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Proposed Rule

Approval and Promulgation of State Air Quality Plans for Designated Facilities and Pollutants; State of Maryland; Control of Emissions From Existing Sewage Sludge Incineration Units

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Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).


Proposed rule.


The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to approve the negative declaration submitted by the State of Maryland for Sewage Sludge Incineration (SSI) units. This negative declaration submitted by the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) certifies that SSI units subject to sections 111(d) and 129 of the Clean Air Act (CAA) do not exist within the jurisdiction of the State of Maryland. This action is being taken under the CAA.


Written comments must be received on or before August 14, 2020.


Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R03-OAR-2019-0527 at, or via email to For comments submitted at, follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or removed from For either manner of submission, EPA may publish any comment received to its public docket. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be confidential business information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Multimedia submissions (audio, video, etc.) must be accompanied by a written comment. The written comment is considered the official comment and should include discussion of all points you wish to make. EPA will generally not consider comments or comment contents located outside of the primary submission (i.e., on the web, cloud, or other file sharing system). For additional submission methods, please contact the person identified in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section. For the full EPA public comment policy, information about CBI or multimedia submissions, and general guidance on making effective comments, please visit​dockets/​commenting-epa-dockets.

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Matthew Willson, Permits Branch (3AD10), Air & Radiation Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region III, 1650 Arch Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19103. The telephone number is (215) 814-5795. Mr. Willson can also be reached via electronic mail at

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I. Background

The CAA requires that state regulatory agencies implement emission guidelines and associated compliance times using a state plan developed under sections 111(d) and 129 of the CAA. The general provisions for the submittal and approval of state plans are codified in 40 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) part 60, subpart B and 40 CFR part 62, subpart A. Section 111(d) establishes general requirements and procedures on state plan submittals for the control of designated pollutants. Section 129 requires emission guidelines to be promulgated for all categories of solid waste incineration units, including SSI units. SSI units are defined at 40 CFR 60.5250 as “an incineration unit combusting sewage sludge for the purpose of reducing the volume of the sewage sludge by removing combustible matter. Sewage sludge incineration unit designs include fluidized bed and multiple hearth. A SSI unit also includes, but is not limited to, the sewage sludge feed system, auxiliary fuel feed system, grate system, flue gas system, waste heat recovery equipment, if any, and bottom ash system. The SSI unit includes all ash handling systems connected to the bottom ash handling system. The combustion unit bottom ash system ends at the truck loading station or similar equipment that transfers the ash to final disposal. The SSI unit does not include air pollution control equipment or the stack.”

Section 129 mandates that all plan requirements be at least as protective as the promulgated emission guidelines. This includes fixed final compliance dates, fixed compliance schedules, and title V permitting requirements for all affected sources. Section 129 also requires that state plans be submitted to EPA within one year after EPA's promulgation of the emission guidelines and compliance times.

States have options other than submitting a state plan in order to fulfill their obligations under CAA sections 111(d) and 129. If a state does not have any existing SSI units for the relevant emission guidelines, a letter can be submitted certifying that no such units exist within the state (i.e., negative declaration) in lieu of a state plan, in accordance with 40 CFR 60.5010. The negative declaration exempts the state from the requirements of subpart B that would otherwise require the submittal of a CAA section 111(d)/129 plan.

On March 21, 2011 (76 FR 15372), EPA finalized emission guidelines for SSI units at 40 CFR part 60, subpart MMMM. Following the 2011 final rule, MDE determined that there was one SSI facility in Maryland that met the applicability criteria for the Federal plan. On January 20, 2017, MDE submitted a letter to EPA requesting full delegation of authority to implement the SSI Federal plan. However, that facility has now permanently shut down and has relinquished its title V Permit to operate. Accordingly, MDE sent a negative declaration for SSI units on April 3, 2020.

For additional background information on MDE's negative declaration, see the documents that are available online at, Docket No. EPA-R03-OAR-2019-0527. EPA is proposing to approve MDE's negative declaration submission made on April 3, 2020. This action applies to the state's regulatory requirements for existing facilities and not new sources.

II. Proposed Action

In this proposed action, EPA proposes to amend 40 CFR part 62 to reflect receipt of the negative declaration letter from MDE certifying that there are no existing SSI units subject to 40 CFR part 60, subpart MMMM, in accordance with section 111(d) of the CAA. EPA is soliciting public comments on the issues discussed in this document. These comments will be considered before taking final action.

III. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

EPA's role with regard to negative declarations for designated facilities received by EPA from states is to notify the public of the receipt of such negative declarations and revise 40 CFR part 62 accordingly. This action merely proposes to approve the state's negative declaration as meeting Federal requirements and does not impose additional requirements beyond those imposed by state law. For that reason, this proposed action:

  • Is not a “significant regulatory action” subject to review by the Office of Management and Budget under Executive Orders 12866 (58 FR 51735, October 4, 1993) and 13563 (76 FR 3821, January 21, 2011);
  • Is not an Executive Order 13771 (82 FR 9339, February 2, 2017) regulatory action because SIP approvals are exempted under Executive Order 12866.
  • Does not impose an information collection burden under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.);
  • Is certified as not having a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.);
  • Does not contain any unfunded mandate or significantly or uniquely affect small governments, as described in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104-4);
  • Does not have Federalism implications as specified in Executive Order 13132 (64 FR 43255, August 10, 1999);
  • Is not an economically significant regulatory action based on health or safety risks subject to Executive Order 13045 (62 FR 19885, April 23, 1997);
  • Is not a significant regulatory action subject to Executive Order 13211 (66 FR 28355, May 22, 2001);
  • Is not subject to requirements of section 12(d) of the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act of 1995 (15 U.S.C. 272 note) because application of those requirements would be inconsistent with the CAA; and
  • Does not provide EPA with the discretionary authority to address, as appropriate, disproportionate human health or environmental effects, using practicable and legally permissible methods, under Executive Order 12898 (59 FR 7629, February 16, 1994).

In addition, this proposed rule, regarding the negative declaration of SSI units in Maryland, does not have tribal implications as specified by Executive Order 13175 (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000), because this action is not approved to apply in Indian country located in the State, and EPA notes that it will not impose substantial direct costs on tribal governments or preempt tribal law.

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List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 62

  • Environmental protection
  • Air pollution control
  • Administrative practice and procedure
  • Sewage sludge incineration units
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Dated: June 25, 2020.

Cosmo Servidio,

Regional Administrator, Region III.

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[FR Doc. 2020-14577 Filed 7-14-20; 8:45 am]