WASHINGTON — The Environmental Protection Agency on Friday issued long-delayed new air pollution standards for industrial boilers, incinerators and cement kilns. The rules provide significant concessions to industry and allow several additional years for full compliance in an effort to minimize job and economic impacts, officials said.
The new standards for the first time set numerical limits on emissions of mercury, acid gas and small-particle pollution for a small subset of the nation’s 1.5 million industrial boilers. The agency, which has come under withering criticism from Congressional Republicans for what they contend is regulatory overreach, emphasized that the standards were drafted after extensive consultation with industry groups and local officials.
The agency said that the rules would affect fewer than 1 percent of industrial boilers, and that the others either would not be covered by the regulations or can meet the standards by performing routine maintenance.