WASHINGTON - The Biomass Thermal Energy Council (BTEC) commented today on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) proposed changes to the Clean Air Act standards for Area and Major Source Boilers, pledging continued review of the new regulations. The proposed rules, which apply to industrial and commercial-sized biomass boilers, were released on Friday and contained revisions designed to reduce boiler compliance costs.

"We are pleased that the EPA's revised standards look to achieve major public health benefits while further adjusting the rules to meet real world boiler operating conditions," said BTEC Executive Director Joseph Seymour. "Striking a balance to meet clean air standards without placing high compliance costs on the renewable energy industry can be a difficult task, and BTEC welcomes EPA's ongoing process." The EPA commenced reconsideration of its 2010 boiler rules in part due to widespread concern that the regulations were unachievable and could place unreasonable costs on biomass boiler operators and manufacturers. The newly released regulations are estimated to be 50 percent less costly than the original proposal. Throughout 2010 and 2011, BTEC engaged the EPA in development of the boiler regulations, both through the formal comment process and continued communication.

"BTEC has appreciated the opportunity to provide EPA with input from the biomass thermal community, and we look forward to continued review of the regulations and dialogue with the agency to drive regulations promoting the cleanest equipment available," said Seymour. "Local, renewable biomass can help families, institutions, and companies meet economic, energy, and environmental goals, and we as an industry should support regulations that drive deployment of clean, efficient biomass thermal technologies."

For information on the Area and Major Source Boiler rules, please visit: epa.gov/airquality/combustion/actions.html

Source: Biomass Thermal Energy Council

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