March, 2013
No. 449

Final Rules Issued for Industrial, Commercial and Institutional Boilers and Process Heaters

On January 31, 2013,  the EPA took final action on its reconsideration of certain issues in the emission standards for the control of hazardous air pollutants from new and existing industrial, commercial and institutional boilers and process heaters at major sources of hazardous air pollutants, which were issued under Section 112 of the Clean Air Act. As part of this action, the EPA is making technical corrections to the final rule to clarify definitions, references, applicability and compliance issues raised by petitioners and other stakeholders affected by this rule.

In general, this final rule requires facilities classified as major sources of HAP with affected boilers or process heaters to reduce emissions of harmful toxic air emissions from these combustion sources. This will improve air quality and protect public health in communities where these facilities are located.

Recognizing the diversity of this source category and the multiple sectors of the economy this final rule effects, the EPA is revising certain subcategories for boilers and process heaters in this action that were established in the March 2011 final rule, based on the design of the combustion equipment. These revisions result in 19 subcategories for the boilers and process heaters source category. Numerical emission limits are established for most of the subcategories for five pollutants, CO, HCl, Hg and PM or TSM. The review of existing data and consideration of new data have resulted in changes to some of the emission limits contained in the March 2011 final rule. Overall, for both new and existing affected units, about 30 percent of the emission limits are more stringent, half are less stringent and 20 percent unchanged as compared to the March 2011 final rule. Also, based on its review and analysis of new data submissions, the EPA is establishing an alternative emission standard for CO, based on CEMS data for several subcategories with CO CEMS data available. This alternative standard is based on a 30-day rolling average for subcategories for which sufficient CEMS data were available for more than a 30-day period, or a 10-day rolling average for subcategories for which CEMS data were available for more than a 30-day period, or a 10-day rolling average for subcategories for which CEMS data were available for less than a 30-day period, and provides additional compliance flexibility to sources. All of the subcategories are subject to periodic tune-up work practices for dioxin/furan emissions.

The compliance dates for the rule are January 31, 2016, for existing sources and, January 31, 2013, or upon startup, whichever is later, for new sources. New sources are defined as sources that began operation on or after June 4, 2010.

The final rule affects 1700 existing major source facilities with an estimated 14,136 boilers and process heaters and the EPA projects an additional 1844 new boilers and process heaters to be subject to this final rule over the next three years. This final rule affects multiple sectors of the economy including small entities.

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