EPA Establishes Clean Air Act Standards for Boilers and Incinerators - What is the Impact in Northeast Ohio? Who Knows?!?!

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Wed, 02/23/2011 - 14:28.

Cleveland Thermal Pollution, Cuyahoga River, Cleveland, Ohio

There has been considerable conflict in industry and government - and Federal courts - over the emissions from large boilers and incinerators in America, and so Northeast Ohio, leading to new Clean Air Act standards for boilers and certain incinerators announced by the EPA today. As all America now acts to implement these new standards, it will be interesting to see what branches of government in Northeast Ohio monitor or even are aware of all the boilers and incinerators in this region - their current emissions and control technologies - which are out of compliance with the new standards - what they need to do to comply - what costs are involved to comply with the new act - what reductions in pollution will result, where - who will see reductions in their ambient and point source pollution - what benefits to public health will result - and how that will improve the value of property in this area. The public should be provided with this information immediately so we may make long term plans about where we live and what property we choose to own.

Battles over such rules are at the root of all evil in industry and America today - the heart of the tea party efforts to corrupt government by the Koch Brothers and their billionaire murderers and fans and followers in industries like coal and oil - The Fossil Boys - and the harm they have caused activists for clean energy, clean social networks like realNEO, the American people, and global climate. Thank you Federal EPA for your good fight for the health of Americans.

And you thought the tea party was actually about ending gays, abortion and unions! It was always all about the right to pollute and kill Americans! Time to end the party and fix America, everyone!

EPA Establishes Clean Air Act Standards for Boilers and Incinerators  

Sensible standards provide significant public health benefits while cutting costs from initial proposal by nearly 50 percentWASHINGTON – In response to federal court orders requiring the issuance of final standards, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is issuing final Clean Air Act standards for boilers and certain incinerators that achieve significant public health protections through reductions in toxic air emissions, including mercury and soot, but cut the cost of implementation by about 50 percent from an earlier proposal issued last year.

Mercury, soot, lead and other harmful pollutants released by boilers and incinerators can lead to developmental disabilities in children, as well as cancer, heart disease, aggravated asthma and premature death in Americans. These standards will avoid between 2,600-6,600 premature deaths, prevent 4,100 heart attacks and avert 42,000 asthma attacks per year in 2014.

In response to a September 2009 court order, EPA issued the proposed rules in April 2010, prompting significant public input.  The proposed rules followed a period that began in 2007, when a federal court vacated a set of industry specific standards proposed during the Bush Administration.  Based on the public input received following the April 2010 proposal, EPA made extensive revisions, and in December 2010 requested additional time for review to ensure the public’s input was fully addressed. The court granted EPA 30 days, resulting in today’s announcement.

Based on input from key stakeholders including the public, industry and the public health communities, today’s announcement represents a dramatic cut in the cost of implementation, while maintaining maximum public health benefits. As a result, EPA estimates that for every dollar spent to cut these pollutants, the public will see between $10 to $24 in health benefits, including fewer premature deaths.

The agency received more than 4,800 comments from businesses and communities across the country in response to the proposed rules. Public input included a significant amount of information that industry had not provided prior to the proposal. Based on this feedback, and in keeping with President Obama’s executive order on regulatory review, EPA revised the draft standards based on the requested input to provide additional flexibility and cost effective techniques – achieving significant pollution reduction and important health benefits, while lowering the cost of pollution control installation and maintenance by about 50 percent, or $1.8 billion.
 
"The Clean Air Act standards we are issuing today are based on the best available science and have benefitted from significant public input," said Gina McCarthy, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation.  “As a result, they put in place important public health safeguards to cut harmful toxic air emissions that affect children’s development, aggravate asthma and cause heart attacks at costs substantially lower than we had estimated under our original proposal."

Because the final standards significantly differ from the proposals, EPA believes further public review is required.   Therefore, EPA will reconsider the final standards under a Clean Air Act process that allows
the agency to seek additional public review and comment to ensure full transparency.  EPA’s reconsideration will cover the emissions standards for large and small boilers and for solid waste incinerators. EPA will release additional details on the reconsideration process in the near future to ensure the public, industry and stakeholders have an opportunity to participate.

