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EPA Unveils Revised Air Pollution Rules for Boilers, Incinerators

Responding to industry concerns regarding draft regulations released in March, the Environmental Protection Agency has proposed revised air pollution regulations for industrial boilers and incinerators. The EPA said during a press conference on Friday that it believes the new draft regulations offer industry more flexibility.

One factor making a considerable difference is that under the new draft regs, only about one percent of the country’s boilers would be impacted. The vast majority of boilers are too small to regulate in the same fashion as large-scale commercial boilers and incinerators, and instead will be required to do annual maintenance to ensure the equipment is functioning properly and at optimal specifications.

The EPA maintains that regulations on the country’s top polluters is necessary, and that the “maximum achievable control technology” standards will offer major public health benefits, including the prevention of over 8,000 premature deaths and 5,100 heart attacks a year starting in 2015.

“With this action, EPA is applying the right standards to the right boilers,” Gina McCarthy, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation, said in a statement. “Gathering the latest and best real-world information is leading to practical, affordable air pollution safeguards that will provide the vital and overdue health protection that Americans deserve.”

From EPA’s statement: “EPA is proposing to create additional subcategories and revise emissions limits. EPA is also proposing to provide more flexible compliance options for meeting the particle pollution and carbon monoxide limits, replace numeric emissions limits with work practice standards for certain pollutants, allow more flexibility for units burning clean gases to qualify for work practice standards and reduce some monitoring requirements.”

Click here to review draft fact sheets and proposed regulations from EPA on Area and Major Source Industrial, Commercial, and Institutional Boilers, and Commercial/Industrial Solid Waste Incinerators.

EPA intends to finalize the reconsideration in spring 2012. EPA will accept comment on these proposed amendments for 60 days following publication in the Federal Register. Comments, identified by Docket ID Number:

  • EPA-HQ-OAR-2002-0058 (boiler major)
  • EPA-HQ-OAR-2008-0790 (boiler area)
  • EPAHQ-OAR-2003-0119 (CISWI)

Comments may be submitted by one of the following methods:

  • follow the on-line instructions for submitting comments
  • E-mail: Comments may be sent by email to
  • Fax: Fax your comments to: (202) 566-9744
  • Mail: Send your comments to:
    Air and Radiation Docket and Information Center,
    Environmental Protection Agency,
    Mail Code: 2822T, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave.,
    NW, Washington, DC 20460