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EPA Issues Proposed Rule on Medical Waste Incinerators

December 19, 2008

Rule could mean higher medical waste incinerator emission standards.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a proposed rule in the December 1 edition of the Federal Register calling for medical waste incinerator emission standards that are significantly higher than those the Agency originally proposed nearly 12 years ago. Indeed, under the new proposal, EPA estimates that emissions would be reduced by nearly 500,000 pounds per year as opposed to reductions of less than 25,000 pounds that would have been achieved under a proposal EPA first published in 1997. According to Peter Mayberry, president of Mayberry & Associates, the earlier proposal was challenged in Federal court by the Sierra Club, and an attorney for that organization noted in response to the revised proposal that, “It’s heartening to see, at long last, the Clean Air Act being used in the way it was intended. We hope this is a sign of good things to come.”  EPA will accept comment on the proposed rule until February 17, 2009.

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