AWC, Others Send Letter to EPA about Boiler MACT

Nov 10, 2010
WASHINGTON - The letter, below, was sent to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Lisa Jackson expressing concerns with the proposed Boiler MACT rule held by the 50 industry associations who signed onto the letter. This letter shows the unified position of these groups in what needs to be addressed by EPA as the rulemaking process heads for conclusion. 

November 11, 2010 

The Honorable Lisa Jackson 
United States Environmental Protection Agency 
Ariel Rios Building 
1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, N. W. 
Washington, DC 20460 

Dear Administrator Jackson: 

We are writing to express our concerns about the proposed Boiler MACT rule – the Maximum Achievable Control Technology rule for industrial, commercial and institutional boilers and process heaters – and the other associated rules that were published on June 4th. As our nation struggles to recover from the current recession, we are deeply concerned that the potential impact of pending Clean Air Act regulations would be harmful to U.S. manufacturing and the high-paying jobs it provides, as well as all sectors of the US economy. Both small and large businesses are vulnerable to extremely costly regulatory burdens, as well as municipalities, universities, federal facilities, and commercial entities. The flow of capital for new investment and hiring is still seriously restricted, and the costs imposed by these regulations as proposed could make or break the viability of continued operations. As proposed, the Boiler MACT rule alone could impose over twenty billion dollars in capital costs at thousands of facilities across the country and billions more in operating costs. 

We support efforts to address significant health threats from air emissions in a cost effective manner, and also believe that regulations can be crafted to accomplish this and still protect jobs and economic growth. Thus, we appreciate your willingness, as expressed in your responses to recent Congressional letters, to consider changes to the proposed rules and incorporating flexible approaches that appropriately address the diversity of boilers, operations, sectors, and fuels that could provide assurance of achievability and prevent severe job losses and billions of dollars in unnecessary regulatory costs. 

Specifically, we encourage EPA to set standards based on what real-world sources actually can achieve. EPA has proposed a pollutant-by-pollutant approach based on the "best performers" for each of five separate Hazardous Air Pollutants (HAP)/ surrogate emissions categories. This approach had many data and methodology problems, and resulted in a set of standards such as those for dioxin, mercury and carbon monoxide that cannot be met by even the best performing actual boilers and process heaters. 

EPA should finalize work practices for all gas and distillate oil fired units at major sources and oil and biomass fired boilers located at area sources to avoid the increase in emissions (e.g., NOx and CO2) and energy use that would result from the numerous control technologies required to meet the proposed emission limits with no guarantee of actually achieving those limits. 

In addition, EPA should provide an alternative health-based emissions approach for qualifying low-risk emissions. A practical, health-oriented standard for threshold pollutants would allow sources to demonstrate that their emissions of these pollutants do not pose a public health concern. Section 112(d)(4) of the Clean Air Act expressly contemplates the use of such a standard, which can be implemented at each facility to protect public health. 

In the related rule defining "Non-Hazardous Secondary Materials," EPA should reaffirm that many secondary materials including biomass and biomass processing residuals are not solid wastes. The statute and related case law allow EPA to classify these materials as fuels if they are not discarded, are treated as valuable commodities, and are burned for energy recovery. Failure to encourage these alternative and often renewable fuels will result in more materials being landfilled and increase use of fossil fuels. 

Lastly, EPA should promulgate work practice standards for dioxins/furans in Boiler MACT due to the many problems with emissions measurement, lack of knowledge of conditions and unit features leading to those emissions, and the inability to further control emissions at the already extremely low emission rates shown for these units. 

As EPA turns to developing the final Boiler MACT and related rules, we believe it is imperative that EPA utilize adequate time and resources to fully evaluate all comments and data provided through the public comment process so that a reasonable rule can be promulgated. We appreciate your willingness to consider our suggestions. 


American Chemistry Council 
American Coke & Coal Chemicals Institute 
American Forest & Paper Association 
American Home Furnishings Alliance 
American Municipal Power 
American Petroleum Institute 
American Public Power Association 
American Sugar Alliance 
American Wood Council 
Associated Oregon Industries 
Biomass Thermal Energy Council 
Brick Industry Association 
California Cotton Ginners Association 
Composite Panel Association 
Corn Refiners Association 
Council of Industrial Boiler Owners 
Empire States Forest Products Association 
Hardwood Federation 
Hardwood Manufactures Association 
Hardwood Plywood and Veneer Association 
Indiana Hardwood Lumbermen's Association 
Indiana Manufacturers Association 
Industrial Energy Consumers of America 
Kentucky Forest Industries Association 
Lake States Lumber Association 
National Alliance of Forest Owners 
National Association of Manufacturers 
National Cotton Ginners' Association 
National Hardwood Lumber Association 
National Oilseed Processors Association 
National Rural Electric Cooperatives Association 
National Wood Flooring Association 
Northeastern Loggers' Association 
Ohio Manufacturers' Association 
Ohio Municipal Electric Association 
PA Anthracite Council 
Pellet Fuels Institute 
Pennsylvania Forest Products Association 
Rubber Manufacturers Association 
Society of Chemical Manufacturers and Affiliates 
Southeastern Lumber Manufacturers Association 
Tennessee Chamber of Commerce & Industry 
Texas Cotton Ginners' Association 
The Aluminum Association 
The State Chamber of Oklahoma 
Treated Wood Council 
U.S. Chamber of Commerce 
Utah Manufacturers Association 
Virginia Manufacturers Association 
Wisconsin Paper Council