It seems as though Boiler MACT has been with us for at least a decade and continually changing – with a potentially significant reconsideration looming in the future. One thing is certain, the date for compliance is only seven months away – the Major Source Boiler MACT is scheduled for January, 31, 2016.
The EPA has a set of reconsiderations in front of them, primarily from the industry, regarding potential changes to the current Boiler MACT rules dealing with the definition and timing of start-up and operation. Originally, the EPA was expected to rule on these reconsiderations at some point during the summer, but this may not happen until later in the year or early 2016. It might not even occur until after the January 31, 2016 compliance date has passed. This change is based on the significant emphasis being placed on the Clean Power Plan by the administration. Boiler MACT is being pushed behind this initiative.
Recently, the Supreme Court ruled against the EPA regarding the Clean Air Act. The EPA rule was slapped down because the agency claimed that it need not concern itself with cost considerations. The Supreme Court left the window open for how the EPA could determine costs, and settling the cost issue will definitely be the EPA’s first order of business in revision. What effect this will have on Boiler MACT, if any, remains to be seen.
The majority of companies are forging ahead with their testing, performance plan development and compliance initiatives as though nothing will change, and this is the best practice model to utilize in your plant. Some are working toward submitting all the required data and testing to receive a year-long extension. These requests must be submitted 120 days in advance of the January 31 date, which is only three months away.
Resources for compliance plan development, stack testing and environmental consulting firms are extremely tight. There is a tremendous amount of paperwork and record keeping that goes along with building the case for being in total compliance with Boiler MACT. A lot can potentially change over the next seven months, but the best plan is to have a full compliance plan and methodology to prepare for whatever direction the EPA may take.