CAPCOA BACT Clearinghouse Resource Manual

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CAPCOA BACT Clearinghouse
     A. Original Goals
     B. Hardcopy and Electronic Data Availability
     C. Other Information
II. The CAPCOA BACT Clearinghouse

        A. Original Goals

        The California Air Pollution Control Officers Association (CAPCOA) BACT Clearinghouse was established by CAPCOA in 1983. It is administered by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) through the guidance of the CAPCOA Engineering Managers Committee. The clearinghouse was originally designed to:

        1. Provide a centralized information processing center for BACT and LAER determinations made in California.
        2. Promote consistency of BACT and LAER determinations between air pollution control districts (APCDs) by distributing statewide BACT information and providing assistance to APCDs in accessing control technology information.
        3. Provide transmittal of BACT and LAER information between districts and the EPA RACT/BACT/LAER Clearinghouse.

As time proceeds, other goals may be added to this list, including the processing of information on control technology performance, such as source tests.1 In addition, it is now expanded to compile T-BACT determinations.

        B. Hardcopy and Electronic Data Availability

        Historically, information on BACT and LAER determinations in the clearinghouse has been provided through the issuance of quarterly summaries, which were sequentially added to a chronological listing of determinations. Since the use of a chronological listing is sometimes awkward and of limited usefulness, the CAPCOA Engineering Managers Committee suggested that an alternative format for determinations be provided based on stationary source category. This document, and more specifically the tables in Section XIV, was originally prepared in response to that and other related suggestions.

        Traditionally, BACT and LAER determinations have applied to larger sources. However, changes pursuant to the California Clean Air Act of 1988 have reduced the level of emissions required to trigger BACT requirements. As a result, information on BACT and LAER is now needed for both small and large sources. Unfortunately, many small sources are permitted much more frequently than larger sources. As a result, we did not believe requesting documentation from districts for small sources on individual determination forms would be efficient. Instead, we have asked several of the larger districts to submit generic information on small- source BACT directly for given small-source categories.2 This information is now published on the small- source BACT tables contained in Section XIII of this document. BACT determinations for larger sources are still handled on an application-by-application basis and segregated into source categories, although the categories used for the two sets of tables may be congruent.

        A recent addition to the clearinghouse is online access to the electronic database. One can reach this database on the world wide web at http://www.arb.ca.gov/ under "Search Programs/Topics." This is a searchable database which we expect to improve upon as time proceeds. The record display is similar to that found in the tables of this document. In the future, we expect that one will be able to conduct custom searches of a more flexible form of the database. There will also be modifications to allow direct electronic submittal of information to the clearinghouse.

        C. Other Information

        In addition to information provided in the previous edition of this publication, this new edition has an expanded discussion on the structure of the California stationary source control program. This discussion augments information on control technology requirements for proposed new or modified units in California.

        Finally, listings of district permitting contacts plus definitions of BACT and LAER have been revised so as to be current. Along with current definitions, historic definitions have been retained. Hopefully, this information will be useful in precisely assessing the BACT requirements at the time of each determination, no matter how old the determination.


1. Currently, one may submit such data to the BACT clearinghouse on the BACT implementation form. Once received, such data can be included in the BACT tables.

2. The South Coast was not among these districts since it publishes a very complete volume that is available for purchase from the district.


Best Available Control Technology (BACT) Clearinghouse Program