The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced in a press release today that it filed for an extension in federal court for the final issuance of rules establishing stricter emissions limits for large and small boilers, solid waste incinerators and process heaters (“Boiler MACT”). The Agency was under a court order to issue the final rules by January 16, 2011, but it is now seeking to extend the deadline until April of 2012. The press release stated “the additional time is needed for the agency to re-propose the rules based on a full assessment of information received since the rules were proposed.”
The EPA has received tremendous pressure to revise the proposed rules from manufacturing groups as well as members of congress. Last week, a group of senators wrote a letter to Commerce Secretary Gary Locke and EPA Administrator Jackson urging them to release a Department of Commerce study analyzing the economic impact of the rules.
Should the courts grant the EPA’s request for an extension, manufacturers urge the Agency to continue meeting with the interested parties to ensure that the new emission limits are realistic and affordable. Boilers represent major investments for many companies, and adding unnecessary compliance costs could add to consumer costs in the end.