Senate’s Collins Plans Bill to Postpone U.S. Boiler Mercury Rule

Senator Susan Collins, a Maine Republican, plans to introduce legislation that would delay a federal rule cutting toxic mercury emissions from factory boilers that has drawn complaints from industry.

Collins said the bill would postpone the regulation for at least 15 months after the measure became law. Some Democrats are supporting a similar Republican-backed bill in the U.S. House that would give companies five years to comply with new standards affecting refineries, chemical-makers and manufacturing plants.

“I’m confident it’s going to be a bipartisan bill” in the Senate, Collins said today in an interview. She said she was still negotiating with potential co-sponsors on details, such as how long companies would have to comply with new emissions standards once they take effect.

In June, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said it will propose new regulations for industrial boilers by the end of October after companies said earlier versions would cost thousands of jobs.

New final standards aimed at cutting boiler emissions such as mercury and soot will be issued by the end of April 2012, the EPA said.

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