• EPA Proposes New Boiler MACT Rule
  • May 14, 2010 | Authors: Joel T. Bowers; Guinn P. Doyle; Timothy A. Haley; Christina M. Landgraf; Michael T. Scanlon; Anthony C. Sullivan
  • Law Firms: Barnes & Thornburg LLP - South Bend Office ; Barnes & Thornburg LLP - Indianapolis Office ; Barnes & Thornburg LLP - Chicago Office ; Barnes & Thornburg LLP - Indianapolis Office
  • 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 major source boilers (and certain area source boilers) will be required to conduct an energy assessment to identify energy conservation measures.
    • New sources will be subject to stricter emissions limitations than existing sources.
    • New emissions limitations for new and existing units at major sources will include mercury, dioxin, particulate matter (PM) (as a surrogate for non-mercury metals), hydrogen chloride (HCl) (as a surrogate for acid gases), and carbon monoxide (as a surrogate for non-dioxin organic air toxics).

    Because the 2007 DC Circuit Court of Appeals order that spurred the new proposed rule requires that a final rule be in place by Dec. 16, 2010, owners and operators of boilers and process heaters should expect that this proposed rule or a similar variation will become final before the end of the year.

    Text of the actual rule including specific emissions limitations and other requirements can be viewed at http://www.epa.gov/airquality/combustion/actions.html.