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PA Bulletin, Doc. No. 99-622


Proposed General Plan Approval and General Operating Permit (BAQ-GPA/GP-8)

[29 Pa.B. 2083]

Powder Metal Sintering Furnaces

   1.  Statutory Authority and General Description--Under section 6.1(f) of the Air Pollution Control Act (35 P. S. § 4006.1) and 25 Pa. Code § 127.611, the Department of Environmental Protection (Department) hereby issues this general plan approval and general operating permit for powder metal sintering furnaces (hereinafter referred to as Sintering Furnaces General Permit).

   2.  Applicability/Source Coverage Limitations--This Sintering Furnaces General Permit is designed to serve as either a plan approval or an operating permit for sintering furnaces used exclusively in powder metals industries designed to sinter parts with metal containing lubricants such as zinc and lithium stearates.

Operating Permit

   Sintering furnaces are exempted from the permitting requirements of 25 Pa. Code § 127.402 if the furnace emits particulate matter less than or equal to 0.15 pound/hour as determined by mass balance calculations, or stack testing, using maximum metal throughput and the associated maximum percent lubricant. The company claiming exemption from the § 127.402 permitting requirements shall maintain records to demonstrate that the furnaces particulate matter emissions are less than 0.15 pounds per hour. This general permit is intended for use by sintering furnaces with particulate matter emissions from each furnace greater than 0.15 pound per hour.

Plan Approval

   Sintering furnaces equipped with particulate matter control systems (other than flame curtains or afterburners) may not operate under this general permit. These furnaces shall comply with the plan approval and operating permit requirements of 25 Pa. Code §§ 127.11 and 127.402. Powder metal sintering furnaces using only organic lubricants equal to or less than 0.75% organic lubricant by weight are exempt from plan approval requirements. The atmosphere in each furnace atmosphere shall contain hydrogen (H2) at 3% or greater and maintain an operating flame curtain between part entry and pre-heat zone. In the absence of an operating flame curtain, the furnace must be operated with an afterburner. A sintering furnace using higher than 0.75% organic lubricant or lower than 3% hydrogen may be considered for an exemption from permitting requirements by submitting a Request for Determination to the Department according to the procedures described in § 127.14 (c).

   The owner/operator of a sintering furnace that sinters oil-treated parts may not operate under this Sintering Furnaces General Permit.

   3.  Application for Use--Any person proposing to construct, modify or operate a source under this Sintering Furnaces General Permit shall receive prior written approval from the Department according to 25 Pa. Code § 127.621 (relating to application for use of general plan approvals and general operating permits). Any applicant requesting authorization to operate under the general permit shall submit a complete Sintering Furnaces General Permit Application to the Department. The Department will take action on the application within 30 days of receipt.

   4.  Compliance--Any sintering furnaces operating under this Sintering Furnaces General Permit shall comply with the terms and conditions of the general permit. The sintering furnaces shall be:

   a.  Operated in such a manner as not to cause air pollution.

   b.   Operated and maintained in a manner consistent with good operating and maintenance practices.

   c.  Operated and maintained in accordance with the manufacturer's specifications and the applicable terms and conditions of this Sintering Furnaces General Permit.

   5.  Permit Modification, Suspension and Revocation--This Sintering Furnaces General Permit may be modified, suspended or revoked if the Department determines that affected sintering furnaces cannot be regulated under this general permit. Authorization to use this Sintering Furnaces General Permit shall be suspended or revoked if the permittee fails to comply with applicable terms and conditions of the Sintering Furnaces General Permit.

   The approval herein granted to operate the sintering furnaces shall be suspended, if, at any time, the permittee causes, permits or allows any modification (as defined in 25 Pa. Code § 121.1) of the sintering furnaces without Department's approval. Upon suspension of the general permit, the permittee may not continue to operate or use said sintering furnaces until the Department issues written approval to operate the sintering furnace. When warranted, the Department will require that the sintering furnaces be permitted under the applicable operating permit or Title V operating permit requirements in 25 Pa. Code Chapter 127.

   6.  Notice Requirements--The permittee shall submit applications and notifications required by 25 Pa. Code § 127.621 to the appropriate Regional Office responsible for issuing general permits in the county in which the sintering furnaces are, or will be, located. Under § 127.621(b), the application shall be either hand delivered or transmitted by certified mail return receipt requested.

   The permittee shall notify the Department, in writing, of any sintering furnace malfunctions that result in, or may result in, the emission of air contaminants in excess of the limitations specified in, or established pursuant to provisions in 25 Pa. Code, Subpart C, Article III (relating to air resources). The written notices shall be submitted to the Department within 24 hours of the discovery of a malfunction during a business day or no later than 5 p.m. on the first business day following discovery of any malfunction that occurred during a weekend or holiday.

   7.  Sampling and Testing--The permittee shall conduct source testing requested by the Department to determine a source's actual emission rate(s) if the Department has cause to believe that the emission of air contaminants from a sintering furnace operating under this Sintering Furnaces General Permit exceed limitations established under provisions in 25 Pa. Code Article III.

