4 The record articles

Reading Material for the Holidays: U.S. EPA Finalizes 4 Rules

Posted: December 21st, 2012

Author: All4 Staff 

As rumored, U.S. EPA has released the final versions of the 4 Rules – the Maximum Achievable Control Technology (MACT) standards for Major and Area Source Boilers (Boiler MACT), Commercial and Industrial Solid Waste Incineration (CISWI), and Nonhazardous Secondary Materials (NHSM) rules.  Finalized just three days shy of a year since they were proposed, the much anticipated final rules will impact thousands of boilers, process heaters, incinerators, and kilns across the country.

Much like last year, we have our work cut out for us to get up to speed on the changes to the rules.  So whip up some hot chocolate (perhaps with some booze), grab a blanket, and get cozy next to the fire – there’s a lot of reading to be done!  Or you can enjoy the holidays and let us do it for you – keep an eye out for updates via our blog, 4 The Record newsletter, and social media (LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook) as we dive into the rules.

Can’t wait to find out what changed?  Here are a few initial takeaways about the final rules:

Major Source Boiler MACT Rule

  • The compliance date for existing major source boilers with numerical emission limits will be in early 2016 (3 years after publication of final rule).
  • A new subcategory was established for certain coal fluidized bed boilers.
  • Emission limits were revised for certain pollutants, including particulate matter (PM) for the coal/solid fossil fuel category, and total selected metals (TSM) for three liquid fuel categories.

Area Source Boiler MACT Rule

  • Initial notifications for existing area source boilers will be required by January 20, 2014.
  • Initial tune-ups for existing area source boilers will be required by March 21, 2014.
  • Various changes were made relating to dual-fired boilers, temporary boilers, seasonal boilers, and limited-used boilers.


  • The compliance date for existing CISWI units will be no later than early 2018 (within 3 years of U.S. EPA approval of a State Plan or 5 years after publication of the final rule).
  • Emission limits were revised for certain pollutants based on additional data.
  • Emission limits were established for coal and biomass energy recovery units (ERUs).


  • The legitimacy criterion for comparing contaminants between NHSM and traditional fuels was revised.
  • “Dewatered pulp and paper sludges” and “coal refuse” that meet certain criteria were determined to be non-waste fuels.
  • The petition process for non-waste determinations was revised.

If you do find yourself with some free time over the holidays, the pre-publication versions of the final rules can be found below:

Find something interesting?  Share it in the comments, and feel free to contact me with questions.


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