EPA Postpones Effective Date of Proposed Boiler Regulation
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is seeking additional public feedback and gathering more information on the final standards for boilers and certain solid waste incinerators that were issued in February of this year. Therefore, the regulations to reduce toxic pollution from boilers and incinerators are being delayed indefinitely.
The delay comes as a result of petitions and requests from a number of stakeholders. The impact of the postponement essentially ensures that businesses do not have to comply with the rule until the EPA pursues further public comment and issues a new and final regulation.
According to the EPA, the delay of the implementation of the regulation is another setback for a rule that will prevent thousands of health conditions such asthma or heart attacks; however, the agency said "these additional opportunities for public input will ensure that any final standard will be informed by input and feedback from key stakeholders including the public, industry and public-health communities."
The EPA has estimated that there are more than 200,000 boilers operating in industrial facilities, commercial buildings, hotels and universities located in highly populated areas and communities across the country. For every $5 spent on reducing these pollutants, the public will see $12 in health and other benefits, the EPA estimates.
Under current law, both on- and off-specification used oil can be recycled through use as fuel in boilers, industrial furnaces and space heaters. Approximately 113 million gallons is used for heating purposes by approximately 100,000 small businesses across the U.S. in used-oil fired space heaters per year.
If the proposed rule is finalized, and off-specification used oil cannot be recycled as fuel, automotive maintenance facilities will have to test any used oil they collect from the public to determine if it meets specifications. If that happens, automotive maintenance facilities across the country could simply stop accepting DIY used oil, and as a result, much of the used oil that has been safely burned for heat in boilers and space heaters for many years could end up entering our water supply after being poured down a drain or on the soil.
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