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 Illinois Small Business  Environmental Assistance Program  
The Illinois Small Business Environmental Assistance Program (IL SBEAP) is a federally mandated program to assist small companies in understanding their environmental requirements and achieving compliance.  The program is located in the non-regulatory, business assistance agency, the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity to alleviate small business' fears in seeking assistance. Questions?  Call 800-252-3998
Illinois Small Business Environmental Assistance Newsletter
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Small Business Environmental Assistance Program
Illinois Dept. of Commerce
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illinos seal Illinois Updates

Stage II Vapor Recovery Decommissioning Begins: Recordkeeping Calendars Discontinued


Stage II vapor recovery systems have been required at most Chicago area retail and commercial gasoline dispensing facilities (GDF) located in Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry, and Will counties, along with Oswego Township in Kendall County, and Goose Lake and Aux Sable Townships in Grundy County, since the mid-1990's. Recently, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) determined that onboard refueling vapor recovery technology is now present in enough motor vehicles such that the onboard vapor recovery systems on the vehicles can now replace the dispenser-based Stage II equipment. With this determination, the U.S. EPA is allowing states, including Illinois, to no longer require Stage II vapor recovery and to begin decommissioning the existing Stage II vapor recovery systems at affected facilities.


As a result of U.S. EPA's action, the Illinois EPA submitted proposed rule changes to the Stage II program this past summer to the Illinois Pollution Control Board (PCB). On December 19, 2013 the PCB adopted the rules to: (1) eliminate the Stage II equipment installation requirements for new GDFs; and (2) require existing retail and commercial GDFs that have Stage II systems to decommission the equipment by December 31, 2016. It is important to note that, while GDF owners or operators can now decommission their Stage II systems, the Stage II equipment and its related components must remain in good working order, with proper maintenance, and stay in service until the day that contractors arrive to decommission the equipment at the site.


At least ten days prior to the start of decommissioning activities at your facility, a Notice of Intent to Decommission Stage II Vapor Recovery Equipment form must be submitted to the Illinois EPA. The Stage II systems must be decommissioned using one or more contractors that have the appropriate licenses and registrations with the Office of the Illinois State Fire Marshal and the Illinois Department of Agriculture's Bureau of Weights & Measures. The necessary forms, general information on the GDF decommissioning and contractor requirements, and applicable rules can be found by clicking on the "Stage II Vapor Recovery Decommissioning" link (right sidebar) on the Illinois EPA's website at www.epa.state.il.us.


During the past several years, the Illinois Small Business Environmental Assistance Program (IL SBEAP) at the Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity has provided recordkeeping calendars to assist stations in complying with the Stage II regulations.  The current calendar ends in March 2014 and new calendars will not be issued due to the program changes. However, log pages will be available on the IL SBEAP's website at www.ienconnect.com/enviro for download and printing to assist GDFs with recordkeeping until the facility's Stage II equipment is decommissioned.  The link is contained in the right sidebar. 


For additional information about the recently adopted Stage II program changes and equipment decommissioning requirements, be sure to visit www.epa.state.il.us. For questions or information that is not available online, you can contact the Illinois EPA at epa.stage2@illinois.gov or call 217-557-1441. In addition, you may contact the Illinois Small Business Environmental Assistance Program at 800-252-3998.
2014 Illinois Governor's Sustainability Awards Applications Due May 22,2014


We are pleased to announce that the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center (ISTC) is now accepting applications for the 2014 Illinois Governor's Sustainability Awards!  This award, begun in 1987, is the nation's oldest continuing pollution prevention program and annually honors organizations and businesses that have made a commitment to the environment through outstanding and innovative sustainability practices.


The deadline for submitting your application is close of business May 22, 2014.  Applications will only be accepted electronically.  Details and application information can be found on our website.


The award ceremony will be held this fall in Chicago, and once again ISTC will host the Illinois Campus Sustainability Compact Awards Program in conjunction with the Governor's Sustainability Awards program. A technical symposium will take place prior to the awards ceremony, bringing together a forum for education and networking opportunities.


