needs more time on boiler and incinerator rules
Under intensifying fire from industry, the
United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has asked
a federal court for more time to finalize its regulation of emissions
from boilers and solid waste incinerators.
The EPA said it asked the United States District
Court for the District of Columbia for permission to issue the
rules by April 2012.
Currently, it is under a court order to issue
the rules by next month. Recent analysis earlier this month by
the Department of Commerce (DOC) predicts job losses of 40,000
to 60,000 per year stemming from prohibitively high costs of
compliance with the rule as proposed. The DOC report said facility
closures and a decline in the international competitiveness of
United States goods would be responsible.
The boiler rule, which is intended to cut
emissions of mercury, soot and other pollutants that it says
are linked with developmental disabilities in children, asthma
and heart attacks, sets maximum achievable control technology
(MACT) requirements to reduce air toxics emissions from boilers
that are large enough to qualify as “major sources” of air toxics
as required under the Clean Air Act.
The boiler MACT proposal is part of a suite
of rules to control emissions from boilers, including an air
toxics rule for smaller “area” sources of emissions, an air toxics
rule for incinerators, and rule that defines solid waste to determine
whether sources are subject to boiler rules or more stringent
incinerator rules. Following complaints from members of Congress
as well as several industry groups, the EPA recently offered
concessions including “subcategorizing” boilers to a set of varying
air toxics standards depending on the type of boiler.