Deja Vu All Over Again? U.S. EPA Announces Boiler MACT Limited Reconsideration
Posted: August 16th, 2013Author: All4 Staff
At ALL4, most of our clients are impacted by at least one (1) of the Boiler MACT rules. While a good portion of these clients have begun developing their compliance strategies for these rules with looming compliance dates that will be here before we know it, there have been a small percentage of clients that have delayed their compliance planning because of what some might say is the boy who cried wolf syndrome. Boiler MACT regulations have existed for several years in various forms and these clients have been burned in the past by installing air pollution control devices and undergoing extensive permitting projects to comply with Boiler MACT and its various incarnations. Now, quite understandably, they have been hesitant to prepare for the latest versions of these rules because they are expecting that litigation will once again result in the delaying or overturning of the rules.
On August 6, 2013, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) announced that it will begin a limited (for now) reconsideration of certain monitoring requirements, emission limits, and other provisions in the two (2) Boiler MACT rules and the Commercial and Industrial Solids Waste Incinerators (CISWI) rule that we have all become so familiar with in 2013. So, is what happened on August 6, 2013 really the beginning of wholesale changes or just a small blip in the journey? Time will tell, and while I don’t think the rules will go away entirely, it is prudent to maintain awareness of the actions taken by U.S. EPA as they are announced since they could impact evolving compliance strategies. So without further ado, the following summarizes the proposed elements for reconsideration under Major and Area Source Boiler MACT and the CISWI Rule.
For Major Source Boiler MACT, U.S. EPA will reconsider how startup and shutdown periods are defined, as well as the requirements associated during such periods; a revised emission limit for carbon monoxide based on a minimum level of 130 parts per million; and the role of continuous parametric monitoring systems in the rule.
For Area Source Boiler MACT, U.S. EPA similarly will reconsider the startup and shutdown definitions; alternative particulate matter (PM) standards for new oil-fired boilers that burn low-sulfur fuel; the potential to establish a subcategory for “limited-use boilers;” potentially eliminating PM performance testing for units that emit PM at less than half the applicable limit; and the possibility to eliminate fuel sampling for coal-fired boilers based on an initial compliance demonstration.
Finally, for CISWI, U.S. EPA will reconsider the definition of continuous emissions monitoring systems (CEMS) data during startup and shutdown periods, and the PM limit for the waste-burning kiln subcategory.
While none of these reconsiderations would be considered major revisions to the rule, the reconsideration process itself is the newsmaker here. After a proposed format and schedule for briefing are submitted in late September 2013, an update to the reconsideration process should become available so be sure to check back with us frequently for updates.