EPA Delays Boiler and Incinerator Rules until November

Date: October 31, 2011

Source: News Room

The EPA has delayed until at least the end of November proposed changes to its boiler and incinerator emissions rules and related definition of solid waste rule while it continues to examine a torrent of data from industry, activists and states. The reconsideration is in answer to industry criticism that the final boiler air toxics rule and a related emissions standards for commercial and industrial solid waste incinerators (CISWI) as finalized in February are impossible to achieve. EPA stayed the rule to reconsider and examine additional industry data. At the same time, litigation over the rules is on hold in federal appeals court pending the outcome of EPA's review. The delay could extend past November since EPA has yet to submit its recommendations to the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) as required before issuing new or revised rules. OMB review can take up to 60 days.

Industry is urging EPA to adopt various changes in the revised boiler rule, including removing a continuous emission monitoring system (CEMS) requirement, allowing an alternative to the particulate matter (PM) emission limit, creating "sub-categories" of boilers subject to varying limits, and longer compliance periods for smaller "area source" boilers. For the CISWI rule, industry is pushing for sub-categorization of energy recovery units (ERUs) and also urging the agency to ease requirements for CO monitoring during periods of incinerator startup and shutdown. EPA has said it is considering revising its boiler dioxin emissions limits or replacing them with "work practice standards" in lieu of numeric emissions limits, while also revising sub-categories in the rules.

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