Boiler MACT Still Aloft

by Pierce Atwood LLP
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On January 13, 2012, we authored an Alert titled “Status of Boiler MACT Up in the Air.”  Link here.   Well, it has almost been a year, and the status of Boiler MACT is still up in the air. 

Our previous Alert described the status of the boiler regulations and the amendments proposed by EPA on December 21, 2011.  At the time, EPA had indicated its intent to issue amendments to the Boiler MACT (major sources), Boiler GACT (minor sources), and CISWI (incinerators) rules in June 2012.   A key component of EPA’s December 2011 proposed amendments was a proposal to reset the 3 year compliance schedule to begin upon promulgation of the amendments to the Boiler MACT and CISWI rules. 

In late Spring 2012, EPA announced its intention to delay promulgation of the amendments to the boiler regulations until mid-July.  That didn’t happen.   In an October 29, 2012 status report to the U.S. Court of Appeals – D.C. Circuit, the EPA stated that the agency is “still in the process of analyzing the data and information” submitted in response to its December 2011 proposed amendments.  EPA’s status report did not indicate when it would finalize the amendments to the regulations.  So, Boiler MACT is still in flight with no E.T.A.

On July 20, 2012, we authored an Alert “EPA Issues No Action Assurance Regarding Area Source Boiler Rule.”  Link here.  In that Alert, we described EPA’s announcement that it had extended its No Action Assurance for owners and/or operators of existing industrial, commercial and institutional boilers at area (minor) sources of hazardous air pollutants stating that the Agency would not enforce the requirement to conduct an initial tune-up by March 21, 2012.  The EPA memorandum stated that the No Action Assurance would remain in effect until either (1) December 31, 2012 or (2) the effective date of a final rule addressing the reconsideration of the Boiler GACT (minor source) rule, whichever occurs earlier.  Thus, we believe it likely that EPA will take some action, whether it promulgates amendments to the Boiler GACT regulation or issues an additional extension of its No Action Assurance, before the end of the year.  In the meantime, when facilities are evaluating their future energy alternatives, they should be considering the potential impacts of these upcoming boiler rules, the new ambient air quality standards and the new regulation of condensable particulates.

If you have any questions regarding the status, timing, and implications of the Boiler MACT, Boiler GACT or CISWI regulations, please do not hesitate to contact Dixon Pike (207-791-1374 or dpike@pierceatwood.com) or Brian Rayback (207-791-1188 or brayback@pierceatwood.com).

 

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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