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EPA announced in the June 4 Federal Register proposed rulemaking on the identification of non-hazardous secondary materials that are solid waste (40 CFR Part 241) and it will hold a public hearing June 21 in Washington, DC on a series of proposals regulating toxic air emissions from several classes of boilers, process heaters, and incinerators to establish national emissions standards for hazardous air pollutants (NESHAPs) for industrial, commercial, and institutional boilers as well as a related proposal establishing performance standards for emissions from commercial and industrial solid waste incineration units. At the public hearing, EPA also will take testimony on a proposal that would clarify what materials are considered fuel, as opposed to solid waste, which in turn would determine how strictly those incinerators are regulated.


When EPA released the air toxics rules on April 30, the agency also released a proposal that would require incinerators to control nine pollutants, including hazardous air pollutants. With the incinerator emissions standards, EPA also proposed a rule to clarify what materials are considered fuel and regulated under boiler standards and what materials are considered solid waste, which would be regulated under the standards for incinerators. EPA's boiler proposal would establish maximum achievable control technology (MACT) standards for 11 types of the largest industrial, commercial, and institutional boilers and process heaters, requiring them to reduce emissions of mercury by 50 percent as well as control emissions of dioxins and hydrogen chloride. Section 112(d) of the Clean Air Act requires EPA to establish MACT standards for large emitters of 187 air toxics. The technology-based standards are calculated as the emissions average of the best-performing 12 percent of sources in a given category. Major sources are those that emit 10 tons or more per year of a single hazardous pollutant or emit 25 tons or more per year of any combination of hazardous pollutants. Smaller emissions sources are subject to the less-stringent generally available control technology (GACT) standard. EPA's proposed GACT standards would regulate emissions based on fuel type and boiler size.


Based on EPA’s determination, sewage sludge incinerators (SSIs) were identified as sources falling under the definition of solids waste and is proposing to subject these units for regulation under the more stringent section 129 requirements of the CAA.  See Materials Characterization Paper In Support of the Proposed Rulemaking: Identification of Nonhazardous Secondary Materials That Are Solid Waste Wastewater Treatment Sludge. Comments must be received on or before July 19, 2010. WEF plans on submitting comments on this rulemaking. More information