U.S. EPA recently finalized amendments to its rules regulating boilers at small facilities all over the country. The rule, called the National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) for Industrial, Commercial and Institutional Boilers at Area Sources of Hazardous Air Pollutants, 40 C.F.R. Part 63, Subpart JJJJJJ (“6J”), covers boilers that burn oil, biomass or other solid and liquid non-waste materials and are located at all facilities that are not already classified as a major source, such as commercial facilities (e.g., apartments, hotels), institutional facilities (e.g., schools, churches, medical centers, municipal buildings) and industrial facilities (e.g., manufacturing, processing) that are not already regulated as “major” sources of hazardous air pollutants are subject to Subpart 6J.
The initial compliance deadline for affected boilers is March 21, 2014, and we expect that many affected facilities are completely unaware of these new requirements.
In short, the key requirements for boilers subject to Subpart 6J are as follows:
- Prepare and submit an initial notification to Maine DEP and EPA by January 20, 2014.
- Certify completion of an energy assessment and/or tune-up as applicable by March 1 of the year after the calendar year during which the tune-up is completed for boilers not subject to emission limits.
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- Existing boilers: Commenced construction or reconstruction of the boiler on or before June 4, 2010. Note: An existing dual‐fuel fired boiler that fuel switches from gaseous fuel to solid fossil fuel, biomass, or liquid fuel after June 4, 2010 is considered to be an existing source as long as the boiler was designed to accommodate the alternate fuel.
- New boilers: Commenced construction or reconstruction after June 4, 2010.
Some of the more common exemptions from Subpart 6J are as follows:
- Natural gas-fired boilers;
- Hot water heaters with a capacity of less than or equal to 120 gallons and hot water boilers not generating steam with a heat capacity less than 1.6 MMBtu/hr; and
- R&D boilers, temporary boilers, residential boilers and electric boilers.
Given that the initial deadline for compliance with Subpart 6J is the end of this week, facilities that have not already conducted required tune-ups or energy assessments may be in a difficult position to meet the deadline. For such facilities, it is important to be aware that Subpart 6J allows certain prior tune-ups and energy assessments to fulfill the requirements of Subpart 6J. For facilities that find themselves in such a predicament, these potential compliance avenues should be fully assessed.