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Toxic Air Pollution from Industrial Boilers to Get EPA Scrutiny

The EPA today issued its final standard to protect Americans from the toxic air pollution emitted by industrial facilities like chemical plants, refineries and paper mills.

Across the country more than 200,000 industrial boilers, heaters and incinerators operated for decades nearly unregulated, though they are major contributors of toxic air pollutants like lead, arsenic, and acid gases. Today’s announcement will save thousands of lives, and prevent thousands of cases of asthma attacks, heart attacks and hospital visits.

Though the final standards are not as strong as we had hoped, Earthjustice and our client the Sierra Club are glad to see that diligence has finally led to this court-ordered standard.

In the announcement Wednesday, EPA officials said the new standard would cost $1.8 billion less each year than the original proposal last June which will make it cheaper for companies to reduce toxic air pollution from industrial boilers and incinerators.

Stronger standards for boilers faced relentless attacks by polluters who didn’t want to clean up their facilities. For more than a decade, Earthjustice attorney Jim Pew fought for these new protections. So today we are glad to see EPA is making some progress at regulating these pollution sources.

We expect more attacks by industry on the implementation of this new standard. We will keep you informed about actions you can take to protect the clean air your family depends on every day. Join our campaign by signing the Right to Breathe Declaration.