EPA Proposes Rule to Establish a National Registry of Waste Energy Recovery Opportunities

September 8, 2009
Client Alert Newsletter September 2009

Pursuant to the requirements of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, on July 23, 2009, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ("EPA") proposed establishing a registry of industrial/commercial sites with the potential for recovering and reusing waste energy. Waste energy is defined to include exhaust heat or gases that would otherwise be flared, incinerated, or vented; or high pressure steam generated in a boiler that would not otherwise be used. To collect the data necessary for the registry, EPA also proposed the distribution of a survey to major industrial and large commercial sources of air pollution. EPA expects to contact over 11,000 industrial and commercial entities including manufacturing facilities, schools, hotels, banks, prisons, hospitals, and colleges.

The purposes of the survey and registry are to:

  • provide a list of economically feasible existing waste energy recovery opportunities in the United States;
  • provide state and national totals of existing waste energy recovery opportunities, as well as potential reductions in pollution (criteria pollutants and greenhouse gases) that could be achieved through waste energy recovery; and,
  • serve as a basis for potential waste energy recovery projects to qualify for financial and regulatory incentives.

As currently proposed, participation in the survey and registry would be voluntary. Additionally, participating facilities would not be required to install new monitoring equipment. Instead, EPA would provide survey participants with a software tool that would rely on existing monitoring data to calculate the quantity and quality of potential waste energy. EPA will be accepting comments on the proposed rule until September 21, 2009.