December 07, 2011

EPA Releases Boiler MACT reconsiderations

On December 2, 2011, EPA proposed reconsidered standards for toxic air pollutants from boilers at major and area sources and certain solid waste incinerators. These reconsiderations are a part of the originally issued standards from March 2011. There will be a 60-day comment period and the opportunity for a public hearing on the proposed reconsiderations. The target to finalize the reconsideration is Spring of 2012.

Proposed changes: Boilers and Process Heaters at Major Sources

  • Create new subcategories for light and heavy industrial liquids to reflect design differences in the boilers that burn these fuels, in order to improve the achievability of the standard
  • Set new emission limits for PM that are different for each solid fuel subcategory, to better reflect real-world operating conditions
  • Set new emissions limits for carbon monoxide based on newly submitted data that shows CO emissions from boilers vary greatly. EPA is proposing to set new limits to more adequately capture that variability
  • Allow an alternative total selective metals emissions limit to regulate air toxics, allowing more flexibility and decreasing compliance costs.
  • Replace numeric dioxin emissions limits with work practice standards based on a robust analysis that shows dioxin emissions are below levels that can be accurately detected.
  • Increase flexibility in compliance monitoring to remove CEM requirements for particle pollution for biomass units and to propose a CO standard that is based on either stack testing or continuous monitoring.
  • Revise emissions limits for units located outside the continental United States to better reflect the unique operating conditions associated with these units.
  • Continue to allow units burning clean gases to qualify for work practice standards instead of numeric emissions limits, maintaining flexibility and achievability.

The Boiler MACT is a large ruling that could have lasting effects on how many facilities operate.  If you have any questions regarding the ruling or its implications towards your facility, don't hesitate to contact ESS at any time.

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