Coalition for Responsible Waste Incineration

January 31, 2000

Air and Radiation Docket and Information Center
Attn: Docket No. A-94-63
(Industrial and Commercial Waste Incineration)
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency,
401 M Street, SW, Washington, DC 20460

RE: Docket No. A-94-63

The Coalition for Responsible Waste Incineration (CRWI) is pleased to submit comments on the Commercial and Industrial Solid Waste Incineration Units: Proposed Standards and Guidelines; Proposed Rules (64 FR 67091, November 30, 1999). CRWI represents sixteen companies with hazardous and solid waste combustion interests. These companies account for a significant portion of the U.S. capacity for hazardous waste combustion. In addition, CRWI is advised by a number of academic members with research interests in hazardous waste combustion. Since its inception, CRWI has encouraged its members to reduce the generation of hazardous waste. However, for certain hazardous waste streams, CRWI believes that combustion is a safe and effective method of treatment, reducing both the volume and toxicity of the waste treated. CRWI seeks to help its member companies both to improve their operations and to provide lawmakers and regulators helpful data and comments.

While the primary regulation that will impact CRWI member companies is the recently promulgated hazardous waste combustor (HWC) MACT rule (64 FR 52828, September 30, 1999), some member facilities burn non-hazardous waste in their hazardous waste combustion units. The HWC MACT rule allows facilities to comply with applicable alternative standards when not burning hazardous waste (63.1206(b)(1)(ii) - 64 FR 53044). Several member facilities may wish to use this provision to comply with these proposed standards when not burning hazardous waste. In addition, other members operate units that only burn non-hazardous solid waste.

CRWI members agree with a number of the provisions as outlined in this proposed rule. However, there are certain requirements where we believe improvements should be made. Due to the short comment period, CRWI did not have sufficient time to develop the data necessary or research the background documents sufficiently to completely outline and support our positions. Where appropriate, additional comments will be submitted at a later date.

Areas where CRWI agrees with the Agency

  1. The proposed rule states that "CEMS for particulate matter and mercury have not been demonstrated in the United States for the purpose of determining compliance." (64 FR 67100). CRWI agrees with this assessment. We continue to encourage the agency to develop incentives to help facilities voluntarily install and operate CEMS.
  2. CRWI supports the operator training and qualification provisions as written in this proposed rule.
  3. CRWI supports the "good actor" provisions of 60.2125 and 60.2695 that allow the testing schedule to be expanded upon showing compliance for three consecutive years. We believe this concept should be expanded to other rules.
  4. CRWI supports the provision in 60.2015 that states that an incinerator that makes physical or operational changes to the incineration unit primarily to comply with the emission guidelines in subpart DDDD would not qualify as reconstruction or modification and thus, would not be a new incinerator.
Suggested changes in the proposed rule

1. CRWI is concerned with the lack of data to develop the mercury and dioxin/furan standards in this rule. The use of data from only two tests does not appear to fulfill the requirements of the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990.

While the science of dioxin formation in the combustion stream is not completely understood, it is thought that the majority of dioxin and dioxin-like compounds are a result of de novo synthesis in the air pollution control equipment downstream from the combustion process. Since there is a great deal of variability in the air pollution control trains for solid waste combustors, test results from additional units is required before the agency can develop a representative MACT pool from which to develop a standard. EPA has recently developed dioxin standards for three major combustion categories. The medical waste incinerator rule set the dioxin limit at 13 ng total/dscm while the municipal waste incinerator rule set the standard at 125 ng total/dscm. The current HWC MACT standard for dioxin/furan is 0.4 ng TEQ/dscm when using a wet air pollution control system. While there is not a direct translation between TEQ and total, a rough conversion is that 50 ng total is approximately equal to 1 ng TEQ. Thus, the proposed standard for non-hazardous industrial incinerators would be approximately 50 times more stringent than the comparable standard for hazardous waste incinerators. While CRWI does not advocate that all combustion standards be the same (there are too many differences in feed, operations, air pollution control equipment, etc.), the proposed dioxin/furan standard for CISWI units appears to be way out of line with the standards for other source categories. CRWI believes that this is caused by the small number of tests used to develop the dioxin/furan standard.

