New Changes to CISWI Final Rule Reflect EPA’s Response to Comments from the Regulated Community

Posted on March 21, 2013 by Karen Crawford

The EPA issued its long-awaited CISWI Rule in the Federal Register on February 7, 2013.  78 FR 9112.  The final rule, entitled “Commercial and Industrial Solid Waste Incineration Units; Reconsideration and Final Amendments; Non-Hazardous Secondary Materials That Are Solid Waste,” contains the provisions in EPA’s 2011 rule, vacated in January 2012, that EPA agreed to reconsider.  The 2011 final rule in turn superseded EPA’s 2000 CISWI rule.  The new CISWI Rule amends 40 CFR part 60 subparts CCCC and DDDD and part 241.  The amendments to 40 CFR part 60 subpart DDDD, along with certain incorporations by reference, were effective on the promulgation date; amendments to part 60 subpart CCCC are effective August 7, 2013, and those to 40 CFR part 241 are effective April 8, 2013.

In response to both the court’s vacatur of a Notice of Delay issued in 2011 and the numerous petitions for reconsideration and comments submitted by the regulated community and the public, the final rule includes three subcategories of ERUs (energy recovery units) and two subcategories for waste-burning kilns based on design-type differences, with separate carbon monoxide (CO) limits for the latter.  Certain limits were also revised based on comments regarding the CO span methodology and on incorporation of additional data.  The rule establishes stack testing and continuous monitoring requirements and allows for the use of  continuous emissions monitoring systems (CEMS), setting levels based on a 3 hour block or 30-day rolling average (depending on the parameter and subcategory of CISWI). 

The rule addresses and preserves a source’s choice to cease or start combusting solid waste at any time due to market conditions or other reasons, and to switch from one set of applicable emission standards to another pursuant to CAA section 112, thereby amending the original "once in always in" approach reflected in the earlier versions of this rule. This in turn will provide an incentive to the regulated community to continue operating incinerators.

The deadline for compliance with the CISWI Rule by existing sources depends primarily on when the state implementation plan incorporating the final rule is approved, with such approval required no later than five years after the February 7, 2013 Federal Register publication date.  The effective date for new source compliance is August 7, 2013 or the date of startup, whichever date is later.  New sources are defined as sources that began construction on or after June 4, 2010, or commenced reconstruction or modification after August 7, 2013.