EPA Announces New Air Pollution Standards for Industrial Boilers

The EPA has announced new air pollution standards for industrial boilers. The final rule is more business friendly than the version the agency proposed last spring, but local industries may still have reason for concern. Andrew Schneider reports.

EPA sealThe new rule will tighten limits on mercury and other toxic emissions. Refineries, chemical plants and other large industrial facilities will have to install new pollution control technology by 2014.

EPA Assistant Administrator Gina McCarthy sought to allay business concerns that the rule, as originally framed, was unworkable.

“They are realistic, they are achievable and reasonable, and they come at about half the cost to industry to comply than the original proposal. In fact, the final rule lowers the cost of installing and maintaining pollution controls by about $1.8 billion below that that we had anticipated when the proposed rule went out in May of 2010.”

Lisa Jaeger, a partner with the law firm of Bracewell & Giuliani, says final rule is an improvement. But she says it’s still uncertain whether companies can afford to comply.

“A too costly rule could shift the balance in favor of shifting the jobs offshore.”

The EPA estimates the pollution controls will help prevent between 2,600 and 6,600 premature deaths per year.


Andrew Schneider

Andrew Schneider

Business Reporter

Andrew Schneider joined News 88.7 in January 2011. Since arriving in Houston, he has reported on the many changes wrought on the region’s economy by the revolution in domestic oil and gas production. His non-energy reporting runs the gamut from white-collar crime to cattle ranching. His work has aired on...

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