Mar 9, 2015

EPA Defends Standards for Air Toxics from Solid Waste Incinerators

The EPA is currently defending its process for establishing standards for emissions of hazardous air pollutants from solid waste incinerators before the D.C. Court of Appeals.[1] Historically, EPA takes a pollutant-by-pollutant approach when determining maximum achievable control technology (MACT) standards for commercial and industrial solid waste incineration units. Industry groups have attacked the EPA’s approach which resulted in standards that cannot actually be achieved by existing industrial incinerators. These groups argue that the Clean Air Act requires EPA to set MACT standards based on average overall industry emissions, rather than selecting the best performing units for each individual pollutant. Conversely,… Read more

Oct 25, 2013

EPA Uses Informal Assurances to Allow Classification of Waste Streams as Fuel

Since publication of EPA’s non-hazardous secondary material (NHSM), boiler maximum achievable control technology (boiler MACT) and commercial and industrial solid waste incinerator (CISWI) rules earlier this year, EPA has quietly issued written assurances to companies that some of their waste streams can be classified as fuel rather than waste, thus placing incineration of the materials under the less stringent boiler MACT rule rather than the CISWI rule.  Industry representatives welcome this flexibility, but environmentalists criticize the use of informal letters that were not provided for in the February 7 rules.  To date, it is known that EPA has informed Waste… Read more

May 13, 2013

Industry and Environmental Groups Challenge New Rules for Commercial and Industrial Solid Waste Incinerators

Petitions have been filed in the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit, challenging EPA rules, finalized in December, for control of emission of hazardous air pollutants from commercial and industrial solid waste incinerators (CISWI).  The petitions, filed by industry and environmental groups, also challenge a companion EPA rule defining non-hazardous secondary materials (NHSM), under which EPA determines whether materials used as fuels cause a facility to be governed by the maximum achievable control technology rule for emissions from boilers (Boiler MACT) or the CISWI rule.  The new petitions join already pending challenges to EPA’s Boiler MACT rule…. Read more

Feb 11, 2013

Final Combustion Rules Scale Back Limits, Extend Compliance

EPA’s final combustion air rules for boilers and incinerators were issued on December 21.  They include national emission standards for hazardous air pollutants for “major” source boilers and for “area” source boilers, new source performance standards for commercial and industrial solid waste incinerators (“CISWI”), and a Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (“RCRA”) non-hazardous secondary materials (“NHSM”) rule to assist in determining whether facilities are subject to the boiler MACT or the stricter CISWI rules based on the material burned in the units. The combustion rules were first issued in April 2011, but EPA self-initiated a stay and review of the… Read more