EPA proposes yeast manufacturing emission standards updates

The Environmental Protection Agency has proposed several amendments to standards related to nutritional yeast manufacturing, including revising the form of the fermenter volatile organic compounds (V.O.C.) emission limits, changing the testing and monitoring requirements, and updating the reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

The proposed amendments to the National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants for the Manufacturing of Nutritional Yeast source category are in the Dec. 28 issue of the Federal Register and may be found here.

One amendment proposes that 100% of fermentation batches meet the fermenter batch average V.O.C emission limits on a 12-month rolling basis. The E.P.A. said the current requirement of 98% conflicts with the statutory requirement that emission standards apply at all times, as discussed in the court case “Sierra Club v. EPA. 551 F. 3d 1019 (D.C. Cir. 2008).”

Another proposed amendment includes an alternative compliance method that allows facilities to average the V.O.C. concentration data from all batches within each fermentation stage over a rolling 12-month period.

The E.P.A. proposed to revise the rule’s testing, monitoring, recordkeeping and reporting requirements in five ways:

•Owners or operators must demonstrate compliance by using a V.O.C. continuous emission monitoring system (C.E.M.S.) to determine the V.O.C. concentration in the fermenter exhaust;

•Owners or operators may not use a gas chromatographic C.E.M.S. to monitor V.O.C. concentration;

•Owners or operators must have valid C.E.M.S. data from each hour of the entire batch monitoring period and report periods of missing data as deviations;

•Owners or operators of V.O.C. C.E.M.S. must conduct annual performance tests; and

•Owners or operators must provide compliance reports electronically.

The E.P.A. also proposed to remove the option to monitor brew ethanol.

The E.P.A.’s manufacturing of nutritional yeast source category includes any facility engaged in the manufacture of baker’s yeast by fermentation (both active dry yeast and compressed yeast). The category includes, but is not limited to, these manufacturing process units: fermentation vessels and the drying and packaging system.

The E.P.A. will accept comments on its proposed amendments until Feb. 13. Comments identified by Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2015-0730 may be submitted at www.regulations.gov. The E.P.A. said a public hearing will take place if it is requested by Jan. 3.