The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has postponed enforcement of onerous regulations that would attempt to control emissions from over 200,000 industrial boilers. While the stay is good news for the short term, EPA’s delay clearly illustrates the flawed science and unattainable limits established for emissions of mercury, particulate matter, hydrogen chloride, and carbon monoxide.
For many industrial boilers, meeting the new rules would require switching fuels (probably natural gas) or installation of multiple emissions control devices. Either way, the result for a struggling forest products sector would be lost jobs, failed businesses, and additional reduction of markets for private forest landowners.
Nationwide cost estimates range from last year’s EPA estimate of $9.5 billion to $20 billion (Council of Industrial Boiler Owners). Wherever the final cost, the enormous expense of Boiler MACT compliance coupled with the potential permitting of forest roads could be devastating for the industry and private landowners.
Weighing in on the issue, FLA has signed on to the National Association of Manufacturers Boiler MACT coalition letter expressing support for H.R. 2250 and S. 1392. For more detailed information and to add your company’s name to the list of supporters visit: www.bipac.net/issue_alert.asp
On another front, the Southeastern Lumber Manufacturers Association, representing independent sawmills, has filed a Petition for Reconsideration with EPA. Among other issues, the petition asks EPA to carve out a subcategory for small boilers typical of their membership. FLA will explore the practicality of supporting their effort.