Rather than simplifying matters by taking a new approach in the NHSM rule, EPA stayed with what was familiar and established limited exemptions from the definition of solid waste for NHSM that are used as a fuel or as an ingredient in a combustion unit.
The NHSM rule provides four options for determining whether a NHSM is a fuel or a waste:
The kiln owner/operator is responsible to make the determination with documentation confirming whether a NHSM is a waste,
The NHSM rule includes a broad range of traditional fuels (e.
Also, in response to numerous comments from the cement industry and others, the NHSM rule provides that whole tires from an established collection service are not considered "abandoned," and therefore not "discarded.
The rule provides that NHSM that is "sufficiently processed" and meets the "legitimacy" criteria will not be considered a waste.
The first part of the option C test is whether the NHSM has been "sufficiently processed.
From the time a NHSM is processed to generate a fuel until the time it is combusted, it must be managed as a valuable product and stored within a reasonable time frame, i.
The NHSM rule requires that contaminant levels in a NHSM must be "comparable in concentration to or lower than those in traditional fuels which the combustion unit is designed to burn.
The rule nevertheless requires a "direct comparison of the contaminant levels in the NHSM to the traditional fuel itself," in an effort to ensure there is no resultant increase in air emission levels associated with the use of NHSM as fuels.
Based on analogous EPA terms used in CAA rules, the term under the NHSM rule should be focused on the design of the unit and not what the unit is capable of burning, permitted to burn, or currently burning.
Unfortunately, EPA has stated in a recent letter Implementing the NHSM rule that "[a] unit designed to burn coal is one that would not require extensive modifications and retrofitting to burn coal.