EPA moves to simplify MATS emission reporting

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will in the March 24 Federal Register publish a final rule, which it had proposed in November 2014, amending certain reporting requirements in the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS).

This final rule amends the reporting requirements in the MATS rule by temporarily requiring owners or operators of affected sources to submit certain required emissions and compliance reports to the EPA through the Emissions Collection and Monitoring Plan System (ECMPS) Client Tool, and the rule temporarily suspends the requirement for owners or operators of affected sources to submit certain reports using the Compliance and Emissions Data Reporting Interface (CEDRI).

The MATS rule required affected sources to submit certain MATS emissions and compliance information electronically, using either the CEDRI or the ECMPS Client Tool. The EPA developed these two systems prior to the MATS rule for the electronic submittal of emissions data from many source categories. CEDRI is currently used by owners or operators of sources to submit performance test reports and other air emissions reports. ECMPS is used to report emissions data under the Clean Air Act title IV Acid Rain Program and other programs that are required to continuously monitor and report emissions. These two systems have enhanced the way source owners and operators report emissions data to the EPA by providing a streamlined and standardized electronic approach.

Subsequent to publication of the MATS rule, stakeholders commented that EPA could improve the reporting efficiency of the MATS rule by requiring all data to be reported to one system instead of two. Stakeholders also commented that one system could benefit the EPA and the public in the review of data submitted by setting one consistent format for all data reported through MATS. Also, because the vast majority of sources covered under the MATS rule have been using the ECMPS Client Tool since 2009, the stakeholders have encouraged the EPA to consider consolidating the electronic reporting under ECMPS.

“We agree that requiring reporting to one system will increase the efficiency of reporting and facilitate review of reported data,” EPA said. “For these reasons, the agency is beginning the process of consolidating the submission of electronic reports required under the MATS rule to one system – the ECMPS Client Tool.

“This final rule is the first step in the process. The next step is for the EPA to create a detailed set of reporting instructions and design, develop, beta-test and implement the necessary modifications to the ECMPS Client Tool; however, the EPA cannot complete the second step prior to April 16, 2015, the compliance deadline for the MATS rule. Therefore, we are implementing a phased approach to completing the change in the electronic reporting requirements. This final rulemaking completes the first step in the agency’s plan by removing the requirement to submit MATS compliance reports to CEDRI and requiring source owners or operators to use the ECMPS Client Tool to submit Portable Document Format (PDF) versions of the reports that the current MATS rule requires to be submitted using CEDRI.”

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.