Industry Pursues Legislative Action despite EPA Softening of Boiler Air Rules

Date: December 9, 2011

Source: News Room

Industry and many Republicans continue to push for a legislative fix despite EPA's issuance of less stringent and more flexible boiler and incinerator air rules. Prospects for the legislative fix remain unclear, since President Obama has threatened a veto and as GOP Sens. Olympia Snowe (ME) and Susan Collins (ME), key sponsors of the bill to overhaul the air rules, say they now plan to review EPA's new proposed rules before proceeding further.

EPA Dec. 2 released its revised package of rules for boilers and incinerators, including national emission standards for hazardous air pollutants for major source boilers and area source boilers, new source performance standards for commercial and industrial solid waste incinerators (CISWI) and a non-hazardous secondary materials (NHSM) rule to determine whether facilities are subject to the boiler or CISWI rules based on the material burned in the unit. Changes include the removal of strict numeric limits on dioxins from boilers and offering more flexibility in meeting the standards.

Industry, states, environmentalists and others filed suits over the original versions of the rules released in March, with industry arguing that they were unachievable and based on faulty data. EPA stalled implementation of the rules and launched a rare self-initiated reconsideration in order to address several provisions criticized by industry.

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