April 10, 2012

EPA Region 5 Grants Non-Waste Fuel Determination

Non-waste fuel determinations of §241.3 are made on a case-by-case basis by states or EPA regions. EPA Region 5 recently published its determination that fuel pellets manufactured from discarded nonhazardous secondary materials are a non-waste fuel in accordance with the requirements of §241.3(b)(4). [RO 14828] In making the non-waste fuel determination, the agency compared the pellet manufacturing and use operation to the processing definition of §241.2 and the legitimacy criteria of §241.3(d)(1).

The feedstocks used to manufacture the pellets include off-specification materials, misprints, excess ends, etc. from a variety of paper, packaging, non-woven, and woodworking industries. The fiber- and polymer-based materials are separated by type, shredded, mixed, and then densified and shaped into pellets for use as a coal substitute in stoker boilers. The agency determined this operation meets the definition of processing in §241.2.

To meet the legitimacy criteria in §241.3(d)(1), the pellets must: 1) be managed as a valuable commodity, 2) have meaningful heating value and be used as a fuel in a combustion unit, and 3) contain contaminants at levels comparable to or less than those in traditional fuels that the combustion unit is designed to burn. The agency determined that the pellets meet these criteria.


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