New rule hopes to reduce health risks related to toxic emissions
The Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) recently adopted a new program aimed at reducing health risks from toxic emissions from facilities in the District, hundreds of which will be affected by the rule. Regulation 11, Rule 18: Reduction of Risk from Air Toxic Emissions at Existing Facilities (Rule 11-18) would improve air quality and reduce toxic emissions from facilities ranging in size from large-scale plants like factories and oil refineries to smaller operations like backup generators and gas stations.
The program will rely on risk screenings and health risk assessments (HRA) by incorporating recently adopted risk-management guidelines and health-risk values from the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment to determine if the facility exceeds air emissions criteria. There is also another element to the risk assessments: the public will have an opportunity to review and provide input on them before they are finalized, further integrating the local communities into the toxic emissions monitoring process.
Any facility that is shown to pose a health risk at or above the risk action levels in the rule would be required to take steps to reduce that risk and report their progress annually to the Air District. After all of this, you are probably wondering, what actions does my facility need to take?
Steps you should take to ensure compliance with rule 11-18:
- Reach out to the BAAQMD to verify the information that will be used to screen your facility
- Closely review the results of the scoring performed by the BAAQMD for accuracy
- If necessary, develop an HRA that meets the requirements of the BAAQMD guidance
- Look for ways to improve your process to reduce emissions and potentially reduce the need for further regulatory requirements in the future
The Future of Toxic Emissions Standards
This new rule is one of the most strict and protective air quality regulations of its type in the United States, and many see it as a start to better regulate emissions and their effect on human health. Our California air quality experts are able partners that can help you understand and follow through with the new air quality regulations.
Contact us today to discuss how this new Bay Area rule impacts your facility.
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