On September 14, 2016 the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a final rule (81 FR 63112-63131) laying out their decisions in regards to their January 21, 2015 notice of reconsideration and their February 1, 2013 final amendments to the National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants for Area Sources: Industrial, Commercial, and Institutional Boilers (Area Source Boilers Rule). The issues being finalized in this rulemaking include:
- Retention of the subcategory and separate requirements for limited-use boilers
- Amending three reconsidered provisions regarding alternative particulate matter (PM) standards for new oil-fired boilers; performance testing for PM for certain boilers based on their compliance test; and fuel sampling for mercury (Hg) for certain coal-fired boilers based on their initial compliance demonstration
- Making minor changes to the proposed definitions of startup and shutdown
With this rule, the EPA has adopted two alternative definitions of "startup" as well as some minor revisions to the term "shutdown".
- The first definition of "startup" defines it to mean the first-ever firing of fuel, or the firing of fuel after a shutdown event, in a boiler for the purpose of supplying useful thermal energy for heating and/or producing electricity or for any other purpose. Under this definition, startup ends when any of the useful thermal energy from the boiler is supplied for heating, producing electricity, or any other purpose.
- The alternative definition of "startup" defines the period as beginning with the first-ever firing of fuel, or the firing of fuel after a shutdown event, in a boiler for the purpose of supplying useful thermal energy for heating, cooling, or process purposes or for producing electricity, and ending 4 hours after the boiler supplies useful thermal energy for those purposes.
- "Shutdown" is defined to begin when the boiler no longer supplies useful thermal energy (such as steam or hot water) for heating, cooling, or process purposes or generates electricity, or when no fuel is being fed to the boiler, whichever is earlier. Shutdown ends when the boiler no longer supplies useful thermal energy (such as steam or hot water) for heating, cooling, or process purposes or generates electricity, and no fuel is being combusted in the boiler.
The final rule is effective on September 14, 2016.