The proposed mercury standard for non-hazardous waste incinerators is 5 ug/dscm. Like most metals, mercury emissions are a function of the amount fed and the removal efficiency of the air pollution control train. The amount of mercury in the feed can be highly variable. The use of two tests cannot capture this variability. CRWI suspects that the amount of mercury fed during these two tests was very small. The current hazardous waste incinerator MACT standard for mercury is 130 ug/dscm. As stated previously, CRWI does not advocate that all combustion standards be the same. However, the proposed mercury standard appears to be out of line with standards for other source categories. We believe this is due to the small number of data points in the MACT pool. In addition, the stated detection limit for SW 846 Method 0060 is 5.6 ug/dscm (see Table 2 from Method 0060). Thus, a facility may have difficulty proving compliance with this standard using EPA approved test methods.

CRWI suggests that the agency gather additional data on both mercury and dioxin/furan emissions before finalizing this rule. We do not believe that using two tests will give a sufficiently accurate picture of the source category to properly set a MACT standard. In this short comment period, CRWI members were unable to locate additional emissions data when burning non-hazardous waste to supplement EPA's current database. We will continue to look for additional data and forward that data should it be found.
2. Section 129(g)(1) of the Clean Air Act (CAA) provides an exemption from the definition of "solid waste incineration unit," stating "Such term does not include incinerators or other units required to have a permit under 3005 of the Solid Waste Disposal Act." Consistent with this exemption, EPA evaluated only non-hazardous waste incineration units as the category of effected sources in the development of this proposed rule. EPA included an exemption for existing (60.2555(c)) and new (60.2020(c)) units that have RCRA permits. However, these exemptions do not include units that are in interim status but do not have final permits under 3005 of the Solid Waste Disposal Act (RCRA).

CRWI suggests that these exemptions be rewritten as follows to conform to the requirements of section 129 of the CAA to exempt all units required to have a 3005 permit.

60.2020(c) Hazardous Waste Combustion units. You are exempted from this subpart if you are required to get a permit for your unit under section 3005 of the Solid Waste Disposal Act.

60.2555(c) Hazardous Waste Combustion units. A unit is exempted from your state plan if the unit has received is required to obtain a permit under section 3005 of the Solid Waste Disposal Act.
3. Under the recently promulgated HWC MACT rule, hazardous waste combustors subject to subpart EEE will have Title V permits for air emissions instead of RCRA permits. Once this occurs, the air emissions from these facilities will not be regulated under a 3005 permit and it could be interpreted that they are no longer exempted from this proposed rule. CRWI does not believe that was what the agency intended. In fact, EPA excluded two other incineration standards (municipal waste combustors- existing- 60.2550(d)(4), new- 60.2010(e), and hospital/medical/infectious waste incineration facilities existing- 60.2550(d)(5), new- 60.2010(f)) from CISWI applicability. EPA may have failed to include the HWC MACT exclusion because it was so recently promulgated (September 30, 1999, 64 FR 52827).

To correct this omission, CRWI suggests adding the following paragraphs.


(g) The incineration unit is not regulated under subpart EEE of this part (NESHAPS: Final Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants from Hazardous Waste Combustors).


(6) The incineration unit is not regulated under subpart EEE of this part (NESHAPS: Final Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants from Hazardous Waste Combustors).
4. For combustors that burn hazardous waste part of the time and non-hazardous waste at other times, there may be problems rectifying their testing requirements. Hazardous waste combustors must perform a comprehensive performance test every five years and a confirmatory performance test every 2.5 years. A comprehensive performance test is an extensive test designed to develop operating parameters to show continuous compliance. It is much like a RCRA trial burn. The confirmatory test is simpler in that it is designed to show that the facility meets the dioxin/furan standards.

