WASHINGTON - A federal district court judge in Washington, D.C., has issued an order extending by 30 days the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) deadline to issue emission standards for large and small boilers as well as for solid waste and sewage sludge incinerators. The EPA stated that it is disappointed that the extension was not longer. However, the agency said it will work diligently to issue these standards by this new deadline.

According to the EPA, the standards will be significantly different than what EPA proposed in April 2010. The agency believes these changes still deserve further public review and comment and expects to solicit further comment through a reconsideration of the rules. Through the reconsideration process, EPA said it intends to ensure that the rules will be practical to implement as well as protect Americans from dangerous pollutants such as mercury and soot. The agency is considering all other options for addressing these issues before the rules would become effective 60 days after publication in the Federal Register.

EPA said it received more than 4,800 comments and additional data during the public comment period for these rules. The agency said this information shed new light on a number of key areas, including the scope and coverage of the rules and the way to categorize various boiler types. Given the extensive comments, EPA filed a motion with the court asking for more time to fully evaluate all the comments and data and finalize the rules.

For more information, visit www.epa.gov/airquality/combustion.

Publication date:01/24/2011