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Compliance for Industrial, Commercial, and Institutional Area Source Boilers

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The national emission standards for hazardous air pollutants (NESHAP) for area source boilers (40 CFR part 63, subpart JJJJJJ) was published in the Federal Register on March 21, 2011 and EPA finalized changes to the rule in the Federal Register on February 1, 2013 and on September 14, 2016. The September 14, 2016 action announced EPA’s final decisions on five issues regarding the February 1, 2013 amendments for which reconsideration was granted.

Note: For more information about subsequent actions to the rule, visit the rule page.

Important Changes to the Rule

  • An alternative particulate matter (PM) standard for new oil-fired boilers that combust only ultra-low-sulfur liquid fuel (i.e., distillate oil that has less than or equal to 15 ppm sulfur) replaced the February 2013 final rule’s alternative PM standard for new oil-fired boilers that combust low-sulfur oil (i.e., containing less than or equal to 0.50 weight percent sulfur). New or reconstructed oil-fired boilers that commenced construction or reconstruction on or before September 14, 2016 and that are currently meeting the alternative PM standard for low-sulfur oil burning boilers are provided 3 years before becoming subject to the PM emission limit, providing them time to decide how to comply (i.e., combust only ultra-low-sulfur liquid fuel or conduct a performance test demonstrating compliance). 
  • A provision that requires further PM performance testing every 5 years for boilers with initial compliance tests showing that their PM emissions are equal to or less than half of the PM emission limit replaced the February 2013 final rule’s provision that eliminated further PM performance testing for such boilers. New or reconstructed boilers that commenced construction or reconstruction on or before September 14, 2016 and that previously demonstrated that their PM emissions were equal to or less than half of the PM emission limit are provided 5 years before they are required to conduct a performance test. Boilers that burn a new type of fuel, other than ultra-low-sulfur liquid fuel or gaseous fuels, are required to conduct a new performance test within 60 days of burning the new fuel type.
  • A provision that requires further fuel analysis sampling for mercury (Hg) every 12 months for coal-fired boilers with initial compliance demonstrations showing that the Hg constituents in their fuel or fuel mixture are equal to or less than half of the Hg emission limit replaced the February 2013 final rule’s provision that eliminated further fuel analysis sampling for Hg for such boilers. New or reconstructed boilers that commenced construction or reconstruction on or before September 14, 2016 and that previously demonstrated that the Hg constituents in their fuel or fuel mixture were equal to or less than half of the Hg emission limit are provided 12 months before they are required to conduct fuel analysis sampling for Hg. A fuel analysis must be conducted before burning a new type of fuel or fuel mixture.

Facilities Affected by the Boiler Rule

You are affected if your facility is an area source and your boiler burns:

  • coal (including coal refuse, petroleum coke, or synthetic fuels derived from coal)
  • oil or other liquid fuel (for boilers that burn primarily gas but infrequently burn oil, see below)
  • biomass
  • non-waste materials

The following types of boilers are not covered by the rule:

  • gas-fired boilers (a boiler that primarily burns gas is still considered a gas-fired boiler even if it also burns oil or other liquid fuel during periods of gas curtailment, gas supply interruption, startups, or for periodic testing, maintenance, or operator training not to exceed a combined total of 48 hours during any calendar year)
  • boilers that burn solid waste (these boilers are subject to incinerator standards)
  • hot water heaters
  • waste heat boilers (heat recovery steam generators)
  • temporary boilers
  • residential boilers
  • electric boilers
  • electric utility steam generating units (EGUs)

Requirements of the Rule

The following document provides a quick reference for which requirements apply to various types of boilers: Fast Facts: Area Source Boiler Requirements.

The following brochure provides a summary of the rule: Summary of Regulations - National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP): Area Sources Industrial, Commercial, and Institutional Boilers.

For a complete list of requirements, refer to the NESHAP final rule for industrial, commercial, and institutional boilers.

Sending in the Initial Notification Form

For new boilers, your Initial Notification Form is due to EPA or the delegated state agency within 120 days after startup. Find the mailing address for your completed forms.

Example Initial Notification of Applicability Form for Industrial, Commercial, and Institutional Boilers Area Sources (Word Document) (8 pp, 97 K, April 2013)  Free Microsoft Viewers

Submitting the Electronic Notification of Compliance Status to Compliance and Emissions Data Reporting Interface (CEDRI)

The final rule amendments require electronic reporting of the Notification of Compliance Status (NOCS) required under 40 CFR 63.11225(a)(4). Sources are now required to submit the NOCS electronically using the Compliance and Emissions Data Reporting Interface (CEDRI) through EPA’s Central Data Exchange.

CEDRI is a web-based application for the electronic reporting of various reports required in 40 CFR Parts 60 and 63. CEDRI has been developed in a phased approach; as such, in this phase EPA developed a reporting template for the Area Source Boiler Notification of Compliance Status Report. The regulated community is now required to log into CEDRI and submit these NOCS reports.

YouTube Videos: Area Source Boilers Electronic Notification

Determining if a Facility is an Area Source

Area sources are commercial (laundries, apartments, hotels), institutional (schools, churches, medical centers, municipal buildings) or industrial (manufacturing, refining, processing, mining) facilities that emit or have the potential to emit less than 10 tons per year of a single hazardous air pollutant, or less than 25 tons per year of combined hazardous air pollutants.

Why Boilers are Regulated

There are more than 183,000 area source boilers used to generate heat in the United States. The individual emissions from these units may be small, but the total emissions from all boilers is significant. Air pollution from boilers includes particulate matter (PM 2.5), carbon monoxide, hydrochloric acid, mercury (from coal-fired boilers), and trace amounts of other heavy metals. Health effects include a range of respiratory issues, especially asthma among children and seniors.

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Additional Compliance Tools and Documents

Small Entity Compliance Guide for Area Source Boilers: National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants for Area Sources: Industrial, Commercial, and Institutional Boilers

Area Source Boiler NESHAP: Questions and Answers

Summary of Energy Assessment Requirements under the Area Source Boiler Rule

Summary of Tune-up Requirements and Example Recordkeeping Form for Industrial, Commercial and Institutional Area Source Boilers (Word Document) (8 pp, 43 K, April 2013) Free Microsoft Viewers

National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) for Area Source Boilers Tune-up Guides

EPA Regions - Who to contact for questions

Videos

Area Source Boiler Rule Videos on YouTube

Presentations

Implementation Tools

Tool Tool Owner
Area Source Boiler Training Module Exit Connecticut Department of Energy and Environment
Regulation Navigation Tool United States Environmental Protection Agency

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