We encourage you to forward this announcement to colleagues that may also be interested in the program. 


Contact, Debra Jacobson, Senior Operations Manager, djacobson@illinois.edu or John Mulrow, Business & Industrial Sustainability Specialist, jmulrow@illinois.edu with any questions you might have about the application process or awards program.


Federal Updates



USEPA Proposes Updates to Air Standards for Newly Manufactured Woodstoves and Heaters

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) is proposing standards for the amount of air pollution that can be emitted by new woodstoves and heaters, beginning in 2015. The agency's proposal would make the next generation of stoves and heaters an estimated 80 percent cleaner than those manufactured today, leading to important air quality and public health improvements in communities across the country. The proposal would affect a variety of wood heaters manufactured beginning in 2015 and will not affect heaters and stoves already in use in homes or currently for sale today.

Smoke from residential wood heaters, which are used around the clock in some communities, can increase toxic air pollution, volatile organic compounds, carbon monoxide and soot, also known as particle pollution, to levels that pose serious health concerns. Particle pollution is linked to a wide range of serious health effects, including heart attacks, strokes and asthma attacks. In some areas, residential wood smoke makes up a significant portion of the fine particle pollution problem. USEPA's proposal would work in concert with state and local programs to improve air quality in these communities.

The agency's proposal covers several types of new wood-fired heaters, including: woodstoves, fireplace inserts, indoor and outdoor wood boilers (also called hydronic heaters), forced air furnaces and masonry heaters. Many residential wood heaters already meet the first set of proposed standards, which would be phased in over five years to allow manufacturers time to adapt emission control technologies to their particular model lines.   Today's proposal does not cover fireplaces, fire pits, pizza ovens, barbecues and chimineas.

When these standards are fully implemented, USEPA estimates that for every dollar spent to comply with these standards, the American public will see between $118 and $267 in health benefits. Consumers will also see a monetary benefit from efficiency improvements in the new woodstoves, which use less wood to heat homes. The total health and economic benefits of the proposed standards are estimated to be at $1.8 to $2.4 billion annually.


USEPA will accept written comments until May 5, 2014.

  • Comments on the proposed New Source Performance Standards for Residential Wood Heaters must reference Docket ID:  EPA-HQ-OAR-2009-0734

Comments may be submitted by one of the following methods:

  • Online at:  Regulations.gov: Follow the on-line instructions for submitting comments.
  • E-mail: Comments may be sent by electronic mail (e-mail) to a-and-r-Docket@epa.gov.
  • Fax: Fax your comments to: 202-566-9744.
  • Mail: Send your comments to: Air and Radiation Docket and Information Center, Environmental Protection Agency, Mail Code: 2822T, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Washington, DC, 20460.
  • Hand Delivery or Courier: Deliver your comments to: USEPA Docket Center, Room 3334, 1301 Constitution Ave., NW, Washington, DC, 20460.  Such deliveries are only accepted during the Docket's normal hours of operation, and special arrangements should be made for deliveries of boxed information.

For more information visit: http://www2.epa.gov/residential-wood-heaters.


USEPA and Army Corps of Engineers Clarify Protection for Nation's Streams and Wetlands


Agriculture's Exemptions and Exclusions from Clean Water Act Expanded by Proposal
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Army Corps) released a proposed rule to clarify protection under the Clean Water Act for streams and wetlands that form the foundation of the nation's water resources. The proposed rule will benefit businesses by increasing efficiency in determining coverage of the Clean Water Act. The agencies are launching a robust outreach effort over the next 90 days, holding discussions around the country and gathering input needed to shape a final rule.

Determining Clean Water Act protection for streams and wetlands became confusing and complex following Supreme Court decisions in 2001 and 2006. For nearly a decade, members of Congress, state and local officials, industry, agriculture, environmental groups, and the public asked for a rulemaking to provide clarity.

