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Air Compliance FAQs: The Basics, Regulatory Updates, and Upcoming Trends

Air compliance has become a key component that all industries must incorporate into their environmental and mitigation plans. To help navigate the complex world of environmental regulations, APTIM’s Leak Detection and Repair (LDAR) team members are sharing their expertise on air compliance consulting, permitting, and support services, as well as regulatory updates and trends to watch for.

What is Leak Detection and Repair (LDAR)?

LDAR is the process in which facilities that produce or utilize Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) capture and quantify their fugitive emissions (leaks) from the process piping to provide accurate emissions data to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Annually, industries such as the Chemical, Petrochemical, and Pharmaceutical industries are required to report the atmosphere emissions from their operations.

LDAR requirements follow the EPA’s Method 21 guidelines using an instrument designed to identify and collect information on gas vapor leaks in parts per million. Any leaks found above a designated threshold are required to be repaired within a specified timeframe. This information is compiled and reported to the EPA per the applicable regulations for each facility.

Who needs to comply with air emissions regulations?

Regulations can affect companies of all sizes and from many different industries. APTIM’s clients include refineries, natural gas processing plants, pharmaceutical companies, chemical manufacturers, ethanol, and biofuel plants.

Some projects employ 25+ full time technicians while others require only one person for two days per year. A project’s scope can include full time regulatory support, consultation, reporting and quality assurance/quality control (QAQC) services, or just the necessary labor to keep the program running smoothly.

What regulations and new trends should companies be aware of?

With technology’s rapidly expanding capabilities, what once was a static program model is growing into various opportunities to innovate and provide progressively precise and detailed data. Alternative work practices (AWP) have become an increasingly hot topic, typically referring to the use of Optical Gas Imaging (OGI) technologies. As these OGI technologies have become more reliable and accessible, and as regulations continue to expand, APTIM’s team has been exploring ways to incorporate this technology further into our systems. With improving OGI, new drone technologies and geolocation capabilities, just to name a few, we are working towards providing more precise, efficient, and cost-effective services to our clients.

On the regulatory side, the EPA has a newly proposed methane rule: NSPS OOOOb and OOOOc. APTIM’s team is utilizing new software and technologies within our program development and solutions to ensure compliance with the pending requirements.

Want to learn more?

Connect with our team! While regulations continue to evolve and the future of LDAR may look differently than it did 20 years ago, APTIM remains committed to leading the way. Submit our contact form below to be connected with an LDAR representative, and visit our Environmental webpage to learn about more APTIM services.

By: Kate Perry, Client Program Manager

APTIM. Expect the Extraordinary.

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