The Stanly News and Press (Albemarle, NC)

State & National News

September 15, 2013

Public hearing scheduled on changes to state air toxics rules

Sunday, September 15, 2013 — RALEIGH – Proposed changes to North Carolina’s rules for controlling toxic air pollutants will be the subject of a Sept. 19 public hearing scheduled in Raleigh.


The General Assembly enacted some of the changes to the state air toxics rules in legislation adopted during its 2012 session (Session Law 2012-91). The legislature also directed the state Division of Air Quality to further review the rules and determine whether changes could be made to reduce unnecessary regulatory burden and increase efficient use of the state agency’s resources while maintaining protection of public health.


The state Division of Air Quality has scheduled the hearing for 3 p.m. Sept. 19 in the Training Room (Room 1210) in the Green Square office building, 217 West Jones St., Raleigh. Directions and parking information can be found online at .


The state agency will accept written comments on the rules through Oct. 14. Written comments may be submitted at the hearing, emailed to or mailed to: Joelle Burleson, Division of Air Quality, 1641 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-1641.


The proposed rules would exempt most facilities from state air toxics rules if they demonstrate compliance with federal rules for controlling hazardous air pollutants, unless the director of the state Division of Air Quality determines that their emissions pose unacceptable health risks. The proposal also would change some of the minimum requirements for facilities needing toxics evaluations and would exempt certain natural gas/propane boilers and emergency generators from the state rules.


The state Division of Air Quality enforces federal and state requirements for controlling toxic and hazardous air pollution. Under federal rules, certain industries must install state-of-the-art controls – or Maximum Achievable Control Technologies (MACTs) or Generally Available Control Technologies (GACTs) – if they emit hazardous air pollutants above specified threshold levels.


The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency sets federal MACT and GACT standards by industry groups, such as chemical plants, pulp and paper mills, dry cleaners and furniture manufacturers. The federal rules generally specify technological processes or controls that facilities must use to limit their emissions of hazardous air pollution.


In addition to EPA regulations, North Carolina has a separate air toxics program that is health-based rather than technology-based. The state rule sets health-based limits for about 100 compounds, 21 of which are not regulated under the federal program. Facilities subject to the state air toxics rules must demonstrate that their emissions do not exceed these limits, known as Acceptable Ambient Levels.


Another portion of the law enacted by the 2012 session of the legislature specified that sources subject to the federal air toxics rules would not have to demonstrate compliance with the state rules unless the director of the state Division of Air Quality determined that their emissions posed unacceptable health risks. The law also requires the state air quality agency to review all permit applications that would result in air toxics emissions increases to ensure protection of public health.


More information on proposed rules can be found at Information about other air quality issues can be found at the Division of Air Quality’s website,


Text Only
State & National News
  • Why Facebook is getting into the banking game

    Who would want to use Facebook as a bank? That's the question that immediately arises from news that the social network intends to get into the electronic money business.

    April 15, 2014

  • E-Cigarettes target youth with festivals, lawmakers say

    WASHINGTON - The findings, in a survey released Monday by members of Congress, should prod U.S. regulators to curb the industry, the lawmakers said. While e-cigarettes currently are unregulated, the Food and Drug Administration is working on a plan that would extend its tobacco oversight to the products.

    April 15, 2014

  • Search teams will send unmanned sub to look for missing Malaysian airliner

    Teams searching for a missing Malaysian airliner are planning for the first time to send an unmanned submarine into the depths of the Indian Ocean to look for wreckage, an Australian official leading the multi-nation search said Monday.

    April 15, 2014

  • Millions of Android phones, tablets vulnerable to Heartbleed bug

    SAN FRANCISCO - Millions of smartphones and tablets running Google's Android operating system have the Heartbleed software bug, in a sign of how broadly the flaw extends beyond the Web and into consumer devices.

    April 13, 2014

  • DayCareCosts.jpg Day care's cost can exceed college tuition in some states

    Most parents will deal with an even larger kid-related expense long before college, and it's a cost that very few of them are as prepared for: day care.

    April 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • Stepping forward: The real Colbert

    Letterman changed the late-night TV game between his run on NBC's "Late Night" and starting the "Late Show" franchise in 1993. And while it's tough to replace a pop-culture icon, Colbert, in terms of pedigree and sense of humor, makes the most sense.

    April 12, 2014

  • Boston doctors can now prescribe you a bike

    The City of Boston this week is rolling out a new program that's whimsically known as "Prescribe-a-Bike." Part medicine, part welfare, the initiative allows doctors at Boston Medical Center to write "prescriptions" for low-income patients to get yearlong memberships to Hubway, the city's bike-share system, for only $5.

    April 12, 2014

  • Fast, cheap test can help save lives of many babies

    As Easley did more research into her daughter's death, she learned that a pilot program had started just months earlier at Holy Cross Hospital in Silver Spring, Md. (Easley had delivered at a different hospital in the Washington area.) The program's goal was to screen every newborn with a simple pulse oximeter test that can help detect heart problems such as Veronica's, allowing doctors to respond.

    April 10, 2014

  • 140407_GT_OUT_Forster_1.jpg Revolutionary War flag could fetch millions at auction

    MANCHESTER, MASS. - An iconic piece of history from the Revolutionary War is up for auction through Doyle New York, an auction and appraising company in New York City.

    April 10, 2014 1 Photo

  • 2012_Mazda6_--_NHTSA.jpg Brakes, steering and...spiders? What's behind the latest auto recalls

    11 million vehicles have already been recalled in 2014 for everything from power steering failure to vulnerability to spider attack.

    Check out the full list of 2014 recalls.

    April 10, 2014 1 Photo

House Ads
Seasonal Content