The proposed rule clarifies protection for streams and wetlands. The proposed definitions of waters will apply to all Clean Water Act programs. It does not protect any new types of waters that have not historically been covered under the Clean Water Act and is consistent with the Supreme Court's more narrow reading of Clean Water Act jurisdiction.
Specifically, the proposed rule clarifies that under the Clean Water Act and based on the science:


  • Most seasonal and rain dependent streams are protected.
  • Wetlands near rivers and streams are protected.
  • Other types of waters may have more uncertain connections with downstream water and protection will be evaluated through a case specific analysis of whether the connection is or is not protecting similarly situated waters in certain geographic areas or adding to the categories of waters protected without case specific analysis. 
The proposed rule preserves the Clean Water Act exemptions and exclusions for agriculture. Additionally, USEPA and the Army Corps have coordinated with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to develop an interpretive rule to ensure that 53 specific conservation practices that protect or improve water quality will not be subject to Section 404 dredged or fill permitting requirements. The agencies will work together to implement these new exemptions and periodically review, and update USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service conservation practice standards and activities that would qualify under the exemption. Any agriculture activity that does not result in the discharge of a pollutant to waters of the U.S. still does not require a permit.

The proposed rule will be open for public comment for 90 days from publication in the Federal Register. The interpretive rule for agricultural activities is effective immediately.

More information:


United States Environmental Protection Agency Finalizes Tighter Vehicle and Fuel Standards to Reduce Emissions


On March 3, 2014 the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) finalized amendments to establish new tailpipe standards for the sum of non-methane organic gases (NMOG) and nitrogen oxides (NOX), presented as NMOG+NOX, and for particular matter (PM) that apply to all light-duty vehicles and some heavy-duty vehicles. Compared to current standards, the NMOG and NOX tailpipe standards for light-duty vehicles represent approximately an 80% reduction from today's fleet average and a 70% reduction in per-vehicle PM standards. Heavy-duty tailpipe standards represent about a 60% reduction in both fleet average NMOG+NOX and per-vehicle PM standards. USEPA also extended the regulatory useful life period during which the standards apply from 120,000 miles to 150,000 miles.

The tailpipe standards include different phase-in schedules that vary by vehicle class, but generally phase in between model years 2017 and 2025. In addition to the gradual phase-in schedules, several other provisions are designed to further ease manufacturers' paths to compliance with the stringent new standards. Depending on the standards and the vehicle class, these flexibility provisions include credits for early compliance and the ability to offset some higher-emitting vehicles with extra-clean models. USEPA included more lead time for small businesses and small volume manufactures as well as a hardship provision that allows for additional time to comply if a manufacturer cannot meet requirements after a good faith effort and would face severe economic hardship without the additional lead time.

PM Standards: The PM standards are expressed on a per-vehicle basis, meaning the standards apply to each vehicle separately (i.e., not as a fleet average). USEPA is setting PM standards that differ by vehicle class and test cycle.


Evaporative Emission Standards: USEPA is setting more stringent standards designed to eliminate fuel vapor-related evaporative emissions and improve durability. The evaporative emissions program represents about a 50 per­cent reduction from current standards and applies to all light-duty and onroad gasoline-powered heavy-duty vehicles. As with the tailpipe standards, the evaporative emissions standards include phase-in flexibilities, credit and allowance programs, and more lead time and a hardship provi­sion for small businesses and small volume manufacturers. USEPA is also extending the regulatory useful life period during which the standards apply from 120,000 miles to 150,000 miles.


Fuel Standards: USEPA is finalizing gasoline sulfur reductions that are critical to enabling manufacturers to comply across the fleet with the stringent vehicle standards. The gasoline sulfur standards will also achieve significant immediate benefits by reducing emissions from existing vehicles. Under the final Tier 3 program, federal gasoline will be required to meet an annual average standard of 10 parts per million (ppm) of sulfur by January 1, 2017. USEPA is also finalizing standards that main­tain the current 80 ppm refinery gate and 95 ppm downstream cap. The Tier 3 gasoline sulfur standards are similar to levels already being achieved in California, Europe, Japan, South Korea, and several other countries.

