Federal Emissions Standards for Boilers/Solid Waste Incinerators

Most Recent Action

The EPA has issued its long-delayed rules imposing the first-ever limits on emissions for mercury, acid gases and fine particulate matter, or soot, from boilers and incinerators. Final Rules: AreaMajorCISWI.

 

Background

The Clean Air Act (CAA) requires the EPA to develop and adopt new source performance standards (NSPS) for solid waste incineration units including Commercial/Industrial Solid Waste Incinerators (CISWI). NSPS issued in 2000 required new and existing incinerators to control emissions of the following nine pollutants: hydrogen chloride, carbon monoxide, lead, cadmium, mercury, particulate matter, dioxins/furans, nitrogen oxides, and sulfur dioxide to levels that reflect the degree of emission reduction based on the maximum achievable control technology (MACT).

After promulgation of the final 2000 CISWI standards, the EPA received and granted a request for reconsideration, pursuant to section 307(d)(7)(B) of the CAA, related to the definition of “commercial and industrial solid waste incineration unit” and “commercial or industrial waste” in the EPA’s CISWI rulemaking. The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit also granted the EPA’s request for a voluntary remand of the 2000 rule. The remand allowed the agency to address concerns related to the EPA’s procedures for establishing MACT standards for CISWI units in light of the U.S. Court of Appeals’ decision in Cement Kiln Recycling Coalition v. EPA.

In 2005, the EPA proposed and finalized the CISWI definitions rule which revised the definition of “solid waste,” “commercial and industrial waste,” and “commercial and industrial waste incineration unit.”

In June 2007, a U.S. Court of Appeals struck down the EPA’s Definitions Rule, citing the Clean Air Act requirement that any facility burning solid waste be regulated as a waste combustor, not a boiler. The court ordered the EPA to propose a new CISWI Definitions Rule and Boiler MACT standards by April 29, 2010, and to complete final rules by January 16, 2011. Final rules were released on February 21, 2011.

At the same time final rules were issued, the EPA also announced it would “reconsider” certain aspects of the boiler and commercial/industrial solid waste incinerator (CISWI) rules in order to fully address technical issues raised during the comment period. On December 2, 2011, the EPA proposed amendments to the standards regulating the emissions of hazardous air pollutants (HAPs) from new and existing boilers and process heaters and major and area sources, as well as Commercial and Industrial Solid Waste Incinerators (CISWI). The EPA also proposed revisions to the Non-Hazardous Secondary Material (NHSM) Rule.

In December 2012, the EPA issued its revised final rules. (Final Rules: AreaMajorCISWI.)

These rules are being issued in conjunction with rules identifying non-hazardous materials that are solid waste.Approximately 200,000 units across the country will be impacted by the proposed rules.

This rule is part of a group of rules known as the EPA’s Regulatory Train Wreck.

 

Authority

Section 112 of the Clean Air Act (CAA) requires the EPA to set emissions standards for boilers and process heaters. Two different types of sources are covered by the CAA, major sources and area sources. Major sources emit 10 tons of any one toxic air pollutant or 25 tons of all toxic air pollutants each year. Emissions standards, based on the maximum achievable control technology (MACT), must be set for all toxic air pollutants emitted by major sources. Area sources are smaller and may be regulated based on less stringent generally available control technology (GACT), except for certain pollutants which must meet MACT standards.

Section 129 of the Clean Air Act requires the EPA to set emissions standards for nine pollutants (Cadmium, Carbon Monoxide, Dioxins/Furans, Hydrogen Chloride, Lead, Mercury, Oxides of Nitrogen, Particulate Matter, and Sulfur Dioxide) from incinerators, including Commercial/Industrial Solid Waste Incinerators (CISWI).

Natural Resources Defense Council v. EPA, 489 F.3d 1250, ordered the EPA to complete final rules by December 16, 2010.

 

Standards

Final

Overview Summary Fact Sheet, December 2012
Overview Technical Fact Sheet, December 2012
Adjustments from December 2011 Proposed Reconsideration, December 2012
Emission Reductions Remain Significant for Comparable Cost, December 2012

Final Revised Emissions Standards for Area Source Industrial, Commercial, and Institutional Boilers and Process Heaters

Final Emissions Standards – Area Source Boilers, December 2012
Fact Sheet – Area Source Boilers, December 2012

Final Revised Emissions Standards for Major Source Industrial, Commercial, and Institutional Boilers

Final Emissions Standards – Major Source Boilers, December 2012
Fact Sheet – Major Source Boilers, December 2012
Regulatory Impact Analysis for Major Source Boilers, December 2012

Final Revised Emissions Standards for Commercial/Industrial Solid Waste Incinerators

Final Emissions Standards for CISWI, December 2012
Fact Sheet for CISWI, December 2012
Regulatory Impact Analysis for CISWI, December 2012

Proposed

Proposed Emissions Standards for Area Source Industrial, Commercial, and Institutional Boilers and Process Heaters

Proposed Emissions Standards, December 23, 2011

Fact Sheet, December 2011

Final Rule (PDF), March 2011

Fact Sheet (PDF), March 2011

Proposed Emissions Standards for Major Source Industrial, Commercial, and Institutional Boilers

Proposed Emissions Standards, December 23, 2011

Fact Sheet, December 2011

Final Rule (PDF), March 2011

Fact Sheet (PDF), March 2011

Proposed Emissions Standards for Commercial/Industrial Solid Waste Incinerators

Proposed Emissions Standards, December 23, 2011

Fact Sheet, December 2011

Final Rule (PDF), March 2011

Fact Sheet (PDF), March 2011

Emissions Standards for Sewage Sludge Incinerators

Final Rule (PDF), March 2011

Fact Sheet (PDF), March 2011

 

Additional Information

No Action Assurance Letter, March 13, 2012

Letter to Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) from EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson making clear the EPA will not take actions to enforce the standards that the court reinstated, January 18, 2012

Reconsideration Fact Sheet, December 2011

Reconsideration Presentation, December 2011

Delay of Effective Date of Rules, May 18, 2011

Reconsideration Notice, February 21, 2011

Power Point presentation about the proposed rules, June 9, 2010

Press Release, April 30, 2010

The EPA’s Website

The Economic Impact of Proposed EPA Boiler/Process Heater MACT Rule on Industrial, Commercial, and Institutional Boiler and Process Heater Operators, IHS Global Insight for Council of Industrial Boiler Owners, August 2010

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