About 200,000 boilers are located at small and large sources of air toxic emissions across the country. The final standards require many types of boilers to follow practical, cost-effective work practice standards to reduce emissions.  To ensure smooth implementation, EPA is working with the departments of Energy (DOE) and Agriculture (USDA) to provide the diverse set of facilities impacted by the standards with technical assistance that will help boilers burn cleaner and more efficiently. DOE will work with large coal and oil-burning sources to help them identify clean energy strategies that will reduce harmful emissions and make boilers run more efficiently and cost-effectively. In addition, USDA will reach out to small sources to help owners and operators understand the standards and their cost and energy saving features.

The types of boilers and incinerators covered by these updated standards include:

  • Boilers at large sources of air toxics emissions: There are about 13,800 boilers located at large sources of air pollutants, including refineries, chemical plants, and other industrial facilities. These   standards will reduce emissions of harmful pollutants including  mercury, organic air toxics and dioxins at some of the largest pollution sources. EPA estimates that the costs of implementation have been reduced by $1.5 billion from the proposed standard. Health benefits to children and the public associated with reduced   exposure to fine particles and ozone from these large source boilers are estimated to be $22 billion to $54 billion in 2014.
  • Boilers located at small sources of air toxics emissions: There are about 187,000 boilers located at small sources of air pollutants, including universities, hospitals, hotels and commercial buildings that may be covered by these standards. Due to the small amount of emissions these sources are responsible for, EPA has limited the impact of the final rule making on small entities. The original standards for these have been dramatically refined and updated to ensure maximum flexibility for these sources, including for some sources, revising the requirement from maximum achievable control technology to generally available control technology. The cost reduction from the proposed standard to the final is estimated to be $209 million.
  • Solid waste incinerators: There are 88 solid waste incinerators that burn waste at a commercial or an industrial facility, including cement manufacturing facilities. These standards, which facilities will need to meet by 2016 at the latest, will reduce emissions of harmful pollutants including mercury, lead, cadmium, nitrogen dioxide and particle pollution. The cost reduction from the proposed standard to the final is estimated to be $12 million.

In separate but related actions, EPA is finalizing emission standards for sewage sludge incinerators. While there are more than 200 sewage sludge incinerators across the country, EPA expects that over 150 are already in compliance. These standards will reduce emissions of harmful pollutants including mercury, lead, cadmium, and hydrogen chloride from the remaining 50 that may need to leverage existing technologies to meet the new standards.

EPA has also identified which non-hazardous secondary materials are considered solid waste when burned in combustion units. This distinction determines which Clean Air Act standard is applied when the material is burned. The non-hazardous secondary materials that can be burned as
non-waste fuel include scrap tires managed under established tire collection programs. This step simplifies the rules and provides additional clarity and direction for facilities. To determine that
materials are non-hazardous secondary materials when burned under today’s rule, materials must not have been discarded and must be legitimately used as a fuel.

The agency recognizes that secondary materials are widely used today as raw materials, as products, and as fuels in industrial processes.  EPA believes that the final rule helps set protective emissions standards under the Clean Air Act.

The emissions standards for sewage sludge incinerators and the definition of solid waste are not part of today’s reconsideration.

More information: http://www.epa.gov/airquality/combustion

R061

Note: If a link above doesn't work, please copy and paste the URL into a browser.

