Industry Still Critical of EPA Boiler Rule despite Concessions

Date: October 22, 2010

Source: News Room

The American Chemistry Council (ACC) says that EPA's concessions to soften its proposed air toxics rule for boilers does not go far enough. ACC sent a letter to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson on Oct. 8 saying that despite agency plans to amend its boiler maximum achievable control technology (MACT) standard, the final rule would still be far too strict and costly. In a Sep. 28 letter to concerned senators, Jackson proposed adopting an industry preferred method for "subcategorizing" boilers to set a varying air toxics standard depending on the type of boiler. ACC wants EPA to soften the so-called MACT "floors," which set emissions limits for various subcategories of boilers. "We strongly believe further changes are needed to protect domestic manufacturers and the approximately 60,000 chemical industry jobs that are at stake," wrote Cal Dooley, president and CEO of ACC in the letter. "The floor analysis . . . should be re-examined . . . to ensure that the finalrule is based on the best available science." Dooley also writes that "the proposed emission limits for liquid- and gas-fired boilers are far beyond what is required to ensure hazardous air pollutant emissions are minimized." For boilers burning natural and refinery fuel gases, ACC says work practices should be used instead of emissions controls, because these are inherently clean fuels with very low air toxics content. EPA is under court order to finalize the boiler MACT by a deadline of Jan.16, after winning a one-month extension of a previous Dec. 16 deadline for the rule.

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