EPA Boiler MACT Update

December, 2011 - EPA Releases Reconsideration Proposals for Air Toxic Standards for Industrial, Commercial and Institutional (ICI) Boilers and Process Heaters


EPA Proposes to Defer Boiler MACT Guidelines for 3 Years

March 11, 2011 - This proposed rule would defer, for a period of three years, greenhouse gas (GHG) permitting requirements for carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from biomass-fired and other biogenic sources. EPA is also making available a guidance document, Guidance for Determining Best Available Control Technology for Reducing Carbon Dioxide Emissions from Bioenergy Production, to assist facilities and permitting authorities with permitting decisions until the Proposed Rule is finalized.

A Public Hearing on this Proposed Rule was held in Washington, D.C. on April 5, 2011 on the Proposed Rule for Deferral of CO2 emissions from Bioenergy and Other Biogenic Sources under the Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) and Title V Programs has closed. A transcript of the public hearing and other comments are available here (enter "EPA Boiler MACT" in the Search window; then click "Posted Date" column header.)

April 27, 2011. American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) as part of a broad industry coalition, filed a Petition for Administrative Stay Pending Reconsideration of the National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants for Major Sources: Industrial, Commercial, and Institutional Boilers and Process Heaters (Boiler MACT) and the Standards of Performance for New Stationary Sources and Emission Guidelines for Existing Sources: Commercial and Industrial Solid Waste Incineration Units (CISWI) rules. The petition is available here.

May 9,2011. A similar coalition of industry groups including the American Forest & Paper Association, National Association of Manufacturers, and US Chamber of Commerce filed a petition with EPA asking the agency to reconsider rules that would reduce emissions from boilers and incinerators, arguing that the emissions limits are unobtainable and suggested that EPA set emissions standards based on total emissions of regulated pollutants from covered entities rather than a pollutant-by-pollutant basis currently under consideration. The petition is available here.

IDEA Member Response: May 20, 2011. Citizens Thermal (Ann McIver, IDEA Board Member) submitted petitions to EPA related to the limited use subcategory and support for the Penn State/Michigan State/Purdue University petition filed with EPA in April 2011. 

Aug. 23, 2010. IDEA submitted comments to EPA RE: National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants for Major Sources: Industrial, Commercial, and Institutional Boilers and Process Heaters 75 Fed. Reg. 32006. Overview of comments:

IDEA supports EPA's efforts to protect human health and the environment. However, the methodology and data used to set the standards are flawed, and the proposed standards are far more stringent than needed to assure protection of health and the environment. The proposed Boiler MACT rule sets unachievable standards and fails to provide reasonable compliance alternatives that would ease compliance with no corresponding increased risk to human health or the environment.

IDEA believes that EPA has overstepped its statutory authority in some parts of the proposed rule. Further, EPA has not used an adequate and representative set of data for establishing the limits, and has underestimated the costs of complying with the rules.

This rule, if promulgated as proposed, would result in a huge cost burden on IDEA's members, and thus the users of these systems, which include colleges, universities, cities and businesses throughout the country. It is far from clear that the resulting financial burden is less than the resulting benefits to health and the environment. EPA has the legal discretion and technical justification to substantially reduce the burden of the standard while still providing ample protection to health and the environment.

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