The Environmental Protection Agency is delaying issuing final regulations aimed at cutting pollution from factory boilers until April 2012.
The delay is one in a serious of slowdowns in regulatory agenda to curb carbon dioxide emissions using the Clean Air Act and several rules aimed at reducing emissions from coal-burning power plants.
Although the federal court has ordered the EPA to implement the boiler standards, the agency has said it needed more time for public input. This latest delay would push the deadline for compliance to 2015 from 2014.
The EPA’s delay has frustrated environmental and public-health groups, which cite evidence that the rules would save lives and avert thousands of heart and asthma attacks.
Industry, on the other hand, has said that the rules would be extremely costly and difficult to implement.
Boilers are on-site generators that can provide energy for apartment buildings and shopping malls, as well as refineries and factories.
The EPA rules also would affect incinerators at industrial facilities. Small boilers located at universities, hotels, hospitals and other commercial buildings also might have to comply, though the EPA has sought to limit the impact on smaller emitters.