On January 20, a federal District Court judge in Washington, D.C., issued an order extending by 30 days the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s deadline to issue emission standards for large and small boilers and solid waste and sewage sludge incinerators. EPA is disappointed that the extension was not longer. However, the agency will work diligently to issue these standards by this new deadline.
The standards will be significantly different than what EPA proposed in April 2010. The agency believes these changes still deserve further public review and comment and expects to solicit further comment through a reconsideration of the rules. Through the reconsideration process, EPA intends to ensure that the rules will be practical to implement and will protect all Americans from dangerous pollutants such as mercury and soot, which can damage children’s developing brains, aggravate asthma and cause heart attacks. The agency is considering all other options for addressing these issues before the rules would become effective 60 days after publication in the Federal Register.
EPA received more than 4,800 comments and additional data during the public comment period for these rules. This information shed new light on a number of key areas, including the scope and coverage of the rules and the way to categorize the various boiler types. Given the extensive comments, EPA filed a motion with the court asking for more time to fully evaluate all the comments and data and finalize the rules.
More information: http://www.epa.gov/airquality/combustion