Published on February 13, 2008
The Hazardous Waste Combustion (HWC) MACT Rule: The Hazardous Waste Combustion (HWC) MACT Rule Continuing Concerns of the Coalition for Responsible Waste Incineration August 26, 2005 Who We Are : Who We Are The Coalition for Responsible Waste Incineration (CRWI) is a trade organization representing virtually all facets of the Hazardous Waste Combustion (HWC) source category affected by this proposed MACT Rule. CRWI members include companies engaged in commercial and captive hazardous waste incinerators, cement kilns, halogen acid recovery furnaces, and chemical weapon disposal facilities, as well as consulting experts and academic programs supporting hazardous waste combustion as a responsible waste disposal alternative. The membership of CRWI is currently implementing the interim MACT standards and will be impacted by this proposed rule. Why We Are Here: Why We Are Here The HWC MACT source category includes diverse industrial activities affecting CRWI members, all addressed in previous dialogue with EPA. EPA’s currently proposed HWC standards leave some of these issues unresolved, particularly as they will impact new sources. The Comparison Table attached illustrates the history of the HWC MACT standards and how EPA’s proposed regulatory approach to this Rule will impact the MACT emission standards for the subcategory of hazardous waste incinerators. Comparison Tables: Comparison Tables Comparison Tables (cont.): Comparison Tables (cont.) Concurrence:Methods for Deriving Standards: Concurrence: Methods for Deriving Standards There is no one-size-fits-all methodology for judging the performance of the HWC source category. Individual categories of HAPs -- dioxins and furans (D/F), Semi-volatile (SVM) and Low-volatile Metals (LVM), particulate (PM), Total Chlorine and Hydrochloric Acid (CL/HCl)) – require different control technologies. CRWI concurs in EPA’s chosen methodologies for setting technology-based MACT standards. Concurrence: The Maximum Deviation Approach: Concurrence: The Maximum Deviation Approach The database used to set the HWC MACT standards includes many instances of “non-detect” of a particular pollutant. EPA acknowledges that using an analytical detection limit in lieu of actual emission data tends to bias the statistical variability values used to set MACT standards. The Maximum Deviation concept is a reasonable approach for more accurately estimating variability. A Caveat toThe Maximum Deviation Approach: A Caveat to The Maximum Deviation Approach CRWI has not been able to test this approach on the actual data being used. CRWI continues to have reservations about using “non-detect” data points for setting emission standards. If non-detect data are used, the Agency should follow their own guidelines and use the Reliable Detection Limit (RDL) rather than the Method Detection Limit (MDL). Concurrence:Flexibility for HWC Subcategories: Concurrence: Flexibility for HWC Subcategories CRWI supports the options for setting standards for liquid fuel-fired boilers. CRWI supports using chlorine as a surrogate for metals in the halogen acid furnace subcategory. CRWI supports EPA’s decision to not develop beyond-the-floor chlorine standards for solid fuel-fired boilers. Concurrence:The Health-Based Chlorine/HCl Standard Alternative: Concurrence: The Health-Based Chlorine/HCl Standard Alternative Section 112(d)(4) authorizes EPA to set HAP emission standards based on established health thresholds. HCl is a threshold pollutant with an established reference dose that incorporates a conservative uncertainty factor, satisfying the “ample margin of safety” requirement of the CAA. CRWI supports EPA’s proposed Chlorine/HCl standard as reasonable and consistent with the CAA, with one exception. Concern:Implementation of the Health-Based Alternative Standard: Concern: Implementation of the Health-Based Alternative Standard As proposed, the permitting agency is given 6 months to review an eligibility determination. Such eligibility applications are necessarily time-sensitive because of imminent MACT compliance dates. If approval is not timely, the facilities are obliged to implement costly technology-based controls of little discernible benefit to public health or the environment. Six months should be enough time for an agency to determine whether an eligibility application is submitted in good faith. At that time, the burden should shift to the agency for a prompt, decisive, and reasonable action on the eligibility application. Implementation of the Health-Based Alternative Standard:Proposed Resolution: Implementation of the Health-Based Alternative Standard: Proposed Resolution If EPA’s final HWC MACT Rule does not require prior agency approval of an eligibility demonstration before of a health-based alternative standard can be implemented, no action by OMB is necessary. If the final Rule requires agency approval before health-based MACT standards can be implemented, CRWI suggests the following: Provisions for a compliance date extension; or Default approval after agency review for six months with no action. Concern:Achievability of New Source Standards : Concern: Achievability of New Source Standards Section 112(d)(3) of the CAA states that new source MACT standards should be set based on “the emission control that is achieved in practice by the best controlled similar source, as determined by the Administrator” (emphasis added). Note, in the Table provided, how many of the new source standards are much more stringent than existing source standards. This stems from the HAP-by-HAP approach used by EPA in setting the new source standards. Concern:Achievability of New Source Standards: Concern: