ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH AND SAFETY

ENVIRONMENTAL PROGRAMS

Greenhouse Gas Emissions:

In 2009 U.S. EPA issued the Mandatory Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Reporting Rule, which requires regulated entities to report on their annual greenhouse gas emissions when the annual emissions from regulated sources exceed 25,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalents (mt CO2e).  Annual emissions from  sources, regulated by the Mandatory GHG Reporting Rule, at Buffalo State for the most recent calendar year were calculated at approximately 14,874 mt CO2e, which is well below (at approximately 60%) EPA's reporting threshold.  More importantly, annual GHG emissions from BSC sources regulated by this EPA Rule have trended generally downward since 2004, with 2012 emissions at approximately 66% of the 2004 emission levels.  This decrease is attributed to a number of factors, including implementation of energy conservation  measures, changes in the type of fuel consumed, and overall milder weather conditions.         

Air Emissions Permit for Stationary Sources:            

Buffalo State holds a Title V - Air Emissions Permit  from the U.S. EPA and NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), which regulates emissions from stationary fuel combustion installations, including boiler heating systems and emergency electrical power generators located on campus. This permit includes monitoring, stack testing, maintenance and reporting requirements for stationary emission sources.

The main fuel combustion installations on the campus are located at the power plant (shown in photo) which provides steam for heating campus facilities. The steam is generated by natural gas and no. 6 oil fueled boilers. 

In a voluntary effort to further reduce emissions from campus stationary sources, the campus elected to file an application with the NYS DEC to change from a Title V permit to an Air State Facility permit in April 2012.  The Air State Facility permit will place additional operational restrictions to reduce maximum potential emissions from campus stationary sources through a regulatory enforceable "cap" on Greenhouse Gases and SOx parameters in addition to NOx, which is currently capped under the Title V permit. With the restrictions in place, the campus maximum potential emissions will be reduced to "minor" source  status from "major" (Title V) source status.

College and Contractor Diesel Vehicle Emissions Control:

In July 2009, the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) issued regulations implementing the NYS Diesel Emissions Reduction Act to improve air quality by reducing emissions from regulated diesel vehicles.  These regulations specifically apply to NYS agencies, including BSC and service contractors (including subcontractors), that perform work or provide services on behalf of the agency.   The regulation requires state agencies and contractors to take additional measures to reduce particulate and NOx emissions exhausted from certain diesel-fueled vehicles.  The requirements include options to modify the engine/exhaust system, retire the vehicle, replace the vehicle with a newer model engine compliant with EPA's 2007 emission standards, or obtain a  waiver from NYS DEC if no retrofit technology is available.  All regulated vehicles must comply with one of these options.  Some examples of vehicles potentially regulated by this new rule include diesel buses and trucks.   Ultimate determination of whether the vehicle is subject to this new rule requires identification and review of the vehicle specifications (type, model year, engine horsepower, GVWR, engine family, etc) and the function of the vehicle.  In general package delivery services (Fed-Ex etc) and snow plows are exempt.

For the exhaust control modification option, called BART (Best Available Retrofit Technology), the regulation requires agencies and their contractors to retrofit the vehicle exhaust/engines with the highest exhaust emission control classification device available, within cost criteria, and approved by U.S. EPA or California Air Resource Board to ensure the modified emissions meet EPA’s NOx and 2007 particulate emission standards.  The retrofit technology varies but generally includes specialized filtration or oxidation catalytic reactor devices.  Buffalo State has installed emission control retrofits on its regulated diesel vehicles. Click here for the story.

In addition to retrofits/ replacements/ retirements,  the regulation requires  labeling of vehicles with installed retrofits, use of Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel in diesel vehicles, and recordkeeping, .  It also requires Buffalo State to report on the status of its retrofit program and contractors/subcontractors vehicles used in providing services for the campus.  College employees, who arrange/procure contract services that may involve use of diesel vehicles in the rendering of these services for the college, are advised to contact the Environmental Health and Safety Office at (716) 878-6136 for assistance to ensure the emission reduction and reporting obligations by the college to the NYS DEC are fulfilled and impacts to the employee's activity/project are minimized.   Annual reports prepared by contractors must be submitted to the EH&S Office, Clinton Center Room 209 no later than October 1st for the pevious calendar year services rendered.

Outdoor Air Quality Conditions:

The US EPA, in cooperation with several other US and state agencies has launched Airnow, a website showing current and forecasted air quality index maps.  To view the air quality index maps for the Buffalo region, click here.