EPA Asks Court to Stay Lawsuits While Boiler MACT is Reconsidered

Date: July 15, 2011

Source: News Room

The US EPA has asked a federal appeals court to stay a number of lawsuits over the agency's controversial air toxics rule for boilers pending EPA's reconsideration of several aspects of the rule that could alter or nullify many of the provisions at issue in the lawsuits. "Given EPA's ongoing review, with the concomitant possibility that the rule might be altered once the review is complete, EPA believes it appropriate to hold this litigation in abeyance while EPA completes its reconsideration process and its review of the administrative petitions for reconsideration," the agency says in a July 8 filing with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in the consolidated suit United States Sugar Corporation v. EPA.

EPA earlier this year issued its final boiler MACT as part of a rulemaking package that also included emissions standards for commercial and industrial solid waste incinerators (CISWI), a rule defining solid waste for determining whether facilities must meet the CISWI or MACT, and an air rule for sewage sludge incinerators. The rules prompted broad criticism from industry, lawmakers and others for imposing massive costs, setting overly stringent standards, having data flaws, and other alleged problems. Consequently, EPA launched an extended reconsideration process to examine several aspects of the MACT and CISWI to review contested provisions. EPA says in the filing that it intends to propose a revised boiler MACT by Oct. 31, 2011, with a final rule due in April 30, 2012.

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