A publication of Work On Waste USA, Inc., 82 Judson, Canton, NY 13617 315-379-9200 SEPTEMBER 1994
The following is the full EPA Environmental News release
of September 1, 1994,
titled EPA Proposes to Reduce Air Pollutants from Municipal Waste Incinerators.
EPA today proposed air standards for municipal waste incinerators nationwide that will slash dioxin emissions by 99 percent as well as sharply reduce other air pollutants like mercury, lead and cadmium.
This proposal will result in a major reduction in dioxin emissions and other air pollutants from municipal incinerators, said EPA Administrator Carol M. Browner. It represents the strongest action ever taken to control emissions from municipal incinerators. It signifies the Clinton Administration's aggressive efforts to protect the health of the American people.
Todays action proposes toughening earlier municipal waste incinerator standards set in 1991 under the previous Administration, requiring more stringent pollution control equipment, increasing the number of pollutants regulated, and increasing the number of incinerators to be regulated from those that burn 250 tons or more of trash a day to those that burn as little as 40 tons per day. This translates into 180 [Ed. We believe this is an overestimate] existing incinerators and all new plants.
The proposed rule includes stringent numerical emission limits for a whole host of toxic and respiratory air pollutants such as dioxin, lead, cadmium, mercury, particulates, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide and carbon dioxide (the chief global warming gas). Emissions from these and other air pollutants from incinerators would be reduced by 145,000 tons a year. Also, for new plants the proposal requires: (1) a materials separation/recycling plan; (2) an incinerator plant siting analysis; and (3) requirements for public involvement and meetings early in the incinerator planning stage. The proposal will make it easier for communities to implement recycling programs at incinerators. A separate proposed rule will be issued shortly addressing the combustion of lead acid batteries. EPA s still considering the environmentally best method for managing such batteries.
The proposal requires emission limits reflecting the use of maximum achievable control technology, which is currently a device called a scrubber. Scrubbers, or their equivalent technology, must be installed at new plants to reduce metal emissions, such as lead, cadmium, arsenic and chromium by more than 99 percent; dioxins, furans and other organic chemical emissions by more than 99 percent; acid gas emissions, such as sulfur dioxide and hydrogen chloride by 90 - 95 percent; mercury by 85 percent; and nitrogen oxide gases by about 45 percent. Sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides are the prime ingredients in the formation of acid rain.
The proposal also requires facilities to install (retrofit) scrubbers or their equivalents at existing plants, reducing metal emissions by 98 to 99 percent, organic emissions by 95 to 99 percent and acid gases by 45 percent.
Municipal waste incinerators are estimated to be the second largest source of air dioxin emissions. Municipal incinerators generally burn only residential and commercial trash or garbage; they do not handle hazardous or industrial waste. Also, this proposal does not apply to medical waste incinerators; later this year EPA will propose a rule controlling dioxin from medical waste incinerators. Individually, emissions from most medical waste incinerators are thought to be relatively small; however, because there are over 5000 medical waste incinerators in the U.S., as a group these type incinerators are estimated to be the largest overall contributor of dioxin to the air.
Nearly 196 million tons of municipal waste were produced in 1990, or about 4.3 pounds per person per day (almost a ton of waste per person per year). Currently, 16 percent of all municipal waste is incinerated, 17 percent is separated/recycled and 67 percent is landfilled. This proposal, when it becomes final, will cost existing incinerators nationwide about $450 million a year, or an average cost increase of about $12 per ton of waste combusted. This translates into an additional residential customer cost of about $2.00 per month per household. For new plants, the proposal would cost about $43 million annually beginning five years after it becomes effective, and would also cost about $2.00 per month per household. When todays proposal becomes a final rule in Sept. 1995, existing plants will have one to three years to comply with the rule, while new plants must comply immediately on startup of operations. The proposed regulations, specifically required by Congress in the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990, sets up federal standards for new waste incinerators and guidelines for states in setting their own standards for existing plants. The state standards, however, must be based on the federal guidelines and are subject to EPA review. Todays announced proposal will appear soon in the Federal Register, but will be computer-accessible earlier through EPAs Electronic Bulletin Board (TNN) at 919-541-5742 (backup number for access problems is 919-541-5384). For further technical information on the proposal, contact Walt Stevenson at 919-541-5264*. Note: There is a 60 day public comment period which begins when EPAs regulations appear in the Federal Register. Call Stevensons number* to know the day the regulations are published.
