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50 US industry associations sign letter expressing concerns of proposed Boiler MACT rule

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50 US industry associations sign letter expressing concerns of proposed Boiler MACT rule

November 16, 2010 - 05:08
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WASHINGTON, DC, Nov. 16, 2010 (Press Release) -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

cc: Regina McCarthy, Environmental Protection Agency

Robert Perciasepe, Environmental Protection Agency

Cass Sunstein, Office of Management and Budget

The American Forest & Paper Association is the national trade association of the forest products industry, representing pulp, paper, packaging and wood products manufacturers, and forest landowners. Our companies make products essential for everyday life from renewable and recyclable resources that sustain the environment. The forest products industry accounts for approximately 5 percent of the total U.S. manufacturing GDP. Industry companies produce about $175 billion in products annually and employ nearly 900,000 men and women, exceeding employment levels in the automotive, chemicals and plastics industries. The industry meets a payroll of approximately $50 billion and is among the top 10 manufacturing sector employers in 48 states. Visit AF&PA online at

Source: AF&PA.