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Additional Comments Sought on Parts of Hazardous Air Emissions Rule

Release Date: 06/21/2005
Contact Information:

Contact: John Millett, 202-564-4355 /

(06/21/05) EPA will reopen for public comment certain aspects of its National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants for Industrial, Commercial and Institutional Boilers and Process Heaters, issued in September 2004. The agency is taking this action in response to a petition filed by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and the Environmental Integrity Project (EIP).

Facilities may comply with the requirements of the September 2004 final rule by demonstrating that their emissions have minimal impact on human health. This approach, known as a health-based compliance alternative, is outlined in appendix A of the rule. In this reconsideration, EPA is requesting additional public comment on the approach a facility owner or operator may use to demonstrate eligibility for the health-based compliance alternatives.

The environmental groups' petition asks for reconsideration and requests a stay of the health-based alternatives. Although EPA is not granting the petitioners' request for a stay, the agency will provide a 45-day comment period, which begins with the reconsideration notice's publication in the Federal Register.

EPA estimates that this rule will reduce total annual air toxics between 50,600 - 58,500 tons per year at full implementation (in the 5th year after promulgation), with compliance costs estimated to total $1.4 billion - $1.7 billion in the same period.

Boilers burn fossil fuel and/or other substances such as wood and agricultural residues to produce steam. The steam is used to produce electricity or provide heat. Process heaters heat raw or intermediate materials during an industrial process. Boilers and process heaters are used at facilities such as refineries, chemical and manufacturing plants, and paper mills. In addition, these boilers may stand alone to provide heat for shopping malls and university heating systems.

For more information on this action, visit: