March 15, 2022

RCRA/CAA Air Emission Controls Exemptions and Elections

The RCRA air emission standards in Parts 264/265 Subparts AA, BB, and CC were crafted to avoid overlapping regulation between RCRA and CAA. Specifically, hazardous waste units otherwise subject to Subparts AA and CC are exempt from these RCRA provisions as long as controls on these units are already required under an applicable CAA source category standard. For Subpart BB, facilities have a compliance election provision they may use. EPA has published RO 51460 to help RCRA permit writers implement the regulatory compliance exemption/election provisions found in Parts 264/265 Subparts AA, BB, and CC, and it is helpful to the regulated community to understand how the agency intends these provisions to work.

To claim the exemption in Subpart AA or CC, the facility owner/operator must certify Subpart AA process vents or Subpart CC units, respectively, are equipped with and operating air emission controls in compliance with the requirements of an applicable CAA source category standard codified in Part 60, 61, or 63. If emission controls are not required by the standard, the exemption cannot be claimed.

The Subpart BB regulations cover fugitive emissions from certain hazardous waste units. Facility owners/operators may elect to comply with Subpart BB by documenting compliance with an applicable CAA fugitive emissions standard codified in Part 60, 61, or 63. This is not considered an exemption but rather a compliance election provision. Also, Subpart BB requirements are still enforceable even if the facility decides to show compliance through CAA documentation requirements.


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This document addresses issues of a general nature related to the federal environmental regulations. Persons evaluating specific circumstances dealing with the environmental regulations should review state and local laws and regulations, which may be more stringent than federal requirements. In addition, the assistance of a qualified professional should be enlisted to address any site-specific circumstances.