Environmental Policy & Alerts – Update from Somach Simmons & Dunn

February 6, 2019

South Coast Air Quality Management District Unanimously Grants a Regular Variance to City of San Bernardino Municipal Water Department

Recently, the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) unanimously granted the City of San Bernardino Municipal Water Department’s (Department) request for a variance from a SCAQMD rule mandating reduced emissions from several internal combustion engines (ICEs)  that are used at the Department’s wastewater treatment plant (Plant).  The Hearing Board for SCAQMD granted the variance for five digester gas-fueled ICEs, which directly drive process equipment and power generation equipment at the Plant.  The variance commenced at the conclusion of the hearing on December 20, 2018, and the Hearing Board issued its final Minute Order and Findings and Decision on January 29, 2019.  The variance relieves the Department from imposition of civil penalties during implementation of the Digester Gas Beneficial Use Program (DGBU Program), which is scheduled for completion by September 1, 2021.  When completed, the DGBU Program continues the beneficial use of digester gas produced in the Plant’s treatment processes through new, innovative means, and once completed, will bring the Department in compliance with Rule 1110.2’s emissions limits.  Further, the funding for the DGBU Program does not require a rate increase, despite extensive and complex changes to the Plant’s facilities that are necessary to support the DGBU Program…. Read More

Written by Alyson E. Ackerman