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EPA Issues Final IB-MACT Rules (1/2/13)

On December 20, 2012, EPA finalized revisions to both the major source and area source IB-MACT Rules, the CISWI Rule, and the Non-Hazardous Secondary Materials (NHSM) Rule. EPA had proposed reconsideration of a number of issues in December 2011 based on extensive petitions received after the final rules were issued earlier that year. The final rules incorporate many of these proposed revisions including some additional revisions not included in the proposals.

For sources under the major source IB-MACT Rule, most existing coal- and biomass-fired units will now be subject to less stringent emissions standards. The final rule replaces the dioxin/furan emission limit with a work practice standard based on a boiler tune-up. The rule also includes two carbon monoxide (CO) emission standards for each boiler and fuel type combination including one based on periodic reference method testing and another based on continuous emissions monitoring. The continuous monitoring standard is now based on a 10-day or 30-day rolling average depending on the subcategory. In most cases these revised limits are more consistent and represent an achievable level of emissions for many units. EPA also modified the emissions standards for PM to include separate standards for different biomass fuels, a single PM standard for all solid fossil fuels and an alternative limit for total selected metals (TSM). The hydrogen chloride (HCl) standard remains unchanged in the final rule and, although it represents an achievable level of emissions for many biomass-fired units, most coal units and some biomass units will require sorbent injection in order to comply. Other changes include revised output-based standards for fuel-based pollutants, the elimination of continuous PM monitoring for biomass units, a revised definition of limited use boilers based on capacity factor, and reduced tune-up frequencies for many subcategories.

Perhaps the most significant revision is the change in the compliance dates for new and existing units. EPA also revised the definition of a new unit to include any new or reconstructed source that commenced construction or reconstruction prior to June 10, 2010. For existing units, the compliance date has been reset to three years from the date of publication of the final rule in the Federal Register. The compliance date for new units is the publication date or the date of unit startup, whichever is later. The final rule will become effective 60 days following publication in the Federal Register. Copies of the rulemaking can be found in our FTP library.

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Last Revised: February 16, 2016