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U.S. Sugar Corp. v. Environmental Protection Agency

ELR Citation: 46 ELR 20131
Nos. 11-1108 et al., (D.C. Cir., 07/29/2016)

The D.C. Circuit, in a 162-page opinion, granted in part and denied in part petitions challenging three EPA rules setting NESHAPs for industrial, commercial, and institutional boilers and commercial and industrial solid waste incinerator (CISWI) units. The petitioners brought approximately 30 challenges to three rules: the major boilers rule, the area boilers rule, and the CISWI rule. The court rejected all of the industry petitioners’ challenges, including those related to startups, shutdowns, and malfunctions; the energy-assessment requirement; the emission standards for hydrogen chloride; and EPA's use of carbon monoxide as a surrogate for certain hazardous air pollutants (HAPs). But the court granted several of the environmental petitioners' challenges. Specifically, the court vacated the maximum achievable control technology (MACT) standards for all major boiler subcategories that would have been affected had EPA considered all sources included in the subcategories. The court also remanded the rules to EPA to adequately explain how carbon monoxide acts as a reasonable surrogate for nondioxin/furan organic hazardous air pollutants, to set emission standards for cyclonic burn barrels, and to determine whether burn-off ovens, soil treatment units, and space heaters are CISWI units and, if so, to set standards for those types of units. On remand, EPA must also adequately explain the exclusion of synthetic boilers from the CAA Title V permitting requirements and adequately explain the choice of "generally available control technologies" standards over MACT standards for non-mercury metals. All other portions of the rules were upheld.