Health Assessment Document for 2,3,7,8 - Tetrachlordibenzo-p-dioxin
(TCDD) and Related Compounds, EPA/600/BP-92,001a, 001b,
and 001c (the full document is 3 vols. and approx. 1,000 pages.)
Risk Characterization Chapter, EPA/600/BP-92,001c. (Note: this is the third vol of the 3 vol set above. It integrates health and exposure information on dioxin and related compounds; approx. 50 pages.)
Estimating Exposure to Dioxin-Like Compounds, EPA/600/6-88/005CA,
005Cb, and 005Cc. (Note: this full document is 3-vols. and approx.
Executive Summary Chapter of the Exposure Document, EPA/600/6-88/005Ca. (Note: this is the first vol. of the 3-vol. set summarizes exposure information; approx. 100 pages.)
8-25-94 announcement from the EPA: On September 13, 1994, EPA will make available for public review its draft reassessment of dioxin human health risks. This draft reassessment is the result of over three years of effort involving hundreds of scientists from both inside and outside government. The study consists of two reports, each comprised of three volumes, and totals over 2,000 pages. These documents address the toxicology of dioxin for both cancer and non-cancer effects, and describes what is known about the sources of dioxin and current levels of human exposure. The reports are scientific documents and, therefore, do not address questions of dioxin policy or regulatory action. Based on comments received on these draft reports during a 120 day public review period and results of a subsequent formal peer review by EPAs Science Advisory Board, EPA will revise the reports and publish them in final approximately one year from now. The dioxin reassessment will serve as the scientific basis for future dioxin policy and program development. To help begin this public review process EPA will conduct five public science briefings around the country:..The objective of these briefings is to describe the process and schedule for completing the documents, provide an explanation of the draft scientific findings reported in the documents, and answer clarification questions on the scientific process and content of the documents.
1. Boston, MA - Sept 16. 10 am to 1 pm, Georgian Room, The Park Plaza, 64 Arlington Street (corner of Tremont Street), Boston. (EPA coordinator: Ann-Marie Burke, Tel: 617-223-5528, FAX # 617-573-9662.)
2. Chicago, IL - Sept 16. 10 am to 1 pm, Lake Michigan Room at EPA office, 12th floor, 77 West
Jackson, Chicago. (EPA coordinator: John Perrecone, Tel: 312-353-1149, FAX 312-353-1155.)
3. Arlington, TX - Sept 14. 10 am to 1 pm, South West Environmental Education Training (SWEET) Center, Univ. of Texas at Arlington, 406 Summit Drive, Arlington. (EPA coordinator: Norman Dyer,
Tel: 214-665-8349, FAX 214-665-7446.)
4. Denver, CO - Sept 15. 1 pm to 3 pm, U.S. EPA Conference Center, 999 18th St., Second floor, Denver. (EPA coordinator: Christopher Wells, Tel: 303-294-7655, FAX 303-293-1230.)
5. San Francisco, CA - Sept 16. Ground Floor Conference Rooms at EPA Office, 75 Hawthorne Street, San Francisco. (EPA Coordinator: Arnold Den, Tel: 415-744-1018, FAX 415-744-2499.)
PLEASE SEE WASTE NOT # 300 FOR COMMENTS.
Editors: Ellen & Paul Connett, 82 Judson Street, Canton, New York 13617. Tel: 315-379-9200. Fax: 315-379-0448.