For the gasoline sulfur standards, USEPA is finalizing averaging, banking, and trading (ABT) pro­gram that allows refiners and importers to spread out their investments through an early credit program and rely on ongoing nationwide averaging to meet the 10 ppm sulfur standard. New to the final rule, USEPA is including the ability to carry over credits from Tier 2 to Tier 3 in the ABT program. USEPA is also finalizing a three-year delay for small refiners and small volume refineries processing 75,000 barrels of crude oil per day or less, as well as other flexibilities for refiners such as hardship provisions for extenuating circumstances.


Emissions Test Fuel: USEPA is updating the federal emissions test fuel to better match today's in-use gasoline and also to be forward-looking with respect to future ethanol and sulfur content. The new test fuel specifi­cations apply to new vehicle certification, assembly line, and in-use testing. USEPA is transitioning to the new test fuel during the first few years that the Tier 3 tailpipe and evaporative standards are phasing in. Key changes include moving to a test fuel containing 10 percent ethanol by vol­ume, lowering octane, and lowering the existing sulfur specification to be consistent with Tier 3 requirements. USEPA is also setting test fuel specifications for E85 for the first time.


You can find more information about the new standards at: http://www.epa.gov/otaq/tier3.htm#new 


Combined Heat and Power: A guide to developing and Implementing Greenhouse Gas Reduction Programs


This guide describes how local governments can lead by example and increase use of combined heat and power (CHP) in their facilities and throughout their communities. CHP, also known as cogeneration, refers to the simultaneous production of electricity and thermal energy from a single fuel source. This guide includes an overview of the benefits of CHP systems, costs, sources of funding, and case studies. The guide is designed to be used by staff at local energy or environment agencies, local code enforcement officials and city planners, city councils, and mayors or county executives. It also provides information useful for local government partners, such as local businesses, utilities, energy service companies, and non-profit organizations. Readers of the guide should come away with an understanding of options to improve energy efficiency using CHP, a clear idea of the steps and considerations involved in implementing CHP systems, and an awareness of expected investment and funding opportunities.


You can download the guide at: http://www.epa.gov/statelocalclimate/documents/pdf/CHPguide508.pdf 




Training & Events:

Illinois Environmental Protection Agency Offers Evaluation of Visible Emissions Course


The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency will offer a course in the Evaluation of Visible Emissions during the week of April 14, 2014.  The class will run from Tuesday, April 15 through Wednesday, April 16, 2014.   Class begins at 9:00 AM each morning with registration beginning at approximately 8:00 AM; everyone must sign in one time only.


All newcomers attending for initial certification (not recertification) are expected to be present for a lecture session at 1:00 PM on Monday, April 14th; persons recertifying are welcome to attend the lecture as well.  The lecture will include discussion of visible emissions and the finer points of reading opacity.  The lecture will be held at the Ramada Limited Motel, 3281 Northfield Drive, Springfield, Illinois.


The class will be held at the Ramada Limited Motel, 3281 Northfield Drive, Springfield, Illinois.  The telephone number is (217) 523-4000.  A block of rooms has been set aside for the session, so please mention you are attending "Smoke School" when making your reservations.  The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency does not charge a fee for this instruction.  All participants must arrange for their own meals and lodging; however, all materials necessary for the course will be supplied with the exception of writing tools and a clipboard.  Please be reminded this class is held outside, so dress appropriately and bring your own lawn chair.


Please fill out the registration form online at http://www.epa.state.il.us/air/smoke-school/registration.html prior to April 11, 2014.  If you do not have access to the Internet please contact Linda Kulek at (217) 524-0546 to receive a registration form by mail.  Remember to check the designated box for either certifying the first time or recertifying. 


If you have any questions, I can be reached by e-mail Kevin.Mattison@illinois.gov or by phone (847) 294-4019.  


Great Lakes Green Chemistry Conference- Innovating for Success in Green Chemistry April 1-2, 2014, Cleveland, OH.   Click here for more information on the event.


Workshop-GreenScreen™Training April 3, 2014, Cleveland, OH. Hosted by US EPA Region 5 Great Lakes Restoration Initiative partners. The GreenScreen™ for Safer Chemicals is a comparative chemical hazard screening method developed by Clean Production Action to encourage the use of greener and safer chemicals. Click here for more information.



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