The U.S. Environment Protection Agency finalized new standards for boilers and certain incinerators, the Boiler Maximum Achievable Control Technology (MACT) rules, today to protect people from exposure to hazardous, toxic air pollution from industrial, commercial and institutional boilers. By encouraging industry to use cleaner-burning fuels and to make efficiency improvements, the Boiler MACT will modernize U.S. industry, reduce toxins, and cut carbon pollution.
Following is a statement by James Bradbury, Senior Associate, World Resources Institute:
“Just in time for the holidays, this is a welcome gift for people and the planet. These new environmental standards will help spur greater efficiency across a range of U.S. industrial and commercial energy users. The EPA has taken steps to ensure that the rule will promote energy efficiency by improving environmental performance while increasing flexibility for affected facilities. This is good news for the manufacturing workforce, for public health, and for the climate.”
As required by the Clean Air Act amendments of 1990, major sources of toxic air emissions from coal, oil and biomass-fired boilers will soon be subject to technology-based emissions limits. The rule’s emissions limits will apply to certain new and existing major source boilers, which will have three years to comply by reducing emissions to levels that are consistent with demonstrated maximum achievable control technologies, or MACT standards.
Because the emissions limits under the Boiler MACT affect the largest and dirtiest polluters, 99 percent of the U.S. boilers are either unaffected or can comply with the new standards by conducting periodic maintenance or regular tune-ups. These tune-ups can improve energy efficiency as they reduce toxic air emissions.