Achievability of New Source Standards The HAP-by-HAP approach works for existing sources in the HWC source category because the top performers are averaged. In setting the new source standards, EPA chooses the top performer for each individual HAP as the standard setter; in the HWC source category, however, no one facility is the top performer for each HAP. Emission performance of existing facilities: Of the six HWC MACT HAPs, the best any facility can demonstrate is compliance with four new source standards (see provided spreadsheet). Concern:Achievability of New Source Standards: Concern: Achievability of New Source Standards Congress expressly addressed this issue in a colloquy between Senators Dole and Durenberger during the Senate Conference Report on the 1990 CAA Amendments. Senator Durenberger stated that if it is technically infeasible to combine incompatible technologies for HAP controls, “EPA should judge MACT to be the technology which best benefits human health and the environment on the whole.” CRWI respectfully submits that EPA has skipped this step in setting new source MACT standards for the HWC source category. Achievability of New Source Standards:Proposed Resolution: Achievability of New Source Standards: Proposed Resolution In order to meet the statutory mandate of the CAA, at least one existing HWC facility must be able to meet EPA’s proposed new source standards. To assure that this mandate is honored, CRWI suggests OMB: Require EPA to show that at least one existing facility can meet all new source standards simultaneously. Further require EPA to assure that the benchmark “top performer” is comparable to the new HWC facility (see next concern below). Concern:Comparability of “Top Performers”: Concern: Comparability of “Top Performers” The accompanying CRWI Position Paper identifies the “top performers” for five of the six HAPs regulated by the HWC MACT Rule (Position Paper at page 8). None of the five “top performers” are representative of the typical hazardous waste combustors, based on differences in physical configuration, feed rate, or pre-MACT performance. Comparability of “Top Performers:”Proposed Resolution : Comparability of “Top Performers:” Proposed Resolution Ask EPA to clarify their techniques for setting new source standards to include some means to assure that the benchmark existing facility is actually similar as required by Section 112(d)(3) of the CAA. Concern:“MACT of MACT”: Concern: “MACT of MACT” “MACT of MACT” is shorthand for a concern arising from the legal history of this particular MACT Rule. The original HWC MACT Rule was proposed in 1996, promulgated in 1999, and judicially vacated in 2001. Interim Standards were put into place in 2002. In 2002, EPA reopened the “MACT Pool” as a prelude to setting new replacement standards. This updated “Pool” reflects the following new performance data: Facilities that had ceased combustion of hazardous waste were removed (which CRWI supported); and Facilities that had upgraded to meet the Interim Standards were included (which CRWI strenuously opposed). Concern:“MACT of MACT”: Concern: “MACT of MACT” CAA Section 112(e) of the CAA clearly expresses Congressional intent to set technology-based performance standards by a date certain. As a result of the EPA’s decision to re-open the HWC MACT Pool in 2002, a proactive facility modifying its technology to meet the Interim Standards became a HWC “top performer,” ratcheting existing and new source HWC MACT standards downward. This more stringent standard was derived, not from the state-of-the-art technology at the time Congress intended, but rather a facility’s good faith effort to comply with post-MACT standards (i.e., “MACT of MACT”). “MACT of MACT:” Proposed Resolution : “MACT of MACT:” Proposed Resolution Suggest to EPA that any facility that has upgraded to meet MACT standards should not be included in the MACT Pool for setting technology standards. Concern:Data Quality Issues: Concern: Data Quality Issues As emission standards become more stringent, data quality becomes suspect. For instance, the PM standards may be set at lower than acknowledge accuracy levels. Also, it will be more difficult for facilities to demonstrate compliance. The proposed standard for chlorine is set lower than the confidence level of established test methods. Data Quality Issues:Proposed Resolution: Data Quality Issues: Proposed Resolution EPA should re-analyze the MACT database to assure that data quality guidelines are followed. EPA should assure that compliance testing methods that yield consistent and accurate data are available. Concern:Beyond-the-Floor Standards: Concern: Beyond-the-Floor Standards EPA has proposed a beyond-the-floor standard for dioxins/furans for the halogen acid furnace subcategory. This will result in added compliance costs to achieve a reduction of only 1.3 grams per year of dioxin/furan emissions. Proposed Resolution: Ask EPA to re-examine the cost-effectiveness of this beyond-the-floor decision. Concern:Site Specific Risk Assessments (SSRAs): Concern: Site Specific Risk Assessments (SSRAs) In response to a petition by the Cement Kiln Recycling Coalition, EPA is proposing amendments to RCRA regulations clarifying its authority to require SSRAs. CRWI does not believe that risk assessment guidance should be promulgated as a rule. CRWI does believe that any clarification of SSRA authority should also include strictures on when risk assessments should be performed. SSRAs:Proposed Resolution: SSRAs: Proposed Resolution Either delete the amendments regarding SSRA authority; or Add specific language making the amendments consistent with the April 10, 2003, policy memo from Marianne Horinko.