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The NHSM rule was promulgated as part of a suite of EPA rules dealing with air emissions from industrial, commercial and institutional boilers and from waste incinerators.
While EPA suspended the air rules earlier this year, the agency did not suspend the NHSM rule.
Over the last few months since the new NHSM rule was issued, there has been little clarification and the tangled regulatory webs continue to be woven.
This article digs into the main provisions of the NHSM rule, including the points of contention, highlights major concerns of the difference in the cement MACT standards and the incinerator standards for air emissions, and explains how industry is fighting back.
In the United States, EPA has heavily promoted kiln fuels from secondary materials (2) and has stated that the use of secondary materials (i.e., NHSM) compared to traditional fuels does not appreciably affect air pollutant emissions.
WHAT IS THIS NHSM RULE, AND HOW DOES IT DEFINE SOLID WASTE?
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.g., coal, oil, and natural gas), with the premise that these materials are commonly used materials and not "sham" recycling (i.e., incineration to dispose of waste).
If a material remains within the control of the generator, it is not considered "discarded." 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." Tires from a landfill, however, would be considered "discarded" under the rule, and those tires would need to meet the requirements of Option C to avoid being regulated under CISWI.
The compensation between the Indian and East Asian summer monsoon made the total NHSM near normal.
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