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Beyond Federal Standards Nevada Mercury Air Emission Control Program PowerPoint Presentation
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Beyond Federal Standards Nevada Mercury Air Emission Control Program

Beyond Federal Standards Nevada Mercury Air Emission Control Program

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Beyond Federal Standards Nevada Mercury Air Emission Control Program

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  1. Beyond Federal StandardsNevada Mercury Air Emission Control Program Leo M. Drozdoff, P.E. Administrator Nevada Division of Environmental Protection December 15, 2005

  2. Building on the success of the voluntary program • The Nevada Mercury Air Emission Control Program (NMCP) is the first regulatory program of its kind to control mercury emissions from precious metal mining operations

  3. Overview • Voluntary program background • Reductions achieved • Re-evaluation • New goals • Regulatory program • Vision for the future

  4. Genesis of the voluntary mercury reduction program • 1998: Metal mining industry required to submit mercury emissions with Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) • 2000: Released 1998 TRI numbers show five mining operations account for more than 90% of emissions • 2001: EPA site tours to analyze sources and controls • 2002: NDEP and EPA develop Voluntary Mercury Reduction Program with four largest mining companies

  5. Goals for Voluntary Mercury Reduction Program • Achieve significant, permanent and rapid reductions in mercury air emissions from precious metal mining operations • Achieve reductions through approaches that are most suitable for each individual mining facility • Encourage flexibility in technology innovation and greater reductions per transaction cost

  6. Program resulted in rapid and significant reductions • From a 2001 baseline of 21,098 pounds, reduced emissions by: • 50% in 2002 • 74% in 2003 • 82% in 2004

  7. 2005 timeline for re-evaluating voluntary program • Envisioned extension of the program beyond 2005 • Throughout 2005 initiated meetings with stakeholders including EPA, state regulators, the environmental community and industry representatives to identify opportunities for enhancing Nevada’s mercury program • Incorporated proposals and concerns from stakeholders into goals for a new program

  8. Quantum leap from voluntary program • Significant differences in new program: • Regulatory and permitting process • Enhanced monitoring, testing, recordkeeping and reporting • Expanded coverage to all precious metal mining operations • Improved and additional controls • Unit level applicability instead of by facility

  9. Through the new regulatory program NDEP focused on… • Controlling Hg emissions from thermal processes • Regulatory and permitting process designed to ensure that Maximum Achievable Control Technology (MACT) level controls are permitted and operated • Control mercury air emissions to the maximum extent possible

  10. Nevada Mercury Control Program approach • Most stringent levels of mercury control feasible through a case-by-case NV MACT • Enhanced ability for NDEP to implement the program through regulations and permits • Early reductions encouraged through Early Reduction Credit • Provide for public participation throughout the process

  11. Nevada Mercury Reduction Program overview • Three Tiered Program • Tier 1 - Current voluntary program units • Tier 2 - All other units at precious metal mining facilities • Tier 3 - De minimus or no mercury emissions

  12. Why we focused on mercury control • Data availability – timeliness, complexity, capability and resources • Avoid duplication of work done by other groups and agencies • Fastest way to achieve measurable reductions • This is the next phase of Nevada’s mercury program, not the end of the story

  13. Nevada Mercury Control Program next steps • Public workshops anticipated in December 2005 to January 2006 • Depending on timing and outcome of public workshops, draft regulations submitted to State Environmental Commission in January or April • Anticipate adopting program in 2006

  14. Nevada Mercury Control Program vision for the future • Enforceable mercury controls at all affected precious metal mining operations in Nevada • Best achievable control technology • Full implementation of Nevada MACT by 2013