The Illinois EPA has a proposal before the Illinois Pollution Control Board (IPCB) to sunset the Emission Reduction Market Program (ERMS) under 35 IAC 205. ERMS is an Illinois State Implementation Plan (SIP) approved program for the Chicago non-attainment area. It is a "cap and trade" program in which participating sources must hold "trading units" for their actual Volatile Organic Material (VOM) emissions. Each year sources are issued trading units (i.e., ATUs) which were established from historical VOM emissions. At the end of each ozone season (i.e., May 1 through September 30), sources must hold sufficient trading units to cover their actual VOM emissions during the season.

The Illinois EPA proposed the rule sunset on February 22, 2018 and held the second of two scheduled public hearings on June 12, 2018, where there was one objection to the proposed sunset date of the program, which is currently April 30, 2018. The Illinois EPA does not plan to "issue" ATUs for the 2018 ozone season. Further, the Illinois EPA holds that upon approval of regulation to sunset the ERMS program, sources are no longer required to comply with the program.

However, since ERMS is a SIP approved program, Illinois EPA is required to obtain approval from US EPA for the program sunset. Approval from US EPA is not likely to occur prior to the end of the 2018 ozone season (e.g., September 30, 2018). The Illinois EPA has recommended the following options for sources after the approval of the sunset of ERMS.

  • Applicable sources authorized under Clean Air Act Permit Program (CAAPP) permits can submit a minor modification requesting that the ERMS requirements be removed from their permit. Applicable sources authorized under Federally Enforceable State Operating Permits (FESOP) can also apply to have the ERMS requirements removed from their permit.
  • Sources holding CAAPP permits which still include the ERMS program can indicate in their Annual Compliance Certification report that the program was sunset.
  • Sources concerned with compliance obligations, can continue to prepare and submit the ERMS reports, as required in their permit. Note the Illinois EPA is not planning to issue or manage ATU trading for the 2018 ozone season.

Applicable CAAPP and FESOP sources required to comply with the ERMS program should keep informed of the pending rule making. Additional details can be found on the IPCB website.