Environmental Protection

Emissions Standards for Boilers, Certain Incinerators Still Under Review

EPA says comments shed new light on key areas and that the agency plans to propose significantly different standards from what was proposed last year.

A federal District Court judge in Washington D.C. has given the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency 30 more days in which to issue emission standards for large and small boilers and solid waste and sewage sludge incinerators. An EPA press release said the agency is disappointed that the extension was not longer, but it will "work diligently" to meet the new deadline.

The standards will be significantly different from 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 these rules. This information 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.

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