40 CFR 63.1272 - Affirmative defense for violations of emission standards during malfunction.
(a) The provisions set forth in this subpart shall apply at all times.
(d) In response to an action to enforce the standards set forth in this subpart, you may assert an affirmative defense to a claim for civil penalties for violations of such standards that are caused by malfunction, as defined at § 63.2. Appropriate penalties may be assessed; however, if you fail to meet your burden of proving all of the requirements in the affirmative defense, the affirmative defense shall not be available for claims for injunctive relief.
(1) To establish the affirmative defense in any action to enforce such a standard, you must timely meet the reporting requirements in paragraph (d)(2) of this section, and must prove by a preponderance of evidence that:
(i) The violation:
(B) Could not have been prevented through careful planning, proper design or better operation and maintenance practices; and
(C) Did not stem from any activity or event that could have been foreseen and avoided, or planned for; and
(D) Was not part of a recurring pattern indicative of inadequate design, operation, or maintenance; and
(iii) The frequency, amount and duration of the violation (including any bypass) were minimized to the maximum extent practicable; and
(iv) If the violation resulted from a bypass of control equipment or a process, then the bypass was unavoidable to prevent loss of life, personal injury, or severe property damage; and
(v) All possible steps were taken to minimize the impact of the violation on ambient air quality, the environment, and human health; and
(vii) All of the actions in response to the violation were documented by properly signed, contemporaneous operating logs; and
(viii) At all times, the affected source was operated in a manner consistent with good practices for minimizing emissions; and
(ix) A written root cause analysis has been prepared, the purpose of which is to determine, correct, and eliminate the primary causes of the malfunction and the violation resulting from the malfunction event at issue. The analysis shall also specify, using best monitoring methods and engineering judgment, the amount of any emissions that were the result of the malfunction.
(2)Report. The owner or operator seeking to assert an affirmative defense shall submit a written report to the Administrator with all necessary supporting documentation, that it has met the requirements set forth in paragraph (d)(1) of this section. This affirmative defense report shall be included in the first periodic compliance, deviation report or excess emission report otherwise required after the initial occurrence of the violation of the relevant standard (which may be the end of any applicable averaging period). If such compliance, deviation report or excess emission report is due less than 45 days after the initial occurrence of the violation, the affirmative defense report may be included in the second compliance, deviation report or excess emission report due after the initial occurrence of the violation of the relevant standard.