NESHAPs for Area Sources Industrial, Commercial, and Institutional Boilers
EPA Reconsiders Final Rule
In December 2011, United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed reconsideration of 40 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 63, subpart JJJJJJ, National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants for Area Sources: Industrial, Commercial, and Institutional Boilers, also known as the Boiler MACT rule. The rule sets maximum achievable control technology (MACT) requirements for emissions of toxic air pollutants from industrial boilers located at area sources of hazardous air pollutants (HAPs). An area source emits, or has the potential to emit, less than 10 tons per year (tpy) of any single HAP or 25 tpy or more of any combination of HAPs. EPA established MACT based on the level of emissions control achieved by the best performing similar sources.
A brief outline of the progress of the Boiler MACT rule is listed below:
- Due to an order issued by United States District Court for the District of Columbia (D.C. District Court), on March 21, 2011, EPA promulgated the Industrial Boiler MACT for two area source categories: industrial boilers, and commercial and institutional boilers (76 Federal Register [FR] 15554) to become effective on May 20, 2011. See, Sierra Club v. Jackson, Civil Action No. 01-1537, 2011 WL 181097 (D.C. Cir. January 20, 2011).
- EPA also announced on March 21, 2011, its intent to convene a proceeding for reconsideration of certain portions of those final emissions standards. 76 FR 15249.
- On December 23, 2011, EPA published a proposed rule to reconsider specific elements and accepting public comment on those elements on or before February 21, 2012. 76 FR 80532. EPA is not requesting comment on any other provisions of the final rule.
What is EPA reconsidering in the December 2011 proposed rule?
- Area Source Boilers:
- Standards for biomass and oil-fired boilers for area source boilers.
- Particulate matter (PM) standards for oil-fired area source boilers.
- Applicability of Title V permitting requirements for area source boilers.
A summary of proposed changes for area sources can be found in a synopsis prepared by EPA at http://www.epa.gov/ttn/atw/boiler/proposed_changes_summary_120711.docx
One notable change is that all existing boilers subject to the tune-up requirement would have two years (by March 21, 2013) in which to demonstrate compliance instead of one year (by March 21, 2012).
Should my company implement the requirements of the December 2011 proposed rule?
It is important to remember that EPA’s limits and practices in the December 2011 proposed reconsideration of the rule are not final, and comments are being accepted until February 21, 2012. Depending on information that the EPA receives during the comment period, the requirements, and possibly emissions limits, of the final rule may be different than what is currently proposed. Currently, EPA plans to have the final rule published by April 2012; however, depending on the number of comments received and the scope of any revisions to the rule, the timeline may change.
EPA has indicated that if they have not taken final action on the initial compliance date for tune-ups prior to the date (March 21, 2012) for initial compliance, EPA under Clean Air Act section 307(d)(7)(B) will consider staying the effectiveness of the rule for 90 days to allow sufficient time to complete reconsideration.
Where can we find more information?
EPA announcements relating to Industrial, Commercial, Institutional Boilers and Process Heaters can be found at http://www.epa.gov/ttn/atw/boiler/boilerpg.html