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EPA Will Hold Hearings on Emissions Rules; Industry Says Too Strict

Date: June 2, 2010

Source: News Room

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said it will hold public hearings this month on its proposals to cut mercury emissions and reduce other toxic air pollutants from industrial and institutional boilers, process heaters and solid waste incinerators. Even before the announcement however, industry has been raising concerns over the complexity of the proposed rules, including redefining what qualifies as "waste" for triggering those rules, stringency of the proposed emission limits, the lack of existing technology to meet those limits, and the tight court-ordered deadline for issuing the rules. It is likely that industry will ask for more time to comment on EPA's April 30 proposal to broaden the definition of "non-hazardous waste" under the Resource Conservation & Recovery Act (RCRA), a key question in determining which facilities burning materials would fall under a strict maximum achievable control technology (MACT) standard for incinerators, which burn waste, rather than a less stringent proposal to limit air toxics from boilers, which burn secondary materials.

EPA PRESS RELEASE:

EPA To Hold Three Public Hearings on Rules Cutting Toxic Emissions from Boilers, Solid Waste Incinerators

  • Agency also extends comment period

June 7, 2010 - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will hold three public hearings in June on proposals cutting mercury emissions in half and significantly reducing other toxic air pollutants from industrial and institutional boilers, process heaters and solid waste incinerators. These toxics are known or suspected to cause cancer or other serious health problems. The agency will also take comment at the hearings on a proposal to identify which non-hazardous secondary materials would be considered solid waste and which would be considered fuel. Secondary materials are those that are not the primary product of a manufacturing or commercial process and include consumer and industrial materials that are no longer used for their original purpose, such as scrap tires, used oil, wood, coal refuse, and construction and demolition debris.

Each hearing will begin at 9 a.m. and continue until 8 p.m., local time or later if necessary. The public may preregister to speak at the hearings at a specific time. People also may register in person on the day of the hearing, but may not be given a specific time slot to speak:

June 15: Arlington, Va.
Crystal City Marriott
1999 Jefferson Davis Hwy
Arlington, Va.
Preregistration deadline 5 p.m., June 11

June 22: Houston
Hilton Houston Hobby Airport
8181 Airport Blvd.
Houston
Preregistration deadline: 5 p.m., June 18

June 22: Los Angeles
Sheraton Los Angeles Downtown Hotel
711 South Hope Street
Los Angeles
Preregistration deadline: 5 p.m., June 18

To preregister to speak at the hearings, please contact Teresa Clemons at clemons.teresa@epa.gov, or 919-541-0252.

EPA also is extending the deadline for written comments on the proposed rules until Aug. 3, 2010.

More information: www.epa.gov/airquality/combustion.

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