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Industry Groups Petition EPA to Postpone Boiler Rules, Legal Actions Considered

Date: April 29, 2011

Source: News Room

A group of industry trade associations is asking EPA to immediately and indefinitely postpone the May 20 effective date for the agency's contested emissions rules for industrial boilers and incinerators, while many of the groups consider various legal and administrative challenges to aspects of the rules. In an April 27 petition, 19 industry groups cite "significant, irreparable harm" that would result from immediate enforcement of the rules without further modification or time for industry to make adjustments. Under a court-ordered deadline EPA in February released the rules, as well as a waste-definition rule determining which facilities would be subject to the strict incinerator rules or the less stringent boiler air toxics rules. The agency had asked the court for an eighteen month extension to study a torrent of public comments and address industry concerns that the rules as first proposed in June 2010 would be largely unachievable. Industry submitted a massive amount of data that the agency said warranted the extra time in order to revise several provisions in the rule, but the request was denied and EPA issued the rules earlier this year.

According to the petition, "there is substantial uncertainty as to the applicability of the final rules (especially as to the fundamental question of what is a 'fuel' versus what is a 'waste'), key elements of the final rules are not supported by the underlying data, and several of the emissions standards are so stringent that companies predict that no viable means of complying with them will be devised."

The stay request also includes detailed information on the adverse impacts the rules could have on a number of industrial sectors, including the production of sugar, steel, chemicals; biomass power products; and operators of coke oven gas-fired boilers, and specific companies. The coalition estimates the cost of a maximum achievable control technology standard to cut air toxics from boilers could be more than $14 billion for affected industrial sectors.


PRESS RELEASE
April 27, 2011

AF&PA Statement on Broad Coalition Request for EPA to Stay Boiler MACT and CISWI Rules

American Forest & Paper Association President and CEO Donna Harman today issued the following statement regarding the AF&PA- led coalition request to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to stay the Boiler MACT and Commercial Industrial Solid Waste Incinerator (CISWI) rules.

"Today, we are collectively filing a petition with the EPA to stay the Boiler MACT and CISWI rules while issues with the rules are addressed. Without a stay, the rules published in the Federal Register on March 21 are set to become effective next month. EPA already has announced it plans to reconsider major parts of the rules. While it is apparent that extensive changes are still needed to the rules, businesses cannot plan effectively in the face of this uncertainty.

"The Boiler MACT and CISWI rules are interrelated, and businesses need adequate lead-time to prepare once the rules are indeed finalized. A stay is a necessary first step to ensure that resources are spent where they will ultimately be needed to make the greatest difference and that companies will not lose compliance time during the continuing rulemaking.

"Within our request are detailed accounts from forest product companies showing the serious harm that would occur should any part of the three-year implementation period be taken up by EPA's reconsideration. Not only could hundreds of millions of dollars be wasted designing a compliance plan for a rule that become obsolete, but precious compliance time could also be lost if the rule is not stayed.

"EPA has the authority to stay these rules, and we are asking it to exercise that authority. Our current capital cost estimate for the forest products industry exceeds $4 billion, and as our technical experts delve deeper, their concerns about achievability and cost are growing. We anticipate that the capital cost for all industrial sectors from Boiler MACT alone to be over $14 billion, plus billions more in annual operating costs.

"We will continue to work with the Administration toward a more affordable and achievable set of Boiler MACT and CISWI rules."

Click here to view the petition: www.afandpa.org/temp/newsreleases/BoilerMACT-CISWIAdministrativeStayRequest4-27-11wAppx.pdf.

The American Forest & Paper Association is the national trade association of the forest products industry, representing pulp, paper, packaging and wood products manufacturers, and forest landowners. Our companies make products essential for everyday life from renewable and recyclable resources that sustain the environment. The forest products industry accounts for approximately 5 percent of the total U.S. manufacturing GDP. Industry companies produce about $175 billion in products annually and employ nearly 900,000 men and women, exceeding employment levels in the automotive, chemicals and plastics industries. The industry meets a payroll of approximately $50 billion annually and is among the top 10 manufacturing sector employers in 47 states. Visit AF&PA online at www.afandpa.org.

For More Information:
Chuck Fuqua
(202) 463-2466

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