"EPA Wants to Keep Exemption for Toxic Refinery Emissions"

"U.S. EPA has signaled that it won't reverse a George W. Bush-era policy that lets refineries burn some byproducts without treating them as toxic waste, drawing scorn from environmentalists, who had asked the incoming Obama administration to rethink the rule.

Under the policy, which was put in place in 2008, refineries can burn more than 300,000 tons of sludge and other oily materials in gasifiers each year without being subject to the storage and reporting requirements of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) or the Clean Air Act rules that set limits on emissions from solid waste incinerators.

It is one of several exemptions from the toxic waste rules that were imposed by EPA toward the end of the Bush administration. EPA reconsidered some of those rules since the Obama administration took over, but the agency is leaning toward keeping the exemption for 'oil-bearing hazardous secondary materials,' according to a proposed rule that was published in the Federal Register on Friday."

Gabriel Nelson reports for Greenwire January 31, 2011.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011