EPA Postpones Boiler MACT Rules amid Industry Complaints

Date: May 16, 2011

Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

The EPA announced that it will delay a suite of new rules requiring boilers and industrial and commercial incinerators to implement maximum achievable control technology (MACT) standards to reduce emissions of hazardous air pollutants (HAPs). The so-called "Boiler MACT" rules were published on March 21, with an effective date of May 20 and compliance deadlines beginning in three years, but EPA has now agreed to stay the rules pending reconsideration of their impact on industry and further examination of more that 4,800 comments received since the rules were proposed in April 2010. Last month, a coalition of manufacturing organizations filed a petition claiming that many affected facilities would not be able to achieve the new standards and would likely be forced to shut down, causing significant economic harm. Among the many industry concerns are those from the Council of Industrial Boiler Owners which said the proposed rule would cost the industry $20 billion and as many as 300,000 jobs. In a statement, EPA said it is "reconsidering the standards because the public did not have sufficient opportunity to comment on these changes, and, as a result, further public review and feedback is needed."

May 16, 2011

EPA Announces Next Step on Air Toxics Standards for Boilers and Certain Incinerators/ Agency allows time to seek and review additional public input on new standards

WASHINGTON As previously announced, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is seeking additional public feedback and gathering more information on the final standards for boilers and certain solid waste incinerators that were issued in February 2011. These additional opportunities for public input will ensure that any final standard will be informed by input and feedback from key stakeholders, including the public, industry, and public health communities.

Input through the public comment process already resulted in dramatic cuts in the cost of implementation, while maintaining maximum public health benefits, under the rule announced in February. As part of the reconsideration process, EPA will issue a stay postponing the effective date of the standards for major source boilers and commercial and industrial solid waste incinerators to allow the agency to continue to seek additional public comment before an updated rule is proposed. This process of careful consideration of public comments, and close attention to both costs and benefits, is consistent with the president's directives with respect to regulation, as set out in executive order 13563, issued on January 18.

Following the April 2010 proposals, the agency received more than 4,800 comments from businesses and communities, including a significant amount of information that industry had not provided prior to the proposals. Based on this input, EPA made extensive revisions to the standards, and in December 2010 requested additional time for review to ensure the public's input was fully addressed. The court only granted EPA 30 days, resulting in the February 2011 final rules. The agency is reconsidering the standards because the public did not have sufficient opportunity to comment on these changes, and, as a result, further public review and feedback is needed.

EPA will accept additional data and information on these standards until July 15, 2011.

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

Contact Information: Enesta Jones (News Media Only), jones.enesta@epa.gov, 202-564-7873, 202-564-4355

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