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Coal EPA News

New EPA Coal Dust Control Regs

EPA declares Fogging Systems as Best Demonstrated Technology for PRB Coal On September 25, 2009 the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) revised emissions control requirements for new coal preparation plants. These revisions were based on a variety of input and comments from those directly involved in the coal industry, including coal mines, power plants, consultants, engineering firms and suppliers of air pollution control systems.

The EPA findings have created new rules that they published in the pdfFederal Register on October 8, 2009 (see PDF File Page 6). The new rules designate“Fogging Systems” as a Best Demonstrated Technology (BDT) for coal handing equipment used on sub bituminous and lignite coals.

BDT as identified by the EPA, is the most effective commercially available means of treating specific types of hazardous waste. Public testimony given to the EPA on fogging systems has revealed what we at DSI have been saