Friday, June 24, 2011

EPA Sets Schedule For Boiler MACT & Solid Waste incinerator Rules

Jun 24: As part of a filing with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit, U.S. EPA has set a schedule for issuing updated air toxics standards for boilers and certain solid waste incinerators. To ensure that the Agency's standards are based on the best available data and the public is given ample opportunity to provide additional input and information, the Agency will propose standards to be reconsidered by the end of October 2011 and issue final standards by the end of April 2012. This is the best approach to put in place technically and legally sound standards that will bring significant health benefits to the American public.

    Following the April 2010 proposals, the Agency received more than 4,800 comments from businesses and communities, including a significant amount of information that industry had not provided prior to the proposals. Based on this input, the Agency made extensive revisions that resulted in dramatic cuts in the cost of implementation, while maintaining maximum public health benefits. Because the final standards significantly differ from the proposal, however, EPA believed further public review was required and announced it would reconsider the standards.

    After the final standards were issued, multiple industry groups petitioned the Agency to delay the effective date of standards for major source boilers and commercial and industrial solid waste incinerators. In May 2011, EPA announced it would stay the effective date of those standards [See WIMS 5/16/11]. EPA did not stay the effective date of the standards for boilers located at area sources of air toxic emissions.
    In its filing with the Appeals Court, EPA said, "Petitioners Sierra Club, et al., (collectively Sierra Club) oppose holding the case in abeyance for any period longer than three months. Sierra Club does not address the appropriateness of the Court adjudicating challenges to a rule that may soon be modified as the result of the reconsideration process. Rather, Sierra Club's Opposition is based on its concern that the litigation, and the effective date of the rule, will be indefinitely delayed. Sierra Club's concern is misplaced. EPA intends to complete its reconsideration process expeditiously. Specifically, EPA intends to sign a proposed rule by October 31, 2011, and to sign a final rule by April 30, 2012, less than one year from now. Given the potential waste of judicial resources in proceeding to review this rule when it may be modified in a short time the case should be held in abeyance pending completion of the reconsideration process."
    On June 22, responding to what they say are "urgent calls from job creators across a range of industries, bipartisan members of the U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce have introduced H.R.2250, the EPA Regulatory Relief Act of 2011. The proposal would direct EPA to develop achievable standards affecting non-utility boilers and incinerators and grants additional time for development of and compliance with the rules. The legislation would stay the boiler and incinerator rules and calls for EPA to repropose the rules within 15 months and extend compliance times from 3 to 5 years [See WIMS 6/22/11].
    Access a release from EPA (click here). Access the filing with the Appeals Court (click here). Access complete information and background on the issue (click here). [*Air]

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