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The History and Future of the EPA’s Boiler MACT Regulations

Lately, there has been a bit of action regarding The Environmental Protection Agency’s Boiler MACT (maximum achievable control technology) regulation under Clean Air Act § 112(d). This regulation sets emission standards that govern the release of certain pollutants such as mercury, hydrogen chloride, particulate matter (as a surrogate for non-mercury metals), and carbon monoxide (as a surrogate for organic hazardous emissions) from coal-fired, biomass-fired, and liquid-fired major source boilers.

The law covers:

  • Hazardous waste incinerators
  • Hazardous waste cement kilns
  • Hazardous waste lightweight aggregate kilns
  • Hazardous waste solid fuel boilers
  • Hazardous waste liquid fuel boilers
  • Hazardous waste hydrochloric acid production furnaces.

Rule History


11/20/2015 – Final Rule; Notice of Final Action on Reconsideration

01/21/2015 – Proposed Rule

01/31/2013 – Final Rule

12/23/2011 – Proposed Rule; Reconsideration of Final Rule

05/18/2011 – Final Rules; Delay of Effective Dates

03/21/2011 – Final Rule

03/21/2011 – Notice of Reconsideration of Final Rules

06/04/2010 – Proposed Rule

12/06/2006 – Final Rule; Notice of Final Action on Reconsideration

12/28/2005 – Final Rule, Amendments; Notice of Final Action on Reconsideration

10/31/2005 – Proposed Rule; Notice of Reconsideration of Final Rule; Proposed Amendments

06/27/2005 – Proposed Rule; Notice of Reconsideration of Final Rule

09/13/2004 – Final Rule

01/13/2003 – Proposed Rule


Because some in the industry consider the regulations to be onerous and expensive, it was challenged in March of last year by American Municipal Power Inc. The electricity wholesaler did so by presenting the high court with a writ of certiorari. In response to this action by the company, the Supreme Court ruled that it will not review the EPA’s controversial and imperfect Boiler and incineration rule. As of now, many businesses still contend that Boiler MACT sets emission standards that require impossible perfect performance at all times, outlawing even accidental releases

The point to all this is that these regulations though controversial still must be followed until the uncertainty surrounding them is cleared up. The future of these regulations under this relatively new administration is uncertain. However, as CEMS Experts, we guarantee that we can help companies come and stay into compliance with these regulations through the use of our technology. The penalties for noncompliance are too great for your company to risk.

Top Environmentally Friendly Technologies

By some estimates nearly an additional 2.9 billion people will inhabit our planet by the mid century. This means that our tightening water and food stores supplies will be further strained in a way they have never been strained before. It also means that the world’s energy needs will rise as well. Indeed, a United Nations study says that the world’s energy needs will increase by 60 percent by 2030. At CEMS Experts, we strive to make sure that your company stays in compliance with changing EPA regulations. We do CEMS consulting and CEMS engineering to help your company remain viable and at the same time not add to this potentially calamitous situation. Technology plays a huge role in alleviating these stresses. Here are a few technologies that, in addition to our own boiler MACT CEMS rentals – are or will be game changers in the near future.

  • Waste/Energy Conversion: Carbon-based waste can be converted into energy by submitting it to sufficient amounts of heat and pressure. This technology is promising since the source of this kind of waste is everywhere in nature.
  • Solar Energy: Speaking of something that is around us all the time – solar energy production is well underway all over the world. So promising is this technology that many local and state governments already offer incentives for people who use it.
  • Desalinization: By the middle of the 21st century water shortages will affect nearly a billion people worldwide. This is according to another UN study. One potential solution to this impending crisis is to develop technologies that remove salt from seawater.
  • Hydrogen Fuel Cells: This technology is highly debated among some experts. Hydrogen fuel cell production requires other technologies to be added to it. However, cars that run with hydrogen cells not only run on hydrogen they emit only water.
  • Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion: The ocean is the biggest natural solar collector in the world. OTEC works by taking advantage in the temperature variation between water that is on the bottom of the ocean (cold) and the ocean’s surface (hot).

Finally, we believe that the key to avoiding energy, food and climate emergencies of the future rest in technological innovation. Government rules for compliance require that companies utilize technology to help them stay in compliance as well. As a responsible world citizen we know that you will want to stay in compliance by using our services and products.