance Document

The state Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) recently updated its Air Toxics Hot Spots Program Guidance Manual for the Preparation of Risk Assessments (Risk Assessment Guidelines). These revisions are designed to provide enhanced protection of children, as required under state law, The Children’s Environmental Health Protection Act (SB 25, Escutia, 1999), and incorporate three technical support documents developed in 2008 through 2012.

Taking into consideration the comments received and the Governing Board’s directives, the District collaborated with stakeholders and updated the District risk management policy, including District Policies APR-1905 Risk Management Policy for Permitting New and Modified Sources and APR-1906 Framework for Performing Health Risk Assessments, to implement OEHHA’s Risk Assessment Guidelines.

How does the District regulate toxic air emissions?

Toxic air emissions are regulated under the District’s Integrated Air Toxic Program. This program integrates the state and federal requirements and is aimed at protecting public health.  Major goals of this program are as follows:

1) Assuring compliance with State and Federal requirements aimed at protecting public health;

2) Eliminating duplication and redundancy by consolidating requirements where multiple rules, programs, and emission limits apply to a single operation;

3) Maximizing the use of existing programs for quantifying, assessing, and controlling air toxic emissions;

4) Maximizing the use of the District’s existing ozone and PM10 regulations that also result in air toxic emissions reductions;

5) Maximizing the use of the District’s existing permitting, inspection, and emission inventory systems to minimize the burden of State and Federal recordkeeping and reporting requirements; and

6) Not Federalizing "State-only" requirements unless doing so provides a corresponding benefit by substantially streamlining the program.

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How can I get more information about toxic air emissions from Valley facilities?

The District has compiled emissions data for hundreds of Valley facilities. Toxic emission inventory reports that describe the quantity and nature of toxic air pollutants emitted from these facilities may be obtained by contacting the District’s Fresno office. For those Valley facilities with higher emissions levels, comprehensive health risk assessments are also available.

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What air toxics mandates exist under the State law?

1) The requirements of the State Air Toxics "Hot Spots’ Information and Assessment Act of 1987 (California H&S Code - Part 6)

2) The requirement for Air Toxic Risk Reduction Audits and Plans (California H&S Code - Sections 44390 et. seq.)

3) The requirements of State Air Toxic Control Measures (ATCMs) established pursuant to Section 39658 or Section 39665 of the California Health and Safety Code.

4) The State Nuisance Regulation (California H&S Code - Section 41700)

5) State provisions requiring that Federal (MACT) standards issued pursuant to Section 112 also become State Air Toxic Control Measures (California H&S Code - Section 39656 et. seq.)

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What are the Federal air toxics mandates under Title III?

Title III of the 1990 Federal Clean Air Act Amendments identified 189 substances as Hazardous Air Pollutants and required the U.S. EPA to establish a 10 year schedule for developing new regulations for controlling these pollutants using maximum achievable control technology. Under Title III, the U.S. EPA was also required to develop regulations to address urban area risk, residual risk, and accidental releases of Hazardous Air Pollutants.

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What is the Air Toxic Hot Spots Act?

The Air Toxic Hot Spots Act was a law adopted by the California State Legislature in 1987. This Law required the District to compile an emissions inventory of air toxic emissions, evaluate and assess the inventory for possible health risks facilities may pose on the general public, and notify those individuals who may be exposed to health risks.

The District implementation of the Air Toxics Hot Spots Act is described here.

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What facilities are subject to the Air Toxic Hot Spots Requirements?

A facility is subject to Air Toxic Hot Spots Requirements if it 1) emits more than ten tons per year of Total Organic Gases, Particulate Matter, Nitrogen Oxides, or Oxides of Sulfur; or 2) belongs to a source category identified in the State Emission Inventory Criteria and Guidelines Report.

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What must facility operators subject to Air Toxic Hot Spots requirements do to report their emissions?

Facilities that are subject to the toxic emission inventory requirements of the Hot Spots Act must prepare and submit toxic emission inventory plans and reports, and periodically update those reports. District technical services staff in the District’s Fresno Office are available to assist in this process.

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How can I obtain copies of these Federal air toxics regulations that EPA is issuing?

Copies of these and other federal regulations may be downloaded from the EPA web site. They may also be obtained by contacting District Technical Services staff in the Fresno District office.

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Can the District use existing rules to implement the new Federal requirements?

Although the Federal Statutes contain provisions for using existing state programs to satisfy the requirements of new Federal Standards, the language of current Federal regulations (40 CFR part 63 subpart E) is very restrictive. Under the current Subpart E regulations, existing programs that result in less stringent standards for any emissions point are not approvable. The District, the State, and affected industry are currently pursuing changes to the Federal regulations that will streamline the process of attaining equivalency for new and existing local rules, and allow for more flexibility for developing equivalent standards at the local level. However, achieving these changes will require amendments to the Subpart E regulations, which will to take time to complete. In the interim, we need to assure compliance with Federal standards so that Valley facilities in compliance with District requirements are not subject to Federal enforcement actions.

Under the current Subpart E regulations, we have four options for implementing new Federal standards.

1) Straight delegation -- Accepting delegation of the Federal standard as written;

2) Rule adjustment -- Proposing minor changes that make the adjusted rule unequivocally no less stringent than the Federal standard;

3) Rule substitution -- Substituting an existing, new, or amended District rule for the Federal standard;

4) Program substitution -- Using existing program requirements to ensure compliance with the requirements of Federal standards.

For each Federal standard that is issued, we must choose which of these options to pursue. A detailed discussion of the advantages and disadvantages of each option, and the criteria for choosing between them, is included in this Program Description. More information regarding the implementation of Title III requirements may be obtained by contacting the Technical Services staff at the Fresno District office.

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California Air Resources Board Links

Air Toxics "Hot Spots" Information and Assessment Act (AB 2588)

The California legislature adopted AB 2588 in 1987. It requires industrial facilities in California to inventory emissions of toxic pollutants, to assess the risks from those emissions, to inform the public if risks are greater than specified levels, and to reduce risks if specific risk levels are exceeded. ARB provides guidance and tools for completing the emission inventory, prioritizing facilities for completion of risk assessments, performing risk assessments, and providing public notice at http://www.arb.ca.gov/ab2588/ab2588.htm.

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Facility Report  Links

Criteria and Toxic Emissions Inventory Data

ARB compiles emission inventory data from the individual air pollution control districts and air quality management districts. These data are available for individual facilities at http://www.arb.ca.gov/app/emsinv/facinfo/facinfo.php. This search page permits access to both criteria and toxic emissions data. (Criteria pollutants include particulate matter, sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide, oxides of nitrogen, volatile organic compounds, and lead.) Toxic emissions data are available for those facilities that are subject to AB 2588.

Community Health Air Pollution Information System (CHAPIS)

The ARB developed CHAPIS to provide a geographical display of emission inventory data for the public. CHAPIS enhances the usefulness of ARB’s emission inventory by providing the data in a more intuitive, graphical manner. With CHAPIS, facilities located near particular sites can be easily identified. The emissions from those facilities provide a means of identifying sources that may be of concern to the public in a given area. CHAPIS can be accessed at http://www.arb.ca.gov/ch/chapis1/chapis1.htm.

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