September 30, 2010

Standards of Performance for New Stationary Sources and Emission Guidelines for Existing Sources: Sewage Sludge Incineration Un


  • On September 30, 2010, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed new source performance standards (NSPS) and emission guidelines (EG) for new and existing sewage sludge incineration (SSI) units. The proposal would reduce emissions of air toxics and several of the common pollutants called criteria pollutants.
  • A SSI unit is an incinerator or combustion device that is used to burn dewatered sewage sludge. SSI units are typically located at wastewater treatment facilities.
  • The types of incinerators subject to the proposed standards are Multiple Hearth (MH) and Fluidized Bed (FB) Incinerators.
  • Units incinerating sewage sludge at other types of facilities (e.g. commercial, industrial, and institutional) will be covered under different air pollution incineration standards.
  • The proposed rules would establish opacity limits and emission limits for nine pollutants emitted from the regulated SSI units.
    • mercury
    • lead
    • cadmium
    • hydrogen chloride
    • particulate matter
    • carbon monoxide
    • dioxins/furans
    • nitrogen oxides, and
    • sulfur dioxide
  • The proposed rules would reduce emissions of these pollutants by an estimated 6,330 tons per year (tpy)
  • SSI units are the sixth highest emitting source of mercury in the country. This proposed rule would reduce emissions of mercury from sewage sludge incinerators by 76%.
  • The proposed standards may require approximately 196 of 218 SSI units to install one or more air pollution control devices including: activated carbon injection, fabric filters, or high efficiency scrubbers.
  • The proposal also requires provisions for testing, monitoring, recordkeeping, reporting and operator training.
  • Comments may be submitted on this action for 30 days following publication of the proposed rule in the Federal Register.

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