- WEB EXCLUSIVE
- PE COFFEEHAUS
The EPA is asking the courts to give them more time to come up with a new, tougher control strategy for boiler and solid waste incinerators. The District Court for the District of Columbia, after knocking down a Bush-era proposed rule, gave the agency until Jan. 16, 2011 to come up with its replacement. The agency submitted a proposal in the Federal Register in June (pdf), but has been struggling to respond to almost 5,000 public comments on the rule. The agency would like to see that deadline extended to April 2012.
The current proposal would issue national emission standards for control of hazardous air pollutants from two area source categories: industrial boilers and commercial and institutional boilers. Emission standards for control of mercury emissions from coal-fired area source boilers and polycyclic organic matter emissions from all area source boilers would be based on the maximum achievable control technology (MACT). Mercury controls from other boilers, plus controls for additional hazardous air pollutants, would be based on generally available control technology or management practices. The rule also clarified that gas-fired area source boilers would not have to meet the 90-percent requirement of section 112(c)(3) of the Clean Air Act. Existing area source facilities with an affected boiler with a designed heat input capacity of 10 million Btu per hour or greater would need to undergo an energy assessment on the boiler system to identify cost-effective energy conservation measures.
"After receiving additional data through the extensive public comment period, EPA is requesting more time to develop these important rules," said Gina McCarthy, assistant administrator for EPA's Office of Air and Radiation. "We want to ensure these rules are practical to implement and protect all Americans from dangerous pollutants such as mercury and soot, which affect kids' development, aggravate asthma and cause heart attacks."
The key hang-up, according to the agency, was in how it categorizes various boiler types; industry representatives offered enlightening information to this regard, according to the EPA, and it's going to take some time to get its categories right for the over 200,000 boilers operation in the United States.
SOURCE: EPA press release.