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An affiliate of Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce


Most Recent Action

Proposed rules adopted by the NRB on August 10, 2011.



Despite having met the 1997 8-hour ozone standard on a statewide basis since 2008, Wisconsin counties cannot be redesignated to attainment until the EPA approves the state’s VOC RACT (volatile organic compounds, reasonable available control technology) rules, and determines the state’s SIP to be complete.

The DNR sent updated VOC RACT rules to the EPA for approval in 2009, however, the EPA deemed those rules incomplete. The DNR is currently working on a set of “trailer rules” to address the deficiencies in their 2009 rule package, and expects to have final rules adopted and sent to the EPA in the late Fall of 2011, with the EPA reviewing and approving the rules some time in 2012.

The most recently proposed rules modify Chapters NR 400, 419, 421, 422, 423, 439, and 484 of the administrative code.



Section 182(b)(2) of the federal Clean Air Act (CAA) [42 USC 7511a(b)(2)] requires implementation of reasonably available control technology (RACT) for volatile organic compound (VOC) emission source categories in ozone nonattainment areas.

Section 285.11 (6), Wis. Stats., requires the DNR to develop a plan for the prevention, abatement and control of air pollution.


Proposed Standards

To guide the states’ VOC RACT rule development, the EPA developed CTG documents that the states must follow in establishing applicability criteria, emission limits and other requirements for RACT rules. The DNR’s rule development will be based on and consistent with the EPA guidance documents, but some minor changes from the EPA’s guidelines may be necessary to improve implementation in Wisconsin.

NR 423.037: Industrial Cleaning Operations

The DNR is proposing to add the revised cleaning requirements to some of the category specific VOC RACT rules in NR 421 and 422.  NR 423.037(2)(a) 4 will be modified to list these operations as exempt from the cleaning requirements since they will be regulated elsewhere. This is intended to consolidate the VOC RACT requirements for specific source categories into individual rules which will enhance understanding of the rules and simplify compliance for facilities.

Some of the current exemptions in NR 423.037(2) are not consistent with the U.S. EPA’s CTG for industrial solvent cleaning. As a result, the Department proposes to remove several of these exemptions. However, some exemptions will be retained where category specific RACT rules already exist in NR 422 and where the industrial solvent cleaning requirements will be addressed in those rules.

Table 1 in NR 423.037(3), “VOC Content Limits for Solvents and Solvent Solutions Used in Industrial Cleaning Operations,” must be modified to be consistent with the U.S. EPA’s current CTG on industrial cleaning. The Department proposes to remove and revise several of the current limits.

NR 423.037(9): Recordkeeping Requirements

The proposed revision will clearly define the recordkeeping requirements consistent with the U.S. EPA’s CTGs for industrial solvent cleaning. Monthly records of the gallons and VOC content of each cleaning solvent used will be required to determine whether the applicability threshold of 3tons on a 12 month rolling basis is exceeded. Category specific VOC RACT rules in NR 422 will also be revised to ensure consistent recordkeeping requirements for industrial solvent cleaning.

NR422.075(3), NR422.105(5) & NR422.115(5): Work Practices

The following portion of the current work practices: “(b) Close mixing vessels used for VOCcontaining coatings and other materials except when in direct use,” needs to be revised. The current language “except when in direct use” could mean when mixing blades are in operation and the mixing vessel should be closed; this was not the intent. The proposed rules would be changed to the following: “(b) Close mixing and storage vessels used for VOC-containing coatings and other materials except when depositing or removing these materials.”

NR 422.144 Letterpress Printing

This proposed rule applies VOC control to letterpress printing presses emitting 25 tons per year of VOC (maximum theoretical emissions) from heatset inks from the press dryer. In accordance with the CTG, the proposed rule contains emission limitation exemptions for up to 110 gallons of blanket or roller wash on a 12-consecutive month rolling basis, the printing of books on a heatset letterpress press and heatset letterpress presses with a maximum web width of up to 22 inches.

The proposed rule also contains VOC content limits for blanket or roller wash. The blanket or roller wash limits along with the solvent cleaning work practices portion of the proposed rule apply to facilities emitting 3 tons/year of uncontrolled VOC emissions from all letterpress printing presses and related letterpress cleaning activities at the facility. The proposed rule also addresses storage and disposal requirements, temperature monitoring requirements, control requirements, recordkeeping requirements, compliance testing and certification testing requirements. This proposed rule satisfies industrial solvent cleaning RACT requirements for letterpress printing.

NR 419.045 Industrial Wastewater Options

The majority of the uncontrolled VOC emissions from industrial wastewater sources, sources not classified in the U.S. EPA’s CTG (i.e., non-CTG sources) and unregulated emissions from CTGsources, excluding those regulated under several specific subparts to the federal New Source Performance Standards (NSPS), are due to evaporation from waste streams when exposed to ambient air. Consequently, the primary VOC RACT requirements in the proposal to repeal and revise NR 419.045 largely consist of implementing technologies and work practice standards that would substantially suppress the exposure of VOC-laden waste streams to the ambient air. The detailed control requirements specifically target those process points where VOC exposure is greatest (i.e., drains, surface impoundments, oil-water separators, portable containers, wastewater tanks and treatment processes).

The proposed repeal and recreation of the industrial wastewater rule would also allow alternative control requirements to meet the VOC limitations. One alternative control method would involve venting the VOC emissions to a post-process control device (e.g., flare, incinerator) that would destroy VOC emissions from the affected processes. Each pollution control device would need to demonstrate that it would achieve a control efficiency of 95% by weight or greater of VOC emissions and may not emit VOC emissions measured to be greater than 500 parts per million (ppm).

NR 421.07 Synthetic Organic Chemical Manufacturing Industry

Changes are proposed to the applicability criteria for VOC requirements affecting the synthetic organic chemical manufacturing industry, to remove a VOC emission threshold, and clearly identify those chemicals, that if produced, will trigger the requirements. These proposed changes are necessary to be consistent with the guidance provided by the U.S. EPA for this source category.


Related Documents

Statement of Scope

Rules Proposed for Hearing, Background Memo, Fiscal Estimate

Public Hearing Notice

Clearinghouse Review of the Rule

Revised Rules Proposed for Adoption, Background Memo, Fiscal Estimate