Notice Announcing Completion of the Requirement to Promulgate

                                           FACT SHEET
Notice Announcing Completion of the Requirement to Promulgate Emission Standards for
     Sources of Certain Bioaccumulative Pollutants and for Hazardous Air Pollutants of
                                Particular Interest in Urban Areas
ACTION
• On February 21, 2011, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued final rules to
    establish emissions standards for boilers and incinerators including:
    1. Final standards to limit toxic air emissions from industrial, commercial, and institutional
        boilers and process heaters at large facilities (major sources)
    2. Final standards to limit toxic air emissions from industrial, commercial, and institutional
        boilers and process heaters at smaller facilities (area sources)
    3. Final standards to limit toxic and other air emissions from sewage sludge incinerators
    4. Final standards to limit toxic and other air emissions from commercial and industrial
        solid waste incinerators
•   These actions satisfy the Clean Air Act (CAA) requirements to establish emissions standards
    for major and area sources that emit at least 90 percent of the aggregate stationary source
    emissions of seven bioaccumulative pollutants including: (1) alkylated lead compounds, (2)
    polycyclic organic matter (POM), (3) hexachlorobenzene (HCB), (4) mercury, (5)
    polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB), (6) 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzofurans (furan), and (7)
    2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (dioxin). Bioaccumulative pollutants build up in living
    organisms that consume them. These compounds build up in the body and concentrate at
    each step of the food chain.
•   These actions also satisfy the requirements under the sections of the CAA that require the
    development of emissions standards for area sources which account for 90% of the area
    source emissions of specific toxic air pollutants in urban areas. These compounds are listed
    in EPA’s Integrated Urban Air Toxics Strategy and include:
acetaldehyde                 1,2-dichloropropane              dichloromethane (methylene chloride)
                             (propylene dichloride)
acrolein                     1,3-dichloropropene              nickel compounds
acrylonitrile                ethylene dichloride (1,2-        polychlorinated biphenyls(PCBs)
                             dichloroethane)
arsenic compounds            ethylene oxide                   polycyclic organic matter(POM)
benzene                      formaldehyde                     quinoline
beryllium compounds          hexachlorobenzene                2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin
1,3-butadiene                hydrazine                        1,1,2,2-tetrachloroethane
cadmium compounds            lead compounds                   tetrachloroethylene(perchloroethylene)
chloroform                   manganese compounds              trichloroethylene
chromium compounds           mercury compounds                vinyl chloride
•   A major source facility has the potential to emit 10 tons per year (tpy) or more of any single
                                                   1
  air toxic or 25 tpy or more of any combination of air toxics. Area source facilities emit less
  than 10 tpy of any single air toxic or less than 25 tpy of any combination of air toxics. Toxic
  air pollutants, also known as hazardous air pollutants or air toxics, are those pollutants known
  or suspected of causing cancer and other serious health effects.
BACKGROUND
• When Congress enacted the CAA Amendments of 1990, they mandated specific
  consideration for certain bioaccumulating pollutants in section 112(c)(6), and certain
  hazardous air pollutants that impact urban areas in section 112(c)(3) and 112(k)(3)(B).
• EPA developed inventories of sources responsible for emissions of these pollutants and
  established emissions standards for each of the two sections mentioned above. Based on
  those inventories, we have met our statutory requirements for the above mentioned sections
  of the Clean Air Act.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
• Interested parties can download the notice from EPA's web site at the following address:
  http://epa.gov/airquality/combustion/
• Today’s public notice and other background information are also available either
  electronically at http://www.regulations.gov, EPA’s electronic public docket and comment
  system, or in hardcopy at the EPA Docket Center’s Public Reading Room.
  o The Public Reading Room is located in the EPA Headquarters Library, Room Number
       3334 in the EPA West Building, located at 1301 Constitution Avenue, NW, Washington,
       DC. Hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. eastern standard time, Monday
       through Friday, excluding Federal holidays.
                   Visitors are required to show photographic identification, pass through a metal
  o
       detector, and sign the EPA visitor log. All visitor materials will be processed through an
       X-ray machine as well. Visitors will be provided a badge that must be visible at all
       times.
                   Materials for this public notice can be accessed using Docket ID Number
  o
       EPA-HQ-OAR-2004-0505 for section 112(c)(6) and Docket ID Number EPA-HQ-OAR-
              2002-0036 for section 112(c)(3) and 112(k)(3)(B).
• For further information, contact Nathan Topham of EPA’s Office of Air Quality Planning
  and Standards (OAQPS) at (919) 541-0483 or topham [dot] nathan [at] epa [dot] gov.
 

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NY Times Analysis: E.P.A. Issues Scaled-Back Rules for Industry

The Plain Dealer doesn't provide real news coverage of climate and the environment, so we must look elsewhere for analysis of these EPA news events - here from the New York Times:

E.P.A. Issues Scaled-Back Rules for Industry
By JOHN M. BRODER
Published: February 23, 2011

Responding to a changed political climate and a court-ordered deadline, the Obama administration issued significantly revised new air pollution rules on Wednesday that will make it easier for operators of thousands of industrial boilers and incinerators to meet federal air quality standards.

The new regulations represent a major step back from more demanding and costly rules proposed last spring that provoked an outcry from members of Congress from both parties and from thousands of affected businesses. One industry-financed study said the proposed standard would cost businesses $20 billion to comply and cause the loss of more than 300,000 jobs.

E.P.A. officials said on Wednesday that the altered rule would cost half as much as the previous proposal while achieving virtually the same health benefits. The agency pegged compliance costs for the new version of the rule at $2.1 billion a year and said it would generate more than 2,000 new jobs.

Gina McCarthy, director of the E.P.A.’s air and radiation office, said that the pollution reductions would save from 2,600 to 6,600 lives per year by 2014 and avert 4,100 heart attacks and 42,000 asthma attacks annually.

