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PA Bulletin, Doc. No. 04-2069


Proposed Revision to the State Implementation Plan for Architectural and Industrial Maintenance Coatings; Sherwin-Williams Company Variance Application for Clear Wood Coatings--Varnishes; Public Hearings

[34 Pa.B. 6277]

   The Sherwin-Williams Company (Sherwin-Williams) has submitted an application, dated September 29, 2004, to the Department of Environmental Protection (Department) for a variance from the volatile organic compound (VOC) content limits in 25 Pa. Code § 130.603 (relating to standards) for ''clear wood finishes--varnishes.'' The Sherwin-Williams variance application was submitted in accordance with 25 Pa. Code § 130.606 (relating to application for variance), which provides that a person who cannot comply with the VOC content limits in 25 Pa. Code § 130.603(a) may apply in writing to the Department for a variance. In accordance with 25 Pa. Code § 130.606, the application for variance must address the specific grounds upon which the variance is sought, the proposed date by which compliance with 25 Pa. Code § 130.603(a) will be achieved and a compliance report detailing the methods by which compliance will be achieved. The Department will submit each Variance Order to the United States Environmental Protection Agency for approval as a State Implementation Plan (SIP) revision.

   In accordance with 25 Pa. Code § 130.606, the Department will not grant a variance unless the applicant demonstrates in writing to the Department's satisfaction that:

   (1)  It is technologically infeasible for the applicant to comply with 25 Pa. Code § 130.603(a).

   (2)  The public interest in issuing the variance would outweigh the public interest in avoiding increased emissions of air contaminants that would result from issuing the variance.

   (3)  The compliance program proposed by the applicant can reasonably be implemented and will achieve compliance as expeditiously as possible.

   Sherwin-Williams claims in the September 29, 2004, application for variance that it is technologically infeasible for Sherwin-Williams to formulate certain ''clear wood coatings--varnishes'' to comply with the VOC content limit for ''clear wood coatings--varnishes'' specified in 25 Pa. Code § 130.603(a) '' .  . . without creating unacceptable safety hazards, application, handling and performance problems for nonprofessional users; or substantially decreasing the solids content and thus increasing the number of coats required to achieve desired film thickness.'' In the application for variance, Sherwin-Williams describes a research and development compliance plan by which compliance with the regulations will be achieved, and Sherwin-Williams indicates that the company's research and development efforts are directed toward a targeted compliance goal of January 1, 2010.

   In accordance with 25 Pa. Code § 130.610 (relating to public hearings), the Department will hold public hearings on the Sherwin-Williams variance application to seek public comment on the following:

   (1)  Whether a variance from 25 Pa. Code § 130.603(a) is necessary.

   (2)  Under what conditions a variance from 25 Pa. Code § 130.603(a) is necessary.

   (3)  To what extent a variance from 25 Pa. Code § 130.603(a) is necessary.

   In addition to the previous, the Department will also seek comments on a Department-proposed Variance Order for issuance to Sherwin-Williams, as well as proposed revisions to the SIP. The Department-proposed Variance Order for issuance to Sherwin-Williams includes a requirement that compliance with 25 Pa. Code § 130.603 will be achieved by January 1, 2010, and that incremental progress reports will be sent to the Department to assure timely compliance. A variance issued by the Department shall cease to be effective upon failure of the party to whom the variance was granted to comply with a term or condition of the variance.

   Based on data provided by Sherwin-Williams regarding sales in this Commonwealth of the materials for which the variance is requested, the Department estimates that, if the variance is granted, Statewide VOC emissions will be approximately 0.3 ton per day higher than if Sherwin-Williams were to market coatings at the compliance level. For the five-county Southeast Pennsylvania ozone nonattainment area, the granting of the variance will result in VOC emissions approximately 0.08 ton per day higher than if the affected materials were formulated at compliance levels.

Public Hearings

   The Department will hold two public hearings to receive comments on the variance application submitted by Sherwin-Williams, as well as the proposed SIP revisions and the Department-proposed Variance Order. The public hearings will be held as follows:

December 21, 2004, 10 a.m., Southeast Regional Office, Stoney Creek Conference Room, 2 East Main Street, Norristown, PA 19401
December 22, 2004, 1 p.m.. Southcentral Regional Office, Juniata River Room, 909 Elmerton Avenue, Harrisburg, PA 17110

   Individuals who wish to present testimony at the hearings should reserve a time by contacting Susan Ferree, P. O. Box 8468, Harrisburg, PA 17105, (717) 787-9495 or Persons who do not reserve a time will be able to testify as time allows. Witnesses should keep testimony to 10 minutes and should provide two written copies at the hearing. Persons with a disability who wish to attend a hearing and require an auxiliary aid, service or other accommodation to participate in the proceedings should contact Wick Havens at (717) 787-9495. TDD users should contact the AT&T Relay Service at (800) 654-5984 to discuss how the Department can best accommodate their needs.

Written Comments

   Written comments on the variance application submitted by Sherwin-Williams, as well as the proposed SIP revisions, and the Department-proposed Variance Order, should be sent by 12 p.m. on January 20, 2005, to Terry Black, Chief, Regulation and Policy Development Section, Division of Air Resource Management, Bureau of Air Quality, P. O. Box 8468, Harrisburg, PA 17105-8468.

Availability of Documents

   Sherwin-Williams' application for a variance and the Department's proposed Variance Order are available from Terry Black at the previous address or These documents are also available on the Department'swebsite: (Subjects/Air Quality/Regs Plans/Clean Air Plans).


[Pa.B. Doc. No. 04-2069. Filed for public inspection November 19, 2004, 9:00 a.m.]

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