Timber and Paper Industry Petition EPA to Ease Restrictions on Burning Paper Residuals

In December, 2021, representatives of the timber and paper industry petitioned the EPA to ease restrictions on the burning of railroad ties and paper residuals as fuel without triggering strict hazardous waste combustion emission requirements.  The EPA previously denied the coalition’s petition to revise the Nonhazardous Secondary Material criteria for treated railroad ties and certain paper residuals.  As outlined in its March 29 request for reconsideration, the issue is whether the railroad ties and paper residuals can be burned as “fuel” in boilers and avoid tougher emissions limits designated for incinerators. When a material is designated as fuel under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), it can be disposed of in boilers, while RCRA designated “waste” must be disposed of in incinerators which are subject to more stringent Clean Air Act requirements.  If the coalition’s request for rehearing is successful, it will provide much needed relief for the cost of disposal of the Secondary Materials.

For more information, please contact Phillip Hoover or Emma Cramer.

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