The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Friday finalized a set of long-planned rules that put limits on emissions of harmful air pollutants from industrial boilers and incinerators.
Known as boiler MACT rules, the standards impose the first-ever limits on emissions for mercury, acid gases and fine particulate matter, or soot, for boilers and incinerators.
The agency said the rules would affect about 1 percent of the nation’s boilers. It added the rules would yield public health benefits, preventing 8,100 premature deaths and 5,100 heart attacks per year beginning in 2015.
Republicans and industry had fought the rules, saying they represented regulatory overreach and would impose burdensome economic costs. That pressure led to several revisions to bake in more flexibility for industry.
The final rules also included some of that flexibility by holding off on implementation until 2016 at the earliest, giving industry more time to comply.