EPA Cuts Air Pollution Control Costs in Half

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"EPA found low-cost pollution control at more than 200,000 industrial boilers, heaters and incinerators."

Faced with stiff opposition in Congress and a court-ordered deadline, the Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday said it will make it much cheaper for companies to reduce toxic air pollution from industrial boilers and incinerators.

In an overhaul of air pollution regulations, the EPA said it found ways to control pollution at more than 200,000 industrial boilers, heaters and incinerators nationwide at a 50% cost savings to the companies and institutions that run them. Those operating large boilers that burn renewable fuels would not be required to install some expensive technologies, and only maintenance would be required for smaller boilers. That would cost $1.8B less each year than the original proposal.

These rules "are realistic, they are achievable and reasonable and they come at about half the cost to industry to comply," said Gina McCarthy, EPA's top air pollution official in a conference call with reporters Wednesday. "EPA. . .found we could reduce emissions at a lower cost and still achieve the health benefits required by law."

EPA had said initially that the annual cost would be $3.9B when all the rules took effect. An EPA updated jobs analysis shows the changes will create 2,200 jobs, not including employment stemming from pollution-control technology.

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