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Permit & Compliance Plan Information

Permitting Update

South Coast AQMD has completed the review of the permit applications for Quemetco’s proposed process weight increase at the facility (also known as the Quemetco Capacity Upgrade Project (proposed Project) in the EIR).  More information regarding the proposed Project can be found below in the section “Pending Permits and Compliance Plans – Throughput Increase”.  A draft copy of the permit can be accessed here: Quemetco Permit Draft Copy.  Information regarding the CEQA review for the proposed Project may be found in the Quemetco CEQA page. The permitting action also includes other equipment and modifications that are not related to the proposed Project, and can be found in the section “Other Pending Permits and Compliance Plans".

Recent Permitting Activities

A permit revision consisting of replacing the existing baghouse venting the rotary dryer, with a new baghouse was evaluated by South Coast AQMD. The existing baghouse is nearing the end of its useful life. The facility is also adding dust augers to support and augment the replacement baghouse and existing waste dust handling system. This permit revision did not result in any potential emission increases. A public notice for this permit revision was published in the San Gabriel Valley Tribune on October 19, 2020 for a 30-day public comment period, which ended on November 20, 2020. This permit revision was also provided to U.S. EPA for review, which ended on December 28, 2020. No comments were received during the comment periods pertaining to the technical analysis and Statement of Basis. A Permit to Construct was issued to Quemetco on January 8, 2021 under Section H of the Facility Permit. As of October 2021, the replacement baghouse is undergoing construction.  

Existing Permits

Permit applications are required whenever any facility installs new equipment that causes or controls a source of air pollution.  Additionally, permit applications are required to modify equipment or to propose permit condition changes.
 
Numerous Permits to Construct and Permits to Operate have been issued to Quemetco since 1970.  Prior to 1970, the facility operated as Western Lead.  An initial Title V permit was issued to the facility on May 9, 2000 and renewals (which occur every 5 years) for Quemetco’s Title V permit have been issued in 2006, 2012, and 2018. In between the renewals, several revisions of the Title V permit have occurred.  Most often, these permit revisions have not been for the addition of new process equipment, but for the addition and/or enhancement of air pollution control equipment and techniques.  These pollution control upgrades have included high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters that effectively reduce particulate matter, a regenerative thermal oxidizer (RTO) that reduces volatile organic compounds (including the toxic species of benzene and 1,3 butadiene), and a wet electrostatic precipitator (WESP) which is a final reduction scheme for minimizing the toxic metal emissions of lead and arsenic. The WESP and the RTO were initially permitted to be constructed in 2007.  The facility is currently restricted by permit condition to a process throughput of 600 tons per day.

Pending Permits and Compliance plans - Throughput Increase

Quemetco has submitted permit applications for various projects that are undergoing review by South Coast AQMD.  In 2013, Quemetco applied for a 25 percent facility process weight increase from the current permitted limit of 600 tons per day to 750 tons per day.  The proposed process weight increase does not involve any new equipment but would increase the hours that the Rotary Dryer and furnaces are allowed to receive feed each day, essentially increasing 4-6 hours per day for a 24/7 operation for the Rotary Dryer and furnaces. The remainder of the facility already operates 24/7.  Additionally, Quemetco is requesting to allow the use of petroleum coke (pet coke) in addition to the use of calcined coke.

Since the proposed process weight increase covers all permitted equipment associated with the production process, separate applications were required for each piece of equipment. The following application numbers are being evaluated as part of the proposed process weight increase. Details on the below permits can be found by searching the application number on F.I.N.D.

Application Number

Permit

550912

 

Process Weight Increase application for Rotary Dryer and Reverberatory Furnace
Received: May 2013

550914

Process Weight Increase application for Rotary Dryer Baghouse
Received: May 2013

550916

Process Weight Increase application for Reverberatory Furnace Baghouse
Received: May 2013

550918

Process Weight Increase application for Slag Furnace
Received: May 2013

550919

Process Weight Increase application for Slag Furnace SOx (Oxides of Sulfur) scrubber
Received: May 2013

550921

Process Weight Increase application for Thermal Oxidizer venting Rotary Dryer
Received: May 2013

550922

Process Weight Increase application for WESP
Received: May 2013

572319

Title V Amendment application for Process Weight Increase project
Received: February 2015

619901

TV amendment application for Rotary Dryer Exhaust Temperature Increase
Received: March 2020

620477

Request to modify for Rotary Dryer Exhaust Temperature
Received: March 2020

Other Pending Permits and Compliance Plans

Quemetco also has ongoing projects associated with their current operations that are not associated with their proposed process weight increase. Below are the more recent permit applications for projects that are currently being reviewed. Details on the below permits can be found by searching the application number on F.I.N.D.

Application Number

Permit

629632

Compression auger and centrifuge in the battery wrecker area.
Received: June 2021

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