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Proposed Rules and Standards Affecting Air Emissions

June 7th, 2010

Proposed Rules and Standards Affecting Air EmissionsOn April 29, 2010, the EPA announced two proposed air toxics standards: (1) an amendment to emission guidelines and new source performance standards, and (2) proposed new rules to clearly define and identify solid and non-solid, non-hazardous secondary materials.

The two air toxic standards will affect emissions from industrial, commercial, and institutional boilers and process heaters. One is written for major source facilities, which are those that emit or have the potential to emit 10 or more tons per year of any single air toxin or over 25 tons per year of any combination of air toxins. The second is for area source facilities that emit less than 10 tons per years of a single air toxin or less than 25 tons of any combination.

For major source facilities, the EPA has identified 11 types of boilers and process heaters, based on their design and the rules that will apply to each type. For area source facilities, the regulations will also depend on the type of boiler, determined by the fuel they burn and whether the boiler is large or small based on input heat capacity.

The proposed amendment sets rules for new and existing commercial and industrial solid waste incinerators and small remote incinerators but not municipal incinerators that are covered by other regulations. These rules cover not only incinerators, but also energy recovery units, waste burning kilns, and burn-off ovens.

The last set of proposed rules contains those defining which non-hazardous secondary materials are considered solid waste and which are not. This designation will determine what regulations will be used to govern emissions from these materials when burned in combustion units. For all those that are solid wastes, RCRA rules will apply, specifically those under section 129 of the Clean Air Act (CAA). The non-solid wastes will be subject to the emissions rules under section 112 of the CAA.

The EPA is accepting comments on these documents at where there is also additional information.

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