The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced last week that it is delaying the effective dates for the final rule, “National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants for Major Sources: Industrial, Commercial, and Institutional Boilers and Process Heaters” or Boiler MACT Rule. The rule is delayed “until the proceedings for judicial review of these rules are completed or the EPA completes its reconsideration of the rules, whichever is earlier.” The EPA is accepting additional public comments through July 15.

The rules would have gone into effect on May 20, 2011. It would have a major impact on many industries including lumber and wood product producers.

“The Boiler MACT regulations certainly impacts manufacturers in our industry as well as the general population who is affected by the air emissions created in the manufacturing process,” says Rich Walker, AAMA President and CEO. “Those manufacturers with a boiler or process heater should know that EPA sees these emissions as a major source of hazardous air pollutants. Our hope is that the finalized regulations strike a balance between public safety and health and what manufacturers can effectively integrate into their current processes. Consumers who call for competitive market prices while also demanding cleaner air and stricter emissions standards must realize that often times these goals are mutually exclusive and that passing related legislation is often a lengthy process.”

 According to the final rule published earlier this year, the EPA is seeking to “establish emission standards that would require industrial/commercial/institutional boilers and process heaters located at major sources to meet hazardous air pollutants standards reflecting the application of the maximum achievable control technology. This rule protects air quality and promotes public health by reducing emissions of the hazardous air pollutants listed in section 112(b)(1) of the Clean Air Act.”

“WDMA is pleased that EPA has, in this instance, decided to be responsive to the concerns of the manufacturing community regarding the job-killing Boiler MACT and solid waste incinerator regulations,” says Mike O’Brien, president of the Window and Door Manufacturers Association. “While this is a small victory, the bigger problem is EPA’s overly aggressive regulatory approach on a whole host of issues that continue to threaten the ability of companies to create and maintain vital U.S. manufacturing jobs.”

House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) also issued a statement following the EPA’s announcement.

“EPA’s proposed Boiler MACT rule would put more than 300,000 U.S. jobs at risk,” says Issa. “The agency’s decision to delay implementation of this rule is a temporary stay of career execution for these workers, but the greater challenge remains: ending job-killing regulations that push employers overseas.”


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