Fluoride Action Network

EPA’s Final Rule: National Emission Standards for Coal Generating Units

Source: Federal Register, Vol. 77, No. 32 | February 16th, 2012 | Rules and Regulations
Industry type: Coal Industry

Part II
Environmental Protection Agency
40 CFR Parts 60 and 63
National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants From Coal- and Oil-Fired Electric Utility Steam Generating Units and Standards of Performance for Fossil-Fuel-Fired Electric Utility, Industrial-Commercial-Institutional, and Small Industrial-Commercial-Institutional Steam Generating Units; Final Rule

Coal- and oil-fired electric utility steam generating units = EGUs

PAGE 9310: D. What are the health effects of pollutants emitted from coal- and oil- fired EGUs?

This final rule protects air quality and promotes public health by reducing emissions of some of the HAP listed in CAA section 112(b)(1). Utilities are by far the largest anthropogenic source of Hg in the U.S. In addition, EGUs are the largest source of HCl, hydrogen fluoride (HF), and selenium (Se) emissions, and a major source of metallic HAP emissions including As, chromium (Cr), Ni, and others. The discrepancy is even greater now that almost all other major source categories have been required to control Hg and other HAP under CAA section 112. In 2005, U.S. EGUs emitted 50 percent of total domestic anthropogenic Hg emissions, 62 percent of total As emissions, 39 percent of total cadmium (Cd) emissions, 22 percent of total Cr emissions, 82 percent of total HCl emissions, 62 percent of total HF emissions, 28 percent of total Ni emissions, and 83 percent of total Se emissions.(10)

Exposure to these HAP, depending on exposure duration and levels of exposures, is associated with a variety of adverse health effects. These adverse health effects may include chronic health disorders (e.g., irritation of the lung, skin, and mucus membranes; detrimental effects on the central nervous system; damage to the kidneys; and alimentary effects such as nausea and vomiting). Two of the HAP are classified as human carcinogens (As and CrVI) and two as probable human carcinogens (Cd and Ni). See 76 FR 25003–25005 for a fuller discussion of the health effects associated with these pollutants.

PAGE 9402: Commenters refer to certain studies that provide a plausible reason for the chloride/fluoride contamination of fuel oils. We found this reason persuasive and accordingly are providing alternative compliance approaches in the final rule to demonstrate compliance with the acid gas HAP standards. Specifically, sources can demonstrate compliance through either specific HCl or HF measurements or by demonstrating that the moisture content in the fuel oil remains at a level no more than 1.0 percent.

10. From 2005 National-Scale Air Toxics Assessment (NATA), available at http://www.epa.gov/ttn/atw/nata2005/

See Final Rule