   The permittee shall perform the testing in accordance with applicable provisions of 25 Pa. Code Chapter 139 (relating to sampling and testing) and in accordance with any restrictions or limitation established by the Department at the time the permittee is notified, in writing, of the testing requirement.

   8.  Monitoring, Recordkeeping, and Reporting--The permittee shall comply with the applicable monitoring, recordkeeping and reporting requirements in 25 Pa. Code Chapter 139 (relating to sampling and testing), the Air Pollution Control Act, the Clean Air Act and the applicable regulations adopted under the Acts. The records kept to demonstrate compliance with the requirements of this general permit shall be retained at the facility for at least 5 years and shall be made available to the Department upon request. The records shall include information that indicates the amount of powder metal mix processed and percent by weight of metal containing lubricant in the mix for each product for each sintering furnace.

   9.  Term of Permit--This Sintering Furnaces General Permit is issued for a fixed term of 5 years. The Department will notify each applicant, by letter, when approval to operate under this general permit is granted.

   10.  Permit and Administrative Fees--The Sintering Furnaces General Permit establishes the following application and renewal fees payable every 5 years if no equipment changes occur:

   a.  Two hundred fifty dollars during the 1999 calendar year.

   b.  Three hundred dollars during the 2000-2004 calendar years.

   c.  Three hundred seventy-five dollars beginning in the 2005 calendar year.

   The owner/operator of a facility using this Sintering Furnaces General Permit will be required to submit a new general permit application, along with the appropriate fees, prior to the installation of new sintering furnaces.

   11.  Expiration and Renewal of Permit--The permittees right to operate under this Sintering Furnaces General Permit terminates on the date of expiration of this permit unless a timely and complete renewal application is submitted to the Department at least 30 days prior to the permit expiration date.

   Upon receipt of a complete and timely application for renewal, the sintering furnaces may continue to operate subject to final action on the renewal application by the Department. This protection shall cease to exist if, subsequent to a completeness determination, the applicant fails to submit by the deadline specified in writing by the Department any additional information required by the Department to process the renewal application.

   The Sintering Furnaces General Permit application for renewal shall include the identity of the owner or operator, location of the sintering furnaces, current permit number, description of source category, the appropriate renewal fee listed in Condition 10 and any other information requested by the Department. At a minimum, the permit renewal fee shall be submitted to the Department at least 30 days prior to the expiration of the Sintering Furnaces General Permit.

   12.  Applicable Laws--Nothing in this Sintering Furnaces General Permit relieves the permittee from its obligation to comply with all applicable Federal, State and local laws and regulations.

   13.  Prohibited Use--Any air contamination source that is subject to the provisions in 25 Pa. Code Chapter 127, Subchapter D (relating to prevention of significant deterioration), Subchapter E (relating to new source review), Subchapter G (relating to Title V operating permits), or 25 Pa. Code § 129.91 (relating to control of major sources of NOx and VOCs), may not operate under this Sintering Furnaces General Permit. The owners/operators of Title V facilities may use this Sintering Furnaces General Permit as a plan approval when the major new source review and prevention of significant deterioration review requirements are not applicable.

   14.  Transfer of Ownership or Operation--The permittee may not transfer the Sintering Furnaces General Permit except as provided in 25 Pa. Code § 127.464 (relating to transfer of operating permits).

   15.  Plan Approval--This Sintering Furnaces General Permit authorizes the construction of new sintering furnace(s) that meet the best available technology (BAT) required under 25 Pa. Code §§ 127.1 and 127.12(a)(5). For purposes of this general permit, BAT for sintering furnaces are the emission limits specified in Condition 16 of this permit.

   This permit also authorizes the operation of the source provided the estimated airflow included in the general plan approval application is verified using Department approved methods within a period of 180 days from the date of commencement of operation of the sintering furnace(s). The permittee shall provide written notice to the Department and allow inspection of the furnace, if necessary, at least 5 working days prior to commencing operation.

   16.  Emission Limitations--The operation of a sintering furnace may not at any time result in the emission of:

   a.  Particulate matter emissions, as determined by mass balance calculations or stack testing, in excess of 0.04 gr/dscf as specified in 25 Pa. Code § 123.13(c).

   b.  Visible emissions from sintering furnace stacks in excess of the following limitations:

   i.  Equal to or greater than 20% for a period or periods aggregating more than 3 minutes in any 1 hour.

   ii.  Equal to or greater than 60% at any time.

   c.  Sulfur compound emissions in excess of 500 parts per million, by volume, dry basis, as specified in 25 Pa. Code § 123.21.

   d.  Odors in such a manner that malodorous air contaminants are detectable outside the property of the person on whose land the furnace is being operated. See 25 Pa. Code §§ 121.1 and 123.31 (relating to definitions and limitations).


[Pa.B. Doc. No. 99-622. Filed for public inspection April 16, 1999, 9:00 a.m.]

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