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Minimum Cost Air Pollution Control for Cotton Gins

Shawn Flannigan, Calvin B. Parnell, Jr. and Bryan W. Shaw


With the implementation of the 1990 Federal Clean Air Act Amendments (FCAA, 1990), State Air Pollution Regulatory Agencies (SAPRA's) are regulating agricultural operations across the U.S. more vigorously. Some of these agricultural operations experiencing the increased level of scrutiny are grain elevators, confined animal feeding operations (CAFO's), cattle feedlots, and cotton gins. Cotton gins across the cotton belt emit particulate matter as a consequence of pneumatic conveying systems used to convey seed cotton, seed and gin trash. Particulate matter (PM) less than 10 (EPA, 1987) and 2.5 micrometers (EPA, 1997), referred to as PM10 and PM2.5 are regulated pollutants with corresponding National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS). Some cotton gins are having to obtain operating permits from their respective SAPRA for the first time. Other gins are being forced by SAPRAs to reduce their PM emission rates in order to comply with lower allowable emission rates (AER). Some are in the dilemma of choosing the appropriate air pollution abatement equipment that will allow them to comply with SAPRA regulations. Each SAPRA is approaching the regulation of air pollution associated with cotton gins differently. The amount of money that a cotton gin has to invest in air pollution control, in order to achieve compliance with air pollution regulations, reduces the profit margin of the ginning operation. Presently, the number of viable operating gins in the U.S. has declined and the imposition of expensive controls to comply with SAPRA rules and regulations may continue or accelerate this trend. The goal of this research is to develop procedures that can be used by the ginning community across the cotton belt to comply with SAPRA rules and regulations while minimizing the cost of compliance.

Reprinted from Proceedings of the 1998 Beltwide Cotton Conferences pp. 1674 - 1687
©National Cotton Council, Memphis TN

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Document last modified Sunday, Dec 6 1998