Frequent Questions

Which specifications of the comparable fuels exclusion would not apply to the emission-comparable fuel exclusion and why?

NOTE: The Emission-Comparable Fuel exclusion final rule was withdrawn on June 15, 2010 (75 FR 33712; June 15, 2010).  Additional information on this withdrawl is available at the following URL:

EPA is proposing that the specifications for benzene, toluene, and the oxygenates listed in Table 1 to §261.38 would not apply to emission-comparable fuel (ECF) because:

1. benzene and toluene are found in fuel oil and the oxygenates are a class of compounds that are added to fuels to enhance combustion; and
2. when ECF is burned under good combustion conditions, the emissions of hazardous compounds would be comparable to those from burning fuel oil.

The specifications for the hydrocarbons other than benzene and toluene listed in Table 1 would be retained to help ensure that ECF emissions would be comparable to fuel oil and protective of human health and the environment. Thus, the specifications would be retained for naphthalene and the hydrocarbons that are PAHs (polyaromatic hydrocarbons).

In addition, the specifications would be retained for the other categories of compounds listed in Table 1. The specifications for metals would be retained because metals do not contribute energy and are not destroyed during the combustion process. Also, it is appropriate to retain the specifications for the other categories of organic compounds: sulfonated organics, nitrogenated organics, and halogenated organic compounds. These organic compounds, for the most part, are not likely to be found in fuel oil or gasoline, the benchmark fuels EPA used to establish the specifications. Furthermore, unlike oxygenates, these organic compounds are not within a class of compounds that are added to fossil fuels to enhance combustion. These hazardous compounds would appear to be “along for the ride” when present at concentrations higher than benchmark fuels, and consequently their destruction via combustion can be viewed as waste management.

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