News | December 20, 2012

Boiler Compliance At Area Sources

The EPA finalized changes to Clean Air Act standards for area source boilers (40 CFR 63, subpart JJJJJJ) and for major source boilers (40 CFR 63, subpart DDDDD).  As a result, 99 percent of the approximately 1.5 million boilers in the U.S. are not covered or can meet the new standards by conducting periodic boiler tune-ups. The final rule can be found at Regulatory Actions

The NESHAP for area source boilers was published in the Federal Register on March 21, 2011 and EPA finalized changes to the rule in the Federal Register on February 1, 2013.

What are Some Important Changes to the Rule?
• Initial notification date extended until January 20, 2014.  If you already submitted your initial notification, you do not need to resubmit the notification.
• Deadline for completing the initial tune-up extended until March 21, 2014 for existing boilers.
• Hot water boilers (e.g., not generating steam) rated at less than 1.6 million Btu per hour are not covered by the rule, under the revised definition of hot water heater for gas, oil, and biomass boilers.
• Residential boilers are not covered by the rule, if located in dwellings of four or fewer family units, including boilers located in dwellings of four or fewer family units located at institutional facilities (e.g., universities) or commercial/industrial facilities (e.g., farms) or in single unit dwellings converted to apartments.
• Deadline for submitting the notification of compliance status (NOCS) for tune-ups is now July 19, 2014. 
• Electronic NOCS reports will be required using the Compliance and Emissions Data Reporting Interface (CEDRI).   See more information about electronic reporting below and in the Example Forms box on the right.
• Existing dual-fuel fired units that fuel switch from gas to coal, biomass or oil remain existing sources if they were designed to accommodate the alternate fuel.
• New oil-fired units may combust low sulfur oil as an alternative method of meeting the particulate matter (PM) emission standard and such units are not required to meet the PM emission limit (provided the boiler does not use a post-combustion control technology (except a wet scrubber) to reduce PM or sulfur dioxide emissions).
• Tune-ups are required every five years instead of every two years for the following area source boilers: seasonal use units, limited use units, oil-fired units with heat input capacity equal to or less than 5 MMBtu/hr and units with oxygen trim systems.
• New boilers must conduct their first biennial or 5-year tune-upno later than 25 months or 61 months, as applicable, after the startupof the new or reconstructed boilers.

Where do I send my Initial Notification form?
For existing boilers, your Initial Notification Form is due to EPA or the delegated state agency by January 20, 2014 (for new sources, forms are due within 120 days after startup). Find the mailing address for your completed forms.

Am I affected by the boiler rule?
You are affected if your facility is an area source and your boiler burns:
• coal (including coal refuse, petroleum coke, or synthetic fuels derived from coal)
• oil or other liquid fuel (for boilers that burn primarily gas but infrequently burn oil, see below)
• biomass
• non-waste materials

The following types of boilers are not covered by the rule:
• gas-fired boilers (a boiler that primarily burns gas is still considered a gas-fired boiler even if it also burns oil or other liquid fuel during periods of gas curtailment, gas supply interruption, startups, or for periodic testing not to exceed 48 hours during any calendar year)
• boilers that burn solid waste (these boiler are subject to incinerator standards)
• hot water heaters
• waste heat boilers (heat recovery steam generators)
• temporary boilers
• residential boilers
• electric boilers
• electric utility steam generating units (EGUs)

What does the rule require?
The following document provides a quick reference for which requirements apply to various types of boilers: Fast Facts: Area Source Boiler Requirements (PDF).

For a complete list of requirements, refer to the NESHAP final rule for industrial, commercial, and institutional boilers.

How do I submit the electronic notification of compliance status to CEDRI?
The final rule amendments require electronic reporting of the Notification of Compliance Status (NOCS) required under 40 CFR 63.11225(a)(4).  Sources will be required to submit the NOCS electronically using the Compliance and Emissions Data Reporting Interface (CEDRI) through EPA’s Central Data Exchange ( CEDRI is a web-based application for the electronic reporting of various reports required in 40 CFR Parts 60 and 63.  CEDRI has been developed in a phased approach; as such, EPA is currently developing and testing a reporting template for the Notification of Compliance Status Report.   Upon completion, which is expected in the fall of 2013, the regulated community will be able to log into CEDRI and submit these reports.  Updates regarding the status of the reporting templates in CEDRI will be posted on this website.

What are some common questions about tune-ups?
• Can I conduct my tune-up early?  Yes. A tune-up may be conducted early as long as the tune-up included all elements of the tune-up specified in the rule.  In addition, the next tune-up is due no later than 25 months or 61 months, as applicable, after the date of the early tune-up.
• Must I start up a shutdown boiler to conduct a tune-up by the due date? No.  If a boiler is not operating on the required date for a tune-up, the tune-up is required within 30 days of start-up.

How do I determine if my facility is an area source?
Area sources are commercial (laundries, apartments, hotels), institutional (schools, churches, medical centers, municipal buildings) or industrial (manufacturing, refining, processing, mining) facilities that emit or have the potential to emit less than 10 tons per year of a single hazardous air pollutant, or less than 25 tons per year of combined hazardous air pollutants.

Why regulate boilers?
There are more than 183,000 area source boilers used to generate heat in the United States. The individual emissions from these units may be small, but the total emissions from all boilers is significant. Air pollution from boilers includes particulate matter (PM 2.5), carbon monoxide, hydrochloric acid, mercury (from coal-fired boilers), and trace amounts of other heavy metals. Health effects include a range of respiratory issues, especially asthma among children and seniors.

SOURCE: US Environmental Protection Agency