Wyden Sends Letter to EPA Seeking Better Rules for Small Boilers

Washington, D.C. – With the Environmental Protection Agency proposing new rules governing which fuels are burned in boilers throughout the country, U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) has sent a letter to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson calling on the agency to require additional disclosure of the fuels that are burned in smaller boilers, so that community members can know and weigh in on the types of fuels burned in small boilers in their neighborhoods.

After a long process wherein Wyden urged the EPA to designate which fuels can be used in heat recovery boilers and pushed the EPA not to issue rules until these important aspects had been worked out, the EPA proposed modifications two weeks ago that took many of Wyden’s suggestions into consideration. The rules would establish a defined list of which materials can be burned in boilers, however, the rules for smaller boilers – those most likely to be found in schools, commercial and residential communities – do not require disclosure of which fuels they are using.

“While the vast majority of these smaller boilers will use conventional fuels, such as oil or natural gas, a relatively small number will burn other listed materials,” Wyden wrote in the letter. “EPA should include a reporting requirement for the small number of area source boilers using fuels on the approved list.  This will ensure that the public is aware of when such fuels are used at all boilers, not just the larger ones.”

Wyden also sought consideration of additional time for larger industrial boilers which may find it difficult to meet the requirements within the three-year compliance period allotted by the new rules.

To read the letter, please click here.