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ICI Boiler State Information

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Air Standards

New Source Performance Standards (NSPS). Boilers at industrial facilities, especially those with heat input capacities equal to or greater than 2.9 megawatts or 10 million Btu/hr may be subject to one of the New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) for steam generating units:
  • 40 CFR Part 60 subpart Db applies to smaller boilers (between 10 and 100 million BTU/hr) constructed modified or reconstructed after June 8, 1989.
  • 40 CFR part 60 subpart Dc applies to larger boilers (greater than 100 million BTU/hr) constructed modified or reconstructed after June 19, 1984.
Depending on the type of fuel combusted, the regulations have emission standards for sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides and particulate matter.

Owners and operators of boilers subject to Subparts Db and Dc may be required to install:

  • Pollutant control devices, such as fabric filters
  • Monitoring equipment, such as opacity monitors or NOx continuous emission control monitors
Boilers subject to these standards will also be required to:
  • Submit notifications prior to construction and operation
  • Conduct initial performance tests
  • Maintain records, e.g. fuel usage and monitoring system operations
Get more information on the Boiler NSPS or for NSPS compliance Assistance in #statefullname# use the Air Pollution State Locator.

National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP). On February 21, 2011 - EPA issued final rules that will reduce emissions of air pollutants from existing and new boilers.

The Industrial Boiler NESHAP applies to any industrial, commercial, or institutional boiler or process heater located at a major source of HAP emissions, which is defined as any stationary source or group of stationary sources located within a contiguous area and under common control that emits, or has the potential to emit, 10 tons or more per year of any single HAP or 25 tons per year of any combination of HAPs. The rule requires each boiler at a facility to meet emission limits or work-practice standards, meet operating limits, and demonstrate compliance on an annual and continuous basis.

The final rule covers boilers located at area source facilities that burn coal, oil, or biomass, or non-waste materials, but not boilers that burn only gaseous fuels or any solid waste and all other existing and new boilers and process heaters located at major sources, including those that burn coal and biomass.

Get more information on the Boiler NESHAP.


Wastewater discharged from boilers into a sewer system that leads to a municipal treatment plant, also known as Publicly Owned Treatment Works (POTW) are indirect dischargers. The POTW typically is owned by the local municipality or a regional board or sewer authority.

In response to potential problems caused by industrial wastewater being discharged into POTW's, federal pretreatment regulations were developed. These regulations apply to all industrial facilities. Local POTW's with approved pretreatment programs have responsibility for enforcing pretreatment requirements. Otherwise, the rules are enforced by the state or EPA regional authority.

All indirect dischargers must meet national General Pretreatment Regulations (40 CFR 403). Additionally, other processing facilities must also meet applicable categorical pretreatment standards. When a pollutant, discharged by an indirect discharging industry is not specifically limited by pretreatment standards, it is up to the state or local regulatory agency to develop local limits or to determine other appropriate means to control its discharge. To find out more about wastewater discharges to POTW's and to locate a point of contact, visit the Envcap Wastewater Locator page for #getsec.statefullname#.

Boilers that discharge blowdown, cooling water, etc. straight to surface waters are direct dischargers. Direct dischargers must obtain a general or individual permit under EPA's National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) program. A NPDES permit sets limits, often referred to as effluent limits, on the amount of pollutants that can be discharged to surface waters. Discharges from other processing must comply with national effluent guidelines. In #getsec.statefullname# the NPDES program is run by the #getsec.primaryagencyname#.

To find out more about direct discharge permits and to locate a point of contact, visit the Envcap Wastewater State Resource Locator page for #getsec.statefullname#.


Boilers and associated piping often contain asbestos in the thermal insulation, especially older units. Prior to disturbing any suspect material, contractors or owners are required to have the material inspected for asbestos. If asbestos is disturbed, certain Arizona, U.S. EPA, and OSHA regulations are triggered. For additional information, visit the Asbestos State Resource Locator.

Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure (SPCC)

Boiler owners/operators with an above ground oil storage capacity of greater than 1,320 gallons, or total completely buried oil storage capacity greater than 42,000 gallons must prepare and implement a SPCC plan to prevent any discharge of oil into or upon navigable waters of the United States or adjoining shorelines.

More information on SPCC.

Underground Storage Tanks (USTs)

USTs are subject to strict state and federal requirements. Federal regulations of USTs, contained in 40 CFR 280, require that all regulated UST systems be designed and constructed to retain their structural integrity throughout their operating life, and all USTs and attached piping be protected from corrosion. In addition, all systems must be equipped with spill and overfill protection and leak detection monitoring. States generally have the same requirements as U.S. EPA. However, some states (and municipalities) have more stringent UST regulations. You should contact your state UST office and your local municipality to determine if there are additional UST regulations with which you must comply. Get more information on UST regulations or view state UST requirements.

Chemical Notifications (Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act)

Certain boiler operations may be subject to one or more provisions of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA). The purpose of this law is to require industry to provide information about the type, amount, and location of chemicals they keep on-site and to report information about releases of toxic chemicals from their facility. Certain chemicals used for cleaning and maintaining boilers may fall under this rule. Local planners and response personnel use this information to respond to chemical emergencies and this information is available to the public. To find out more about EPCRA 311 and 312 requirements, visit the boiler chemical reporting section.

More Resources

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