New Proposed Air Regulation for Boilers Would Affect Numerous Types of Facilities; Comments Due to EPA by August 3rd

July 9, 2010
by KATE VACCARO
MGKF News Flash

Last month, EPA proposed a new federal air regulation that would impose stringent emission limits and other requirements on new and existing boilers located at numerous types of facilities, including hospitals, schools and universities, apartment buildings, municipal buildings, and small manufacturing facilities. Specifically, the new proposed rule would establish national emission standards for controlling hazardous air pollutants, or "HAPs", from industrial, commercial, and institutional boilers located at "area sources" [under the federal Clean Air Act, an area source is a stationary source or group of sources at a facility whose actual or potential HAP emissions are less than 10 tons per year (TPY) of any single HAP and 25 TPY of any combination of HAPs].

EPA's proposed rule would apply to boilers that burn oil, coal, and/or biomass. Depending on the type of fuel used, existing boilers greater than 10 MMBtu/hr would be required to meet stringent emission limits for carbon monoxide (CO) and/or mercury; install costly continuous emission monitoring systems for CO; and/or perform energy assessments to evaluate energy conservation measures. In some cases, these boilers may not be able to achieve the emission limits in the proposed rule without installing expensive add-on control devices, modifying equipment, and/or changing operating methods. Other requirements would apply to existing boilers smaller than 10 MMBtu/hr, including performing periodic boiler tune-ups.

EPA is accepting comments on the proposed rule until August 3, 2010.