Frequent Questions

What does the Hazardous Waste Combustion Emission Standards Rule do to make combustion safe for communities around incinerators, lightweight aggregate kilns, and cement kilns?

The standards will achieve significant reductions in top priority pollutants for EPA -- dioxins and furans by 70%, mercury by 55%, cadmium and lead by 88%, and three other toxic metals by 75%. In addition, particulate matter will be reduced by 42%. Our analysis shows that these reductions will be sufficient to reduce risks to acceptable levels.
The standards also impose limits on acid gas emissions (hydrochloric acid and chlorine), and hydrocarbons and carbon monoxide (to control organic hazardous air pollutant emissions). 

Additional Detail (See also
The standards are based on Maximum Achievable Control Technologies (MACTs), an approach required by the Clean Air Act. MACT reflects the maximum degree of hazardous air pollution reduction that can be achieved considering the availability, current use, costs, benefits, and impacts of emissions control technologies.
The three categories of facilities covered by this rule burn more than 80 percent of the total amount of hazardous waste being combusted each year. (The remaining 15 to 20 percent is burned in industrial boilers and other types of industrial furnaces, which will be addressed in a later rulemaking.)
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