The Construction Materials Recycling Association is partnering with the Biomass Power Association in preparing a petition to the U.S. EPA to gain regulatory certainty for C&D biomass going forward after the expected release of the non hazardous secondary materials (NHSM) rule. The EPA rule, which is part of the Boiler MACT regulations that will impact the entire boiler industry, probably won’t include a designation of C&D wood as a non-waste fuel, which could lead to tighter regulation and reduced markets for C&D biomass.
According to the CMRA, “The goal is to get the highest level of regulatory certainty for C&D wood as a fuel, and to make sure the agency does not designate it a waste. With BPA we have retained Susan Bodine, an attorney based in Washington, DC, and who used to be a deputy administrator at EPA, to develop the outline to submit to EPA, with experts from both the boiler operators and C&D recyclers to fill in any technical gaps.”
The boiler industry will have to provide more information for the document than the C&D recyclers. The CMRa has already prepared a Best management Practices guide that EPA is expected to accept. But to be sure, the CMRA has retained Dr. Max Lee of Koogler & Associates to provide technical assistance for any other needs.
The biggest hurdle will be the contaminant issue in the wood. EPA has identified contaminants it is most interested in receiving information on. It is expected for C&D that formaldehyde and lead may be the biggest question marks, as most C&D facilities are required and do remove CCA wood and the like. There are EPA tables out on what contaminants the agency is looking at, and there will an opportunity to group contaminants to allow one or two to be over but the material still allowed. But the crux of the problem is that the agency will require a comparison of the alternative fuel, C&D wood in this case, to what the boiler is designed to burn, such as coal. There currently is no comparative mechanism from EPA on how to do this, but could be in revised NHSM rule.