EPA withdraws rule excluding certain fuels from RCRA regulations
In December 2008, the US EPA excluded certain fuels derived from hazardous secondary materials which, when burned in industrial boilers under specified conditions generated air pollutant emissions comparable to those produced by burning fuel oil in those boilers.
The 2008 conditional exclusion provided a regulatory compliance break for industrial facilities that were able to use potentially hazardous secondary materials as fuel in their boilers since they could do so without the burden of full RCRA documentation on the materials burned. They also, of course, saved money on fuel oil, and on disposal costs of the secondary materials if not burned.
On June 8th, the agency changed its mind, and determined that these secondary materials that could be used a s fuels need to be classified as hazardous wastes (discarded material). They, therefore, become covered under RCRA
The regulation of secondary materials as fuels will impact (among other types of facilities):
- Petroleum and Coal Products Manufacturing
- Basic Chemical Manufacturing
- Resin, Synthetic Rubber, and Artificial Synthetic Fibers and Filaments Manufacturing
- Pharmaceutical and Medicine Manufacturing
- Paint, Coating, and Adhesive Manufacturing
- Other Chemical Product Preparation Mfg
- Support Activities for Road Transportation
- Business Support Services
- Waste Treatment and Disposal
- National Security and International Affairs
There are exclusions from the proposal. These include materials that qualify as Comparable Fuels or Syngas.
For comparable fuels these criteria include heating value >5,000 BTU/lbs, viscosity no more than 50cS as fired.
For Syngas, minimum Btu value of 100 Btu/Scf, less than 1 ppmv total halogen, less than 300 ppmv hydrogen sulfide, and less than 1 ppmv of any listed chemical in the appendix table.
The appendix table contains approximately 200 chemicals listed for potential applicability with concentration limits for potential applicability. The facility is required to sample and test the material to compare to the table, unless the facility can state based on some other testing or knowledge that a particular chemical should not be present.
For more information: http://www.epa.gov/epawaste/hazard/tsd/td/combust/compfuels/exclusion.htm