HealthLawProf Blog

Editor: Katharine Van Tassel
Concordia University School of Law

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

EPA Rules on Hazardous Emissions Delayed

Yesterday, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a stay postponing the effective date of emissions standards for major source boilers and commercial and industrial solid waste incinerators. Because the original boiler rule was vacated, there is no rule currently in place.  

On February 21, 2011, the EPA established Clean Air Act emissions standards for large and small boilers and incinerators that burn solid waste and sewage sludge. The standards cover more than 200,000 boilers and incinerators that emit air pollutants, including mercury, cadmium, dioxins and particle pollution.  The final rule, published on March 21, 2011, called for an effective date of May 20, 2011 with compliance deadlines beginning three years later.

An industry coalition    4 led by the American Forest & Paper Association and the National Association of Manufacturers fought the standards for dioxin and other dangerous emissions, claiming in a petition that they were not achievable, and that the companies forced to comply would suffer economic harm.  

An excellent report about the boiler rule, and the legal claims in the industry’s successful petition to stay the rule, was done by the Environmental Newswire, available here.

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