“These health protections will save between $23 billion and $56 billion in health-related costs,” Ms. McCarthy said in a conference call for reporters. “They are realistic, they are achievable, and they are reasonable, and they come at roughly half the cost to comply compared to that in the proposed rule in May 2010.”

The E.P.A. withdrew the earlier rule in December, saying it needed another 15 months to refashion the rule to respond to complaints and new data. A federal judge rejected the extension, saying the agency had already spent three years developing the regulation, and ordered it to produce a new rule by this week.

The agency grudgingly met the deadline but said it would remain open to comments and proposals for changes from lawmakers, businesses and citizens.

Agency officials said the new rule was consistent with an executive order issued by President Obama in January calling for a broad review of environmental, health, safety and financial regulations to ensure that they were not imposing too heavy a cost on the economy. Changes to the boiler rule could foreshadow a less muscular approach to air pollution rules due for power plants next month and a series of regulations of greenhouse gases to be rolled out over the next several years.

The power plant rules are currently being scrubbed by the White House Office of Management and Budget.

The rule issued on Wednesday affects roughly 200,000 boilers, small power plants and incinerators operated by factories, chemical plants, municipalities, universities, churches and commercial buildings.

About 187,000 of these are relatively small sources of the target pollutants — lead, mercury, soot and toxic gases — and will have to do little more than perform routine “tune-ups” every year or two to meet the new standard. They will be allowed to achieve the cuts using readily available control technology at what the E.P.A. said was a reasonable cost. The agency said the earlier version, which would have required boiler operators to apply “maximum achievable control technology,” set too high a bar.

“The original standards for these have been dramatically refined and updated to ensure maximum flexibility for these sources,” the agency said in a press release.

The 13,800 larger facilities, including refineries, chemical plants and large factories, will have to meet numerical targets for pollution reduction, although the agency said it had narrowed the standards to lower compliance costs. The government will provide technical assistance in meeting the new standards and grant incentives for switching to cleaner-burning fuels such as natural gas and biomass.

Bob Bessette, president of the Council of Industrial Boiler Owners, said it appeared that the E.P.A. had provided some relief for operators of smaller units but nonetheless called it a “terrible disappointment” because it was not clear that its standards could be met at a reasonable cost.

He noted that because the new rule was so different from the previous version, E.P.A. would immediately reopen it to comment.

“This is a good plan given our nation’s current economic challenges,” Mr. Bessette said. “It makes much more sense for E.P.A. and all stakeholders to revisit key challenges, take additional time and get the rule right.”

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The train has left the station: EPA will kill our economy

This EPA rule is the first of many pending legislative actions devised by this administration that will impact our economic existance as we know it. 

First: the article referenced above sites an industry study that is very likely biased, but even half of the projected job losses would be unacceptable.  These will be middle class union jobs that will vanish.  Industries closing because of the billions of dollars in capital required to modify facilities will become common.  I hate to sound like a scare-monger, but this is reality. 

Second: the rule's 200,000 impacted boilers and the EPA's estimated cost to control these boilers are grossly underestimated.   This is always the case, the EPA never includes plant closures, lost tax revenue, and lost jobs/wages in their OMB analysis.  This is one of the sleeping giants.  The economic impact to the school districs that rely on local industries tax revenue will add additional pressure on districs to cut jobs educational programs. 

Finally, None of the boilers mentioned in this rulemaking are "OUT OF COMPLIANCE."  That's a very misleading statement we typically read in the print media.  Industry has 60 days (additional comment period), plus 3-yrs, plus an additional 180 days before the limits go into effect.  So mid 2014 is when the Industrial boiler rule limits must be met.

I know I sound biased, hell I work in the industries that will be impacted by these rules.  This will impact my families livelyhood.  This kind of crap puked from the USEPA has a direct impact on my wallet, and yours, but not until the rest of ther USEPA's train wreck collides in 2015. 

Somewhat scared, but willing to educate the uninformed.

DH

Where do you live?

Where do you live? What is your nearest pollution point source?

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I'm a Cuyahoga County Taxpayer

The proximity of my home to a point source is insignificant.

I can say that I've worked in every kind of industry, next to the pollution source, 8-16 hours a day for the past 17 years.  My personnal exposure level to unknown amounts of "Deadly toxins" would've likely killed all four of the CM Zoo's african elephants according to the USEPA's health impact studies.   In reality, I'm still healthy as a horse.

