STiR coffee and tea magazine

Volume 4, Number 2

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16 STiR tea & coffee industry international / Issue 2, 2015 (April/May) By Jenny Neill Small roasters can thank the boom in hydrau- lic fracturing and a resurgence of manufacturing in the United States for renewed scrutiny on air quality standards. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed a new standard for ground-level ozone. Politicking at the national level means it will be months before new federal standards are locked in — however some local air quality districts are not waiting. Two of the culprits behind smog are indus- trial processing and motor vehicle exhaust, which makes each a major target for rule makers who grapple with how best to control the problem. Many of the rules currently under consideration address factories and many types of manufactur- ing. Cars and trucks must also meet emissions stan- dards. Some sources of pollution that once skirted permit or monitoring requirements, however, may soon also need to comply with air standards. Small to medium-sized roasters—businesses that at present may not need a permit to operate— could soon need to prove they have taken steps to remove particulate matter from exhaust and do not emit greenhouse gas precursors above soon- to-be-monitored limits. What may change Standards for air quality in the U.S. have been set nationally by the EPA since 1970. The monitor- ing and enforcement of those standards, however, rests with local and regional governments. The EPA has proposed the primary National Ambient Air Quality Standard be revised from al- lowing .075 parts per billion (ppb) to 65 ppb. This target is also known as the eight-hour ozone rule due to how the EPA now monitors whether a giv- en area has attained compliance. The last time this rule was changed was in 2008. The comment period for this proposed rule closed March 17. Organizations such as the Nation- al Association of Manufacturers (NAM) opined that the new rule would be disruptive to business and have a dampening effect on the economy. NAM senior v.p. of policy and government relations Aric Newhouse said, "Further tighten- ing of an existing standard that so many parts of our nation still can't meet creates an undue strain on our economic recovery. Rather than adding to the regulatory pains already felt so acutely by our nation's manufacturing sector, the Administration should focus on allowing existing standards to be fully implemented." California has 35 air quality districts, 16 of which are considered nonattainment areas based on the 2008 standard. With the proposed changes in the federal ozone standards, California district rules could become even more stringent. Some districts are not waiting The South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) covers a large populated area and is struggling to come into compliance. The area in- cludes Los Angeles, Orange, and Riverside counties, and part of San Bernardino County, and is home to more than 16 million people. As of January, moni- tors found ozone there to be well above the 2008 eight-hour standard with levels at or above .0115 ppb. Many rules in that district already aim to re- duce emissions from cars and large manufacturing or processing facilities. New ones are expanding upon which pollution sources must comply. James Westbrook, president and c.e.o. of BlueScape Environmental, said, "I see a trend to [focus] on NOx emissions from smaller equip- ment to target ozone impacts. Air districts have recently been passing rules to cover categories of James Westbrook, president and c.e.o. of BlueScape Environmental Photo courtesy Tru Vinci (on Flickr) Tougher Air Quality Standards in Sight Air quality standards are evolving in Asia, Europe, and the United States. NEWS

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