In a release, EPA said "the standards will be significantly different than what EPA proposed in April 2010. The Agency believes these changes still deserve further public review and comment and expects to solicit further comment through a reconsideration of the rules." Through the reconsideration process, EPA intends to ensure that the rules will be practical to implement and will protect all Americans from dangerous pollutants such as mercury and soot, which can damage children's developing brains, aggravate asthma and cause heart attacks. The Agency is considering all other options for addressing these issues before the rules would become effective 60 days after publication in the Federal Register.
EPA received more than 4,800 comments and additional data during the public comment period for the rules. EPA said the information has shed new light on a number of key areas, including the scope and coverage of the rules and the way to categorize the various boiler types. Given the extensive comments, EPA filed a motion with the court asking for more time to fully evaluate all the comments and data and finalize the rules [See WIMS 12/7/10]. EPA was under a court order to issue the final rules on January 16, 2011, and was seeking in its motion to the court to extend the schedule to finalize the rules by April 13, 2012.
Sierra Club said that EPA's draft health safeguard for boilers and incinerators, proposed in June 2010 after a decade of delay, is expected to save nearly five thousand lives each year and prevent 3,000 heart attacks, 33,000 cases of aggravated asthma, and millions of acute respiratory problems. The benefits of the proposed health safeguard are projected to outweigh the costs by at least $14 billion every year. The safeguard could also result in the creation of up to 9,000 jobs as pollution controls and new technologies are installed, according to the National Association of Clean Air Agencies.
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