Federal Court Rules EPA Incineration Emission Standards Insufficient

Federal standards governing emissions from garbage incinerators are inadequate and must be rewritten by the U.S. EPA, ruled the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C., yesterday. The controversy over incineration emissions began in the 1980s, when garbage incinerators became common nationwide. The EPA issued a set of rules regulating these emissions in 1995. Industry attacked the rules, arguing that large and small incinerators should be governed by different standards, and the U.S. Court of Appeals rejected the rules in 1996. In 2000, the EPA issued a new set of rules, which enviro groups then attacked, saying they did not meet Clean Air Act standards and did not prevent dangerous toxins from contaminating the air. Now that the 2000 rules have been rejected by the court, there’s confusion about which standards incinerators will now have to meet.