In this proposed rule, non-hazardous waste incinerators must perform an initial stack test and then show compliance for PM, HCl, and opacity on an annual basis. The preamble states that the annual testing is to ensure that the air pollution control equipment is continuing to operate properly and its performance has not deteriorated (64 FR 67101). CRWI suggests that the extensive monitoring and reporting required under the HWC MACT rule negates the need for annual testing for PM, HCl, and opacity for facilities that burn both hazardous waste and non-hazardous waste. CRWI suggests that the final rule contain language that restricts the annual testing requirements to facilities that burn only non-hazardous waste.
5. CRWI supports most of the discussion on the definition of solid waste for this proposed rule. However, a new provision in 261.38 (that excludes comparable fuels from the RCRA definition of solid waste) should also be incorporated into this rule. CRWI suggests that an additional paragraph be added to sections 60.2245 and 60.2850 to the definition of solid waste as follows:

(2)(iii) Materials as defined in 261.38.
6. CRWI supports the use of startup, shutdown, and malfunction plans. However, a number of facilities may not be able to complete a startup or shutdown in less than three hours. Large rotary kilns may take up to 72 hours to come into steady state conditions where combustion is optimal and emissions are minimized. A newly relined unit may require an even longer startup due to the new refractory liner. We suggest the time needed for startup, shutdown, and to respond to malfunctions will depend upon the equipment at each site. Since EPA already requires facilities to develop a site-specific startup, shutdown, and malfunction plan (60.7(b)), CRWI sees no need to restrict the duration of events covered by these plans. CRWI suggests that sections 60.2110(b) and 60.2680(b) be dropped in the final rule.
7. CRWI is concerned about the language in 60.2145 and 60.2715 that states "the Administrator may request a repeat stack test at any time." CRWI believes that the Administrator must show cause for the repeat stack test and the facility must have the opportunity to respond to that request. There are opportunities for the Administrator to appropriately question and request data in the existing regulations under section 114 of the Clean Air Act and the General Provisions for Part 60, specifically 60.8(a). There is no need or justification for this language in the final rule.

CRWI suggests the following changes to the proposed rule.

60.2145 May I conduct a repeat stack test to establish new operating parameters?

Yes. You may conduct a repeat stack test at any time to establish new values for the operating parameters. The Administrator may request a repeat stack test at any time.

60.2715 May I conduct a repeat stack test to establish new operating parameters?

Yes. You may conduct a repeat stack test at any time to establish new values for the operating parameters. The Administrator may request a repeat stack test at any time.
8. Sections 60.2180 and 60.2740 require that the initial stack test report be submitted within 60 days following the tests. CRWI is concerned that this may not allow adequate time for the laboratory to perform the dioxin/furan analysis required and relay that information to the facility to be included in a report. There are a limited number of laboratories that can perform this analysis. If sampling and analysis requirements continue to be added to MACT rules such as this one and the HWC MACT rule, the ability of these facilities to keep up with the regulated universe will be even more difficult. CRWI suggests that a more appropriate time period would be 90 days with the possibility of an extension based upon circumstances beyond the facilities control. This is the same as was promulgated in the HWC MACT rule (see 63.1210(d)(iii) - 64 FR 53064).
Finally, CRWI suggests that the agency work on how facilities that burn both hazardous and non-hazardous waste in the same unit will transition between this proposed rule and the HWC MACT rule that was promulgated on September 30, 1999. It is our belief that a number of hazardous waste facilities would like to use both rules, if possible. However, it is unclear from this proposed rule how such a transition can easily occur. CRWI would be pleased to work with the agency to help make any transition between the two rules as simple as possible while still protecting human health and the environment.

Thank you for considering these suggestions. If you have any questions, please contact me (202-775-9869 or

Sincerely yours,

Melvin E. Keener, Ph.D.
Executive Director

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