BUCKSPORT — A proposed federal rule aiming to curb industrial boiler emissions could prove costly to Verso Paper’s mills in Bucksport and Jay.
Verso spokesman Bill Cohen said the Environmental Protection Agency’s new Maximum Achievable Control Technology rule for industrial boilers (Boiler MACT) could have a “huge impact” on paper mills.
Meeting the rule’s requirements could cost “tens of millions of dollars” at the Bucksport mill alone, Cohen said.
He said the ultimate financial impact would depend on the final regulations and the amount of time the mill is given to implement them.
“Until we see final rules and get final engineering, we won’t know,” Cohen said.
Boiler MACT would reduce emissions of toxic air pollutants from new and existing industrial, commercial and institutional boilers and process heaters.
The Clean Air Act requires the EPA to develop such rules. The schedule for completing the new rule is part of a court order. The EPA is required to complete the process by Dec. 16.
The proposed rule would reduce the release of mercury, dioxin, particulate matter, hydrogen chloride and carbon monoxide into the environment.
The changes would prevent anywhere from 1,900 to 4,800 premature deaths in 2013, according to EPA estimates.
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