According to a release, the final adjustments to the standards are based on an extensive analysis of data and input from states, environmental groups, industry, lawmakers and the public. As a result of information gathered through this review, including significant dialogue and meetings with public health groups, industry, and the public, the final rule dramatically cuts the cost of implementation by individual boilers that EPA proposed in 2010. At the same time, these rules will continue to deliver significant public health benefits. EPA estimates that for every dollar spent to reduce these pollutants, the public will see $13 to $29 in health benefits, including fewer instances of asthma, heart attacks, as well as premature deaths.
The rules set numerical emission limits for less than one percent of boilers -- those that emit the majority of pollution from this sector. For these high emitting boilers and incinerators, typically operating at refineries, chemical plants and other industrial facilities, EPA is establishing more targeted emissions limits that protect public health and provide industry with practical, cost-effective options to meet the standards.
EPA also finalized revisions to the Non-Hazardous Secondary Materials (NHSM) Rule to provide clarity on what types of secondary materials are considered non-waste fuels and provide greater flexibility in rule implementation. This final rule classifies a number of secondary materials as categorical non-wastes when used as a fuel and allows for operators to request that EPA identify specific materials through rulemaking as a categorical non-waste fuel.
Particle pollution and other harmful pollutants released by boilers and incinerators can lead to adverse health effects including cancer, heart disease, aggravated asthma and premature death. In addition, toxic pollutants such as mercury and lead that will be reduced by this rule are linked to developmental disabilities in children. These standards will avoid up to 8,100 premature deaths, prevent 5,100 heart attacks and avert 52,000 asthma attacks per year in 2015.
In yet another, separate EPA action, to meet a court deadline, the Agency issued final amendments to the 2010 clean air standards for the cement manufacturing industry. EPA said the final amendments maintain the significant emission reductions from the 2010 standards, while providing industry additional time to implement the revised rules.
"For the second straight week, the EPA has finalized another costly and crippling regulation at a time when our economy is on the brink. Boiler MACT will not create jobs, and studies indicate it could cost manufacturers as much as $14 billion. Manufacturers are understandably growing more pessimistic about the direction of the economy. The end-of-year regulatory assault on businesses, combined with the uncertainty of the fiscal cliff, makes for one of the worst business environments in living memory.
"The NAM has weighed in with the EPA throughout this entire process to ensure the agency completely understood the damaging economic consequences of this regulation. We appreciate the EPA's efforts to engage with us and to modify the rule to make it more achievable. Unfortunately, this regulation remains far from being realistic. Currently, it is 20 percent more expensive to manufacture in the United States compared to our major trading partners, and Boiler MACT will only drive that differential higher. An improved version of a bad regulation is still a bad regulation.
"The EPA is taking the season of giving too far, as it has now issued three separate multibillion-dollar regulations in just the past seven days. The onslaught of regulations from the EPA means manufacturers will continue to see rising energy prices and skyrocketing compliance costs, which translate into few opportunities for growth and even fewer jobs. Any confidence manufacturers had that the EPA's next four years will be different is quickly eroding. We need a sensible approach to regulations and need the EPA to work with manufacturers to reduce the economic damage of overly aggressive regulations."