Safety

Tip of the week: EPA issues final rule to reduce boiler emissions

Hospital Safety Insider, May 12, 2011

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The following is an excerpt from the May issue of Briefings on Hospital Safety

 The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has ­issued a final rule that will reduce emissions of air pollutants from existing and new boilers.

The agency finalized the new rule on February 21, and it will take effect 60 days after publication in the Federal Register.

The new rule could have implications for some hospitals, says Steven MacArthur, safety consultant at The Greeley Company, a division of HCPro, Inc., in Danvers, MA.

Whether the new rule applies to your hospital will ­depend in part on what type of fuel is burned, ­MacArthur says.

The EPA actually scaled back its standards for limiting air pollution from the rule originally proposed by the agency in April 2010.

The standards apply to large and small boilers located at a wide range of industrial facilities and institutions. Boilers covered by the new standards will not be required to comply until after February 2014, according to an EPA fact sheet.

The final rule covers boilers located at area source facilities that burn coal, oil, or biomass such as wood to produce steam or hot water, which is then used for energy or heat. The rule covers boilers that also burn non-waste materials, but not boilers that burn only gaseous fuels or any solid waste, according to the EPA.

The EPA estimates that there are about 187,000 so-called area source boilers at facilities in the United States. These include hospitals, universities, hotels, and commercial buildings that may be covered by these standards.

 



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