EPA Issues Final Rules for Boiler NESHAPs, CISWI, and Definition of Solid Waste



 On February 23, 2011, the U.S. EPA issued final rules for the following: 

  • National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) for Major Sources: Industrial Commercial, and Institutional Boilers and Process Heaters (40 CFR Part 63 Subpart DDDDD), 
  • NESHAP for Area Sources: Industrial, Commercial, and Institutional Boilers (40 CFR Part 63 Subpart JJJJJJ), 
  • Guidelines of Performance for Commercial and Industrial Solid Waste Incineration Units (CISWI) (40 CFR Part 60 Subpart CCCC), and 
  • Identification of Non-Hazardous Secondary Materials that are Solid Wastes When Used as Fuels or Ingredients in Combustion Units (a.k.a., “Solid Waste Definition Rule”) (40 CFR Part 241 Subpart B).

EPA made a number of changes, generally relaxing regulatory requirements in both the major and area source NESHAPs, based upon consideration of additional data received after the original proposals and upon comments received during the public comment period.

Noteworthy highlights of the final Major Source NESHAP include: 

  • Maintained work practice standards for natural gas- and refinery gas-fired units; 
  • Replaced emission limits with work practice standards for new boilers with a capacity less than 10 MMBtu/hr; 
  • Maintained work practice standards for existing units with a capacity of less than 10 MMBtu/hr; 
  • Developed work practice standards for startups and shutdowns; 
  • Rejected incorporation of health-based compliance alternatives (HBCA) and total select metals (TSM) limits; 
  • Combined emission limits for biomass and coal into a single solid fuel subcategory; and
  • For existing units, eliminated EPA’s Energy Star Program requirements, but are still requiring a one-time energy assessment.

Noteworthy highlights of the final Area Source NESHAP include: 

  • Eliminated emissions limits for existing biomass, oil-fired, and small coal-fired boilers,
  • Relaxed emissions standards for new coal boilers, as well as existing biomass- and oil-fired boilers, and
  • Eliminated carbon monoxide standards for new biomass- and fuel oil-fired boilers.

The CISWI rule establishes standards for five subcategories of solid waste incineration units. Noteworthy highlights of the final CISWI rule include:

  • Generally reduced the stringency of emissions standards, some significantly
  • Established nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide and sulfur dioxide emissions standards only for biomass and coal units; 
  • Established separate standards for each of these fuel-pollutant combinations; and 
  • Excluded burn-off ovens from regulation.

Noteworthy highlights of the final Solid Waste Definition Rule include:

  • Inclusion of definitions for clean cellulosic biomass and resinated wood and clarification that these are not considered solid waste, and
  • Clarification of the meaning of “discarded” with respect to scrap tires and clarification that discarded scrap tires must be sufficiently processed to meet ASTM standards for “relatively metal free” to not classify as solid waste.

Under both the major source and area source NESHAPs, compliance for new sources is required by 60 days after publication of the standards in the Federal Register or upon startup, whichever is later.

EPA recognizes that there may be technical issues that merit further consideration and public input. Accordingly, EPA will be developing a proposed rule requesting additional comments on specific elements that EPA identifies as meriting additional public comment and any provisions that EPA may propose to modify or add after additional consideration of data and comments already received.