Illinois EPA given more time on coal/petcoke dust rule

The Illinois Pollution Control Board on July 10 agreed to give the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) more time to come up with a regulatory proposal for air emissions control of dust from coal and petroleum coke piles around the state.

On Jan. 16, IEPA had filed a motion and proposal with the board for “emergency” rulemaking applicable statewide to govern the handling of coal and coke, including petroleum coke, at bulk terminals and other facilities. The proposed emergency rules required immediate measures that included road paving, use of dust suppression systems, setback requirements, containment of stormwater, and disposal of coke and coal that have been on site for more than one year.

On Jan. 23, the board denied the IEPA’s motion, finding that there was no emergency, but told the agency it could go ahead and draw up a rule on this matter under the regular, non-emergency rulemaking process.

IEPA was given a first deadline of March 3 to file the rule proposal, with the board then granting IEPA’s later request to stay the proceedings until June 23. On June 23, the IEPA filed a status report and a request for an additional stay of the proceedings.

In its stay motion, the IEPA indicated that it has conducted outreach meetings with different stakeholders and interested parties, and will continue to do so as rule development continues. IEPA also indicated that it was reviewing the efforts of other authorities to regulate petcoke bulk terminals within the state of Illinois. IEPA could not designate a certain date when a general rulemaking proposal that incorporated input from stakeholders and provided for long-term, comprehensive regulation of petcoke and coal bulk terminals would be available.

IEPA therefore asked the board to continue to stay the proceedings in this matter pending its actions to investigate appropriate long-term control approaches, develop regulations implementing those approaches, and develop a rulemaking submittal in compliance with board regulations. IEPA indicated that it is willing to provide quarterly status calls with a board hearing officer to keep the board apprised of the rulemaking development process.

The board, reluctant to grant an indefinite stay, even with periodic status reports to the hearing officer, on July 10 agreed to stay the proceedings until Jan. 12, 2015. At that time IEPA must provide a status report to the board and may request an additional stay. If substantial progress has not been made the board said it may consider closing this docket.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.