Monday, October 8, 2012

Use of Biofuels To Meet Boiler MACT Rejected

EPA has rejected efforts to expand the renewable fuel standard (RFS) to permit heating oil biofuels used in boilers and power production to earn credit under the RFS. The decision was a setback for industries seeking the expansion as a way to ease compliance with EPA's pending boiler air toxics rule by using the lower-emitting oil.

EPA says fuel oils used to generate process heat, power, or other functions are not eligible for renewable identification number (RIN) credits that industry uses to adhere to the RFS, contending that these fuels are not within the scope of the definition of "home heating oil" that can qualify for the RFS as stipulated in the 2007 energy law. EPA's rule only expands the scope of existing fuels that qualify as heating oil under the RFS to qualify for credits under the standard. Thus far EPA has only permitted heating oil used in residential homes to gain RIN credits, but the rule expands that definition to include larger commercial buildings.

EPA is amending its boiler maximum achievable control technology (MACT) air toxics rule and an associated emissions standard for commercial and solid waste incinerators in response to industry comments that the original versions of the rules are too tough and would impose significant costs. Biofuel firms claim using their lower-emitting fuel to power boilers applicable to the MACT would help industries cut costs and make the rule achievable. Permitting biofuel heating oils used in boilers to qualify under the RFS would help spur a market for the fuels and boost the number of producers.

Caltha LLP provides specialized expertise to clients nationwide in the evaluation environmental rules, developing EHS compliance procedures, and preparing cost-effective EHS management programs. For further information contact Caltha LLP at or Caltha LLP Website

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