EPA Issues Final and Less Costly Rules for Air Toxic Emissions From Industrial, Commercial and Institutional Boilers


Breaking Developments In Environmental Law The U.S.

Environmental Protection Agency ("EPA") has released its final Clean Air Act standards for industrial, commercial and institutional boilers, and they are a substantial departure from draft rules proposed nearly a year ago. The final rules apply to approximately 200,000 boilers at large and small facilities across the country. Instead of requiring compliance with numeric standards and maximum available control technology, the new rules require primarily the use of work practice standards and routine maintenance to achieve air toxic emissions standards. This represents a significant reduction in the potential cost of compliance from the draft rules.

A September 2009 court order required the EPA to promulgate the final rules. The EPA issued draft rules in April 2010 that affected businesses felt had the potential to make the cost of compliance prohibitively expensive. In the final rules issued on February 23, 2011, the EPA backed away from the requirements in the draft rules. Instead, consistent with President Obama's recent executive order on regulatory review, the EPA focused its final rules on achieving environmental and health benefits, while also promoting the use of cost-effective techniques and flexibility for industry compliance.

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