I've worked in all industries around the country: Steel mills, Power Plants, Refineries, Glass recycling facilities, Fiberglass plants, pulp and paper mills, Trona plants (in Wyoming, loved your pictures across country), Brewery's, dog food factories (worse smell to ever enter my nasal cavity), printing plants, Phosphorous plants, Smelting plants, and last but not least fertalizer plants.  I other words, you can pretty much consider me your site expert in a lot of the discussions surrounding industrial point sources.  I've had actual dicussions w/ industrial plant management and the words out of their mouths is that the EPA will cripple their industry.  Plant employees WILL lose their jobs, Plants WILL close down, and Local economies WILL suffer from the reduced tax base.

I agree w/ a lot of what Real NEO stands for (economic development, promoting a better education for city schools, and improving the environment), but I do have to make a counterpoint when a one-sided discussion focuses on the "Black-hearted baby raping" industries of our region.

My concern, as a decenting voice, is that I get blackballed from Real Neo discussions.

Regards,

DH

Where I live, by MCCO, in Cleveland, everyone is sick

Where I live, by MCCO, in Cleveland, everyone is sick.

You're welcome here, but you can't argue with sick children.

And I can't afford their bills. You pay them, Mr. industrialist.

That's the end of your economy.

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Proposal for Mittal is to move it to Gates Mills on the Chagrin

Proposal for Mittal is to move it to Gates Mills on the Chagrin River - one of the big problems with the point source polluters in Cleveland is they are in low income, dense, black neighborhoods - called environmental injustice. To balance out the social injustice I propose we move Mittal to Gates Mills - downtown where all those stupid little white houses and the Hunt Club are - there is a river for waste water and the population density is low, so there will be fewer people poisoned - it's in a valley and that may help contain the pollution to just the locals along the Chagrin - mostly rich old white people without children at home living on 6+ acre estates (many with gas wells now... Mittal can dig one too... FRACK away... free fuel) - and they all have health insurance out there - dam the river for more power - I'm cool with all that... I hate nature and rich people. The Chagrin River is a stupid little river anyways - easy road access to 271 for all the trucks.

Or perhaps the old Sea World site - lots of land and a cooling lake - vehicle access is great - probably an old rail spur around there somewhere... all rich old folks on big lots.

Killing old people reduces government costs and reduces the surplus population... good for the next generation.

I doubt any Mittal workers live near that shithole in the Flats so they won't care... they'll appreciate the fresh air on breaks.

If you need to be on the lake for freighters, Mentor on the Lake - send the pollution to Erie... they don't care there.

Is that cool?

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As for Cleveland Thermal - I'd go nuke.

As for Cleveland Thermal - I'd go nuke. We can demonstrate some experimental modular nuclear facilities... Chu is big on them and I'm cool with nuke... far better than burning coal.  The A-bomb was practically built in Cleveland and we don't mind radiation... may help slow our cancer growths... reduce healthcare costs.

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All for the Modular Nukes

The modular nukes are a great idea, but there has to be a place to dispose of the waste.  Current NRC requirements mandate the material be stored on site until the repository can be established.  Chu needs to fix that problem before he'll truly support nuclear power.

Mittel can't aford the capital investment required to Permit, site, and construct a facility to replace the one in your back yard.  It would be cheaper to move all the folks living around the mill to Kirkland, Chagrin Falls, and Gates Mills.  I think AEP did that in Cheshire, OH...for real.  I'm sure the folks living inthe area would appreciate the new tax base.

Best regards,

 

DH

Yes to nuke - bye bye Mittal

Yes to nuke - bye bye Mittal.

Send the waste to the bottom of the salt mine until Chu finishes developing his waste reprocessing strategy... make development of that a core research and development area for Case and the region  - Chu feels he can get nuke waste as safe as cotton candy eventually.

Mittal just can't kill here no more - they gotta go - someone will replace their capacity somewhere if there is the demand for steel... there are more rich industrialists today than any time in history and they own the banks - they can finance and build the Taj if they want... Obama will probably give them a grant to do it... he needs votes.

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Department of Energy Finalizes $96.8 Million Loan Guarantee

Department of Energy Finalizes $96.8 Million Loan Guarantee for Oregon Geothermal Project

February 24, 2011

Energy Secretary Steven Chu today announced that the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) finalized a $96.8 million Recovery Act supported loan guarantee to a project sponsored by U.S. Geothermal, Inc. to construct a 23 megawatt (net) geothermal power project in Malheur County, in southeastern Oregon. The company estimates that the project, known as Neal Hot Springs, will create approximately 150 construction jobs, over a dozen permanent jobs and many more supply chain jobs across several states, including Texas, California and Ohio.

"Increasing the supply of renewable energy through projects like U.S. Geothermal's will help us reach the President's goal of generating 80 % of our electricity from clean energy by 2035," said Secretary Chu. "The Neal Hot Springs project will provide clean renewable energy directly from our nation's vast natural resources while simultaneously creating jobs and helping to promote energy independence."

Full story

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What do you think about plasma torch gasification?

What do you think about plasma torch gasification?

I've asked the Sierra Club for their opinion on that - in general, they are opposed to burning things... is there a common ground?

I've asked their opinion on hemp for biomass as well (hemp is already legal to grow on some tribal land and is going mainstream.. this year),... and welcome your opinion on that.

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EPA new standards for boiler pollution reflect business concerns

EPA’s new standards for boiler pollution reflect business concerns but still protect public health

Posted: 27 Feb 2011 06:10 AM PST

On February 21st the EPA released the final Clean Air Act toxic pollution limits for industrial boilers and incinerators. The protections represent a change from the EPA’s original April 2010 proposal, which was modified after regulated businesses raised cost concerns during the public comment period.

The newly streamlined standards will still significantly reduce toxic air pollution while halving the compliance price tag.  CAP’s Lee Hamill has the details.

Starting in 2014, the new standards will annually prevent an estimated 2,600-6,600 premature deaths, 4,100 heart attacks and42,000 asthma attacks, all while saving the nation a projected $23-56 billion in health-related costs. Bill Becker, executive director of the National Association of Clean Air Agencies, or NACAA, said,

NACAA is pleased that EPA has issued its long-awaited rules that will reduce mercury, benzene, acid gases and other hazardous air pollutants from thousands of industrial facilities across the country. The benefits are huge and far outweigh the costs.

The measures will also generate 2,200 new jobs.

Industry convinced EPA to modify the rules to reduce their total compliance cost by $1.8 billion. Despite these changes, however, big oil and dirty coal allies continue to attack EPA safeguards in Congress. On February 18th, the House voted in favor of an amendment proposed by Texas Republicans Ted Poe, Joe Barton, and John Carter to prevent the EPA from limiting carbon dioxide pollution from power plants, oil refineries, and other stationary sources for the next seven months. This amendment does not affect the final rules announced on February 21st since the compliance is 2014 for boilers and 2016 for incinerators.

Americans overwhelmingly support rules to reduce air pollution. An American Lung Association poll from mid-February found overwhelming support for such policies. The Natural Resources Defense Council, or NRDC, reaffirmed this view with its 20 new surveys (one national and 19 congressional district-specific) that demonstrate overwhelming public backing for the EPA’s standards.  The polls were taken in districts of anti-clean air representatives.  For instance, 64 percent of Rep. Michelle Bachmann’s (R-MN) and 56 percent of Rep. John Boehner’s (R-OH) constituents choose air pollution reductions even if they “increase manufacturers’ energy costs and make it more difficult to compete.” And a full 70 percent of Rep. Lou Barletta’s (R-PA) support the EPA in setting pollution limits. The Michigan Messenger determined that “Michigan Reps buck constituents on EPA carbon vote,” highlighting that these representatives were disconnected from their voters’ views.

Despite this show of public approval, each of the representatives (except for Speaker of the House Boehner, since the speaker traditionally rarely votes) voted in favor of major anti-EPA bills such as the Texas Republicans’ amendment. They also voted for Rep. Mark Pompeo’s (R-KS) amendment that reduces EPA Programs and Management funding by $8.5 million, and Rep. John Carter’s (R-TX) amendment, which prevents the EPA from using funding to implement cement kiln air pollution rules.

It is unclear whether the House Republican leadership will attempt to undo the new toxic air pollution rules for boilers.  Although cutting the cleanup cost in half is very valuable, it may not be enough to stop key congressional players from attacking essential health safeguards.

The EPA reaffirmed its commitment to health-saving, cost-effective pollution safeguards with their new Clean Air Act standards for boilers and incinerators. Anti-public health legislators should note that such measures remain very popular with their constituents.

By Lee Hamill, CAP Energy Policy Intern.

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