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Regulatory Update: The EPA Has Delayed the Effective Dates for New Boiler MACT Rules

May 20, 2011

Air Toxics Standards for Industrial, Commercial, and Institutional Boilers at Major and Area Source Facilities

The EPA issued the final Major Source and Area Source Boiler MACT Rules on March  21, 2011. The purpose of the Rules, whose effective dates were established as May 20, 2011, was to reduce emissions of toxic air pollutants from new and existing industrial, commercial, and institutional boilers and process heaters at major source and area source facilities. A major source facility emits or has the potential to emit 10 or more tons per year (tpy) of any single air toxic or 25 tpy or more of  any combination of air toxics. An area source is a facility that is not a major source facility.

The Rules established emission standards and work practice standards for boilers and process heaters in different subcategories based on their design, fuel fired, and/or use. Existing facilities with affected sources were required to achieve compliance with the Rules by March 21, 2014.

When the Rules were issued, the EPA also published a notice that the agency was in the process of developing a notice proposing reconsideration of certain aspects of the Rules to address issues on which the EPA believed further opportunity for public comment was appropriate. The reconsideration would also address provisions of the Rules which the EPA believed warranted modification after further consideration of additional data and the public comments received. The EPA has also received petitions for judicial review of the Rules from a coalition of industry groups.

The EPA issued a notice in the Federal Register on May 18, 2011 that it is delaying the effective dates of the Rules until the proceedings for judicial review are completed or the EPA completes its reconsideration of the Rules, whichever is earlier. The EPA has requested that any additional data or information regarding the Rules be submitted by July 15, 2011 for consideration.

It is still to be determined when the EPA will reissue the Boiler MACT Rules and the extent that they will be modified from their current form. Owners and operators of affected facilities should track developments on the Boiler MACT Rules to be prepared to address compliance. Many existing boilers and process heaters will not meet the Boiler MACT emission limitations without fuel switching or additional add-on controls. ESS can help assess existing equipment for Boiler MACT compliance and make recommendations for achieving compliance with the Rules.

For More Information

Please contact Mike Feinblatt at (781) 431-0500 for more information on the Boiler MACT Rules or for any of your other environmental compliance needs. You can also visit the ESS website at www.essgroup.com for more information on ESS Industrial Permitting & Compliance Services.