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CAMR Reconsiderations (2/2/06)

In October (10/28/05), EPA published two reconsideration notices in the Federal Register related to the Agency’s Clean Air Mercury Rule (CAMR), which was signed on March 15, 2005. The first notice dealt with the rule itself, which will regulate Hg emissions from new and existing electric generating units (EGUs).  Issues that the Agency stated its intent to reconsider include:

  • Phase I (2010) statewide Hg emission budgets and the unit-level allocations on which the budgets were based.
  • Definition of “designated pollutant” under 40 CFR 60.21
  • EPA’s subcategorization of EGUs that burn subbituminous coal
  • Statistical analysis used to set NSPS emission limits
  • Hg content in coal used to establish NSPS emission limits
  • Definition of covered units as including municipal waste combustors
  • Definition of covered units as including some industrial boilers.

On the surface, the above list appeared imposing.  However, RMB believes that much of the reconsideration process can be categorized as EPA simply re-explaining and clarifying the Agency’s original intent in the rule.

The second notice dealt with the Agency’s revision of its December 2000 regulatory finding on the emissions of hazardous air pollutants from electric utility generating units and the removal coal- and oil-fired electric generating units from the Section 112(c) list.  This decision was published in the Federal Register on March 29, 2005.  Issues that the Agency stated it would reconsider include: 

  • A number of legal interpretations, primarily with respect to Section 112(n)(1)A language
  • EPA’s methodology in concluding that utility Hg emissions, after imposition of the requirements of the CAA are not reasonably anticipated to result in hazards to public health
  • EPA’s decision related to nickel emissions from oil-fired units.

The second bullet item in the above list included numerous sub-issues and comprised several pages of Federal Register text.  However, it appears that EPA was simply going out of its way to re-explain a complicated and lengthy process that led the Agency to take the action it did in promulgating CAMR on May 18, 2005.

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Last Revised: February 06, 2006