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Technology Transfer Network - OAR Policy and Guidance






  • On July 18, 2005, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed amendments to its July 2004 final air toxics regulations for the plywood and composite wood products industry. Air toxics are pollutants known, or suspected, to cause cancer and other adverse health effects.The proposal is posted at https://www3.epa.gov/ttn/oarpg/t3pfpr.html

  • The plywood and composite wood products industry manufactures plywood and veneer; particleboard; medium density fiberboard; hardboard; fiberboard; oriented strandboard; and engineered wood products.

  • Proposed amendments to the rule include: a change to the sampling location for coupled control devices; language changes to clarify rule applicability during unscheduled startups and shutdowns; language additions to clarify rule applicability for affected sources that do not have process units subject to compliance options or work practice requirements; and changes to selected definitions.


    Proposed amendments to Appendix B, which describes the methodology and criteria for demonstrating that an affected source is part of the low-risk subcategory of plywood and composite wood product manufacturing, include:
    1. Reducing the number of emissions tests required, while ensuring that emissions from all process units are considered when demonstrating eligibility for the low-risk subcategory, and
    2. Clarifying the calculation of average stack height and some timing issues related to low-risk demonstrations.
    3. Extending the deadline for submitting low-risk demonstrations from July 31 2006, to April 1, 2007.

  • Also, EPA is seeking comment on whether to extend the MACT compliance date six months to one year for sources whose low-risk demonstrations the agency disapproves or for all sources.

  • EPA will accept public comment on the proposed changes to the final rule for 45 days following publication of the proposed amendments in the Federal Register.



  • Under the Clean Air Act, EPA is required to regulate emissions of 188 specific air toxics, also known as hazardous air pollutants. On July 16, 1992, EPA published a list of industry groups, known as source categories, that emit one or more of these air toxics.

  • For categories of "major" sources, the law requires EPA to develop standards that restrict emissions to levels consistent with the lowest-emitting facilities in the country. A major source has the potential to emit 10 or more tons per year of a single air toxic or 25 tons per year or more of a combination of air toxics. These standards for major sources are based on stringent air pollution reduction measures known as maximum achievable control technology (MACT).

  • EPA estimates that the July 2004 final rule will reduce air toxics emissions from the manufacturing of plywood and composite wood products by 11,000 tons per year, a 58 percent decrease from 1997 levels. The final rule also will reduce volatile organic compound emissions by 27,000 tons per year, a 52 percent decrease from 1997 levels.


  • To download the proposed amendments from EPA's website, go to "Recent Actions" at the following address: https://www.epa.gov/ttn/oarpg.

  • Today's proposed amendments and other background information are also available either electronically in EDOCKET, EPA's electronic public docket and comment system, or in hardcopy at EPA's Air and Radiation Docket and Information Center, Environmental Protection Agency, Room B102, 1301 Constitution Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C. (Docket ID No. OAR-2002-0048 (Legacy Docket ID No. A-98-44)). The Public Reading Room is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays. The telephone number for the Public Reading Room is (202) 566-1744, and the telephone number for the Air and Radiation Docket and Information Center is (202) 566-1742.


    Comments should be identified by Docket ID No. OAR-2002-0048 (Legacy Docket ID No. A-98-44) and submitted by one of the following methods:
    • Federal eRulemaking Portal ( http://www.regulations.gov );

    • EDOCKET ( https://www.epa.gov/edocket );

    • E-mail ( a-and-r-docket@epa.gov );

    • Facsimile ((202) 566-1741);
    • Mail (Air and Radiation Docket and Information Center, Environmental Protection Agency, Mailcode: 6102T, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20460); or
    • Hand delivery (Air and Radiation Docket and Information Center, Environmental Protection Agency, Room B102, 1301 Constitution Avenue, NW, Washington, DC).

  • For more information about the proposed amendments, contact Mary Tom Kissell at EPA's Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards at (919) 541-4516 or by e-mail at kissell.mary@epa.gov.

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