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U.S. Chamber, Manufacturers Ask EPA to Halt Boiler Rules

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers are leading industry groups in asking the Environmental Protection Agency to suspend new rules limiting emissions from boilers.

The groups requested an immediate delay in implementing the pending regulations, according to a document filed with the agency. The EPA in February issued pollution rules for industrial boilers that agency said were 50 percent less costly than proposed in June 2010.

U.S. companies had said the initial proposal would cost industry as much as $20 billion and may destroy 300,000 jobs. The EPA has said it will consider making further changes to the final rules. The trade groups say businesses shouldn’t be required to comply with the new standards.

“We expect there will be significantly different final rules,” Alicia Meads, director of energy and resources policy at the Washington-based manufacturers’ group, told reporters today on a conference call. “It’s very counterproductive for these facilities to be installing new pollution control devices that they may not have to.”

The agency received the request and “will give it prompt and serious consideration,” the EPA said today in an e-mail.

The agency estimated in 2010 that the boiler rules would cost U.S. industry $9.5 billion. The final standards are 50 percent less costly, according to the EPA.

The regulations are aimed at cutting toxic air emissions such as mercury and soot. The EPA has said the rules will create 2,200 jobs, excluding making or installing pollution controls. The reduced emissions will prevent 2,600 to 6,600 premature deaths, according to the agency.

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