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What You Need to Know About EPA’s New Rules for Boilers

Tip Sheet: August 2011

Key Facts

  • Rules for Major Source and Area Source facilities are in effect
  • A Major Source facility emits 10 or more tons per year of any single air toxic or 25 tons or more per year of any combination of air toxics
  • Most Area Source boilers are located at commercial and institutional facilities with a smaller number in the industrial sector

   


On March 21, 2011, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published three rules regarding air emissions standards in the Federal Register. Two of the three rules pertain to boilers and are specifically designed to reduce emissions of air pollutants. The two rules are:   

   

 • Major Source Rule (also known as Boiler MACT or BMACT): Rules to reduce 

 boiler and process heater emissions at large sources of air toxics 

 • Area Source Rule: Rules to reduce boiler emissions at small sources of air toxics 

   

The EPA is reconsidering parts of the Major Source and Area Source Rules. While it is carrying out the formal reconsideration process, the EPA announced in May 2011 that it would delay the implementation of the Major Source Rule (also known as Boiler MACT or BMACT) until further notice. However, the compliance requirements of the Area Source Rule, which include the majority of boilers in the United States, are in effect while the EPA is reconsidering this rule. Affected boiler owners must take immediate action to begin compliance. The first step is sending an initial notification form to the EPA. Although the rules for Major Source facilities are not yet in effect, Cleaver-Brooks recommends that Major Source facilities send in notification of their status as a Major Source. 

   

To determine rule applicability and compliance actions required, Area Source facilities should follow these three steps (Major Source facilities can skip Step 2): 

   

Step 1: Determine if your facility is an Area Source or Major Source. A “Major Source” facility emits 10 or more tons per year of any single air toxic or 25 tons or more per year of any combination of air toxics. The majority of Major Source boilers and process heaters are generally located at very large industrial facilities, manufacturing plants and institutional facilities. 

   

Any facility that is not a Major Source is classified as an “Area Source.” Most boilers covered by the Area Source Rule are located at commercial and institutional facilities, with a smaller number in the industrial sector. 

   

Step 2: For Area Source facilities, determine boiler(s) subcategory for:  

(a) fuels combusted, (b) new vs. existing source, and (c) size of boiler. For more information, consult this decision tree. 


Step 3: Submit an Initial Notification of Applicability for Area Source Boilers, which is due September 17, 2011, if startup was before May 20, 2011. If startup is on or after May 20, 2011, the notification is due September 17, 2011, or within 120 days after startup. If you miss the notification deadline, send in your form as soon as possible. Facilities classified as Major Sources should complete the Initial Notification of Applicability for Major Source Boilers.