Proposed EPA amendment adds allowances to NHSM rule

Proposed EPA amendment adds allowances to NHSM rule

C&D wood, paper recycling residuals and creosote-treated railroad ties would be categorized as nonwaste fuel.

March 31, 2014

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued its Non-Hazardous Secondary Materials (NHSM) proposed rule, expanding the list of materials that are recognized as “non-waste fuels” to include processed construction and demolition (C&D) wood, paper recycling residuals and creosote-treated railroad ties.

The American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA), Washington, D.C., and the American Wood Council (AWC), Leesburg, Va., have applauded the recent EPA ruling.

The two associations released a statement which says that with the listing of paper and wood products manufacturing facilities are one step closer to having the needed assurance that the fuels can be used in industrial boilers rather than having them disposed of through incineration or landfill.

“We welcome EPA’s listing of paper recycling residuals and railroad ties as fuels, which provide substantial energy value to our facilities,” says Donna Harmon, AF&PA president and CEO. “On average, about two-thirds of the energy we use is produced on site from renewable biomass, and these additions help reduce our reliance on nonrenewable fuel sources.”

“Structures made from wood store carbon for a very long time; at the end of their useful life, these renewable construction materials also can be used to produce bio-based energy,” says AWC President and CEO Robert Glowinski. “EPA’s listing of C&D materials diverts used materials from landfills, allows for capture of the inherent energy value, and lessens the reliance on fossil-based fuels. As an industry, we appreciate the clarity today’s decision provides for our air regulation compliance strategies.”

Manufacturing facilities rely on the NHSM listing to determine whether they are regulated under EPA’s boiler maximum achievable control technology rule or under the agency’s commercial and industrial solid waste incinerators rule. AF&PA and AWC will carefully review the details of the proposal and provide additional information during the comment period to support and potentially expand the proposed listings.

A link to the prepublication version of the proposed rule amendment is available here