Wastewater Industry May Have to Spend Millions if EPA Applies MACT Standards

Date: February 11, 2008

Source: News Room

The wastewater treatment industry could face millions in additional compliance costs if the EPA, which is said to be revisiting Clean Air Act (CAA) regulations for biosolids incinerators, decides to apply the maximum achievable control technology (MACT) standard, under CAA section 129, to them. The EPA is moving in response to a court ruling last year which overturned less stringent air rules for industrial solid waste incinerators. However, the National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA), which represents the wastewater sector, argues that biosolids burned in the incinerators pose significantly less risk than emissions from medical waste or industrial burners. Nearly 20 percent of wastewater treatment plants have a biosolids burner, and upgrading burners to meet a MACT standard could cost each plant millions to achieve. That would likely result in the closure of a number of plants which would necessitate the diversion of the biosolids otherwise burned to landfills.

The US EPA, Maximum Achievable Control Technology (MACT) Standards: www.epa.gov/combustion.

National Association of Clean Water Agencies: www.nacwa.org.

Sign up to receive our free Weekly News Bulletin