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U.S. EPA seeks extra time for boiler emissions regs

Dec. 8, 2010, Washington, D.C. – U.S. federal regulators are seeking an extension on the current court-ordered deadline for setting maximum achievable control technology regulations for emissions from large and small boilers and industrial waste incinerators.


December 8, 2010
By Argus Media

Dec. 8, 2010, Washington, D.C. – U.S.
federal regulators are seeking an extension on the current court-ordered
deadline for setting maximum achievable control technology (MACT) regulations
for emissions from large and small boilers and industrial waste incinerators.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) filed a motion with the U.S.
District Court for the District of Columbia requesting an 18-month extension,
asking that the deadline for setting the standards be pushed to April 2012.
This would be in addition to the one-month extension already granted.

“After receiving additional data through
the extensive public comment period, EPA is requesting more time to develop
these important rules,” says 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.”

EPA has previously indicated that the draft
rules for commercial and industrial boilers and industrial waste incinerators,
known collectively as the boiler MACT rules, will have to be modified
significantly before they are finalized. The MACT proposal aims to set
technology standards to reduce emissions of five hazardous air pollutants from
industrial boilers: mercury, carbon monoxide, particulate matter, hydrogen
chloride, and dioxins. It would require industrial boilers; process heaters;
and coal, biomass, and residual oil heaters to install continuous emissions
control technology for carbon monoxide, particulate matter, or both, depending
on the facility's size.

Industry protested the draft rules
vigorously when they were released for public comment. The rules were based on
data from only nine coal boilers and two biomass boilers. The MACT standard, as
proposed, would require a boiler with an emissions profile that is nearly
impossible to obtain, industry representatives said in comments to the agency.
The Portland Cement Association, the American Forest & Paper Association,
the American Wood Council, and the Council of Industrial Boiler Owners say the
rules could prevent new sources from coming online and force some existing
boilers to close because of high compliance costs. Several industry
associations submitted additional data to EPA to show what they considered to
be best emissions control practices for boilers.

EPA administrator Lisa Jackson acknowledged
in a 28 September letter to U.S. senator Mary Landrieu (D-Louisiana) that new
data would have to be considered when the final rules are developed.

The boiler MACT is a technology-based
standard that takes the best 10–12% of boilers in the industry and holds them
up as examples of best practice.

Please visit ArgusMedia.com for more information.

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