Oregon Senator Ron Wyden dropped his effort to delay pollution controls for boilers after receiving a pledge by the Environmental Protection Agency to allow flexibility for owners to comply.
Companies will have three years to clean up pollution from their boilers, Lisa Jackson, the administrator of the EPA, wrote Wyden today. They can appeal to state regulators for a fourth year, and seek a fifth year from the EPA if they can’t meet the earlier deadline, she wrote. The standards will also be based on data from the “real world,” she said.
The EPA’s efforts to cut pollution from boilers have been opposed by paper processors such as International Paper Co. (IP) and Weyerhaeuser Co. (WY), as well as refiners, manufacturers and some universities and hospitals. The rule, which may be finalized in the coming months, will cost $1.5 billion a year, making it one of the most expensive rules proposed by the EPA.
Wyden, a Democrat who had been working with Maine Republican Susan Collins on legislation to force a delay in the regulations, now believes that EPA dealt with his worries, his spokeswoman Jennifer Hoelzer said in an e-mail.
Republicans are pushing to have a vote on the boiler measure as part of a transportation bill, which is set for consideration this week. Without Wyden’s support, Republicans face a high hurdle to round up enough Democrats to pass the amendment. The Republican-led House of Representatives has approved a similar measure.
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