The term state-of-the-art for waste-to-energy plants refers to (1) the best technologies and operating practices for reducing the environmental impacts of these plants and (2) the best regularly attainable emission levels from them for certain air pollutants. The state-of-the-art in waste-to-energy plant design has been improving over time. Over the last decade, as landfill space has become scarce, interest in incineration has been renewed, environmental concerns have increased, and regulations have become more stringent.
The EPA's New Source Performance Standards (NSPS), proposed in 1989 and promulgated in February 1991, were the first regulations to broadly and specifically address the performance of MSW incinerators. The new regulations set standards in four basic areas: good combustion practice, emission levels for six pollutants, monitoring requirements, and operator training and certification. Table 10.9.1 summarizes these regulations.
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