Environmental Law Alert - May 2010 - EPA Proposes New Boiler MACT Rule

Author:Mr Barnes & Thornburg LLP's Environmental Law Department
Profession:Barnes & Thornburg

Recently U.S. EPA has proposed a sweeping new rule that could impose stricter hazardous air pollutant emissions limitation and other requirement on operators of new and existing boilers and process heaters. The rule which was proposed in part to address a 2007 court order from the DC Circuit Court of Appeals, has three basic parts:

Creation of new emissions limitations and/or work practice standards for industrial, commercial, and institutional boilers and process heaters at "major" and "area" sources of hazardous air pollutants (HAPs). Major sources are those with emissions of 10 tons per year or more of any one HAP or 25 tons per year or more of a combination of HAPs. Area sources of HAPs are those source that fall below the Major source threshold. Institution of a new definition of solid waste which will render certain boilers "Commercial and Industrial Solid Waste Incinerators" (CISWI). establishment of stricter emissions limitation for HAPs on CISWIs in addition to new monitoring, testing, inspection and reporting requirements. Highlights of the proposed rule include:

Boilers and process heaters considered CISWIs are subject to different requirements than other boilers and process heaters under the rule. Small boilers and process heaters (those under 10mm BTU/hr capacity) and boilers and process heaters that use natural gas (or refinery gas) will be subject to work practice standards including periodic "tune-up" requirements instead of emissions limitations. In addition to new emissions limits, existing...

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