Turn to the nation's most objective and informative daily environmental news resource to learn how the United States and key players around the world are responding to the environmental...
EPA Sewage Sludge Incinerator Rule
Key Development: EPA denies separate petitions by the National Association of Clean Water Agencies and the Sierra Club to reconsider the March 2011 sewage sludge incinerator rule.
Potential Impact: Wastewater utilities say they might have to shut down their sewage sludge incinerators because it will be too costly to comply.
What's Next: NACWA plans to pursue a lawsuit against EPA for denying its petition. This lawsuit would be separate from the one it already is pursuing over the rule in the D.C. Circuit.
The Environmental Protection Agency has denied two separate petitions seeking reconsideration of a Clean Air Act rule that would impose emissions limits on sewage sludge incinerators, the National Association of Clean Water Agencies said April 16.
NACWA General Counsel Nathan Gardner-Andrews confirmed that EPA had issued its formal denials.
A petition filed by the Sierra Club challenging the rule also was denied.
At issue in both petitions was the EPA final sewage sludge incinerator rule, which was published in March 2011 and took effect May 20, 2011. It includes new source performance standards for new units and emissions guidelines for existing sources (76 Fed. Reg. 15,372; 54 DER A-2, 3/21/11).
In the sewage sludge incinerator rule, EPA set limits on emissions of nine pollutants from wastewater utilities under Section 129 of the Clean Air Act. The pollutants are cadmium, carbon monoxide, hydrogen chloride, lead, mercury, nitrogen oxides, particulate matter, polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and polychlorinated dibenzofurans, and sulfur dioxide.
EPA denied NACWA's petition on April 6 on the grounds that the wastewater treatment group misunderstood EPA's rationale for regulating municipal solid waste incinerators under Section 129, which governs solid waste, rather than the less stringent standards under Section 112 of the Clean Air Act, which governs emissions of toxic air pollutants.
“EPA told us a number of months ago that they were planning to deny our request, although now have finally put it in writing,” Gardner-Andrews told BNA (29 DER A-15, 2/14/12).
Gardner-Andrews said NACWA will pursue a lawsuit the group filed last year in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit challenging the rule's legality.
“We anticipate filing briefs in that legal challenge sometime later this year,” he said.
NACWA filed its legal challenge to the rule on May 6, 2011, in the D.C. Circuit (National Ass'n of Clean Water Agencies v. EPA, D.C. Cir., No. 11-1131, 5/6/11).
The group also alleges that EPA failed in its rule to recognize that there are different classes of incinerators, and failed to account for variability in the concentration of metals in sewage sludge.
NACWA members own and operate approximately 110, or roughly half, of the sewage sludge incinerators affected by the rule. Wastewater utilities use the incinerators to manage sludge, which is the residual, semisolid material left from industrial wastewater or sewage treatment processes.
EPA's denial of petitions is available at http://op.bna.com/env.nsf/r?Open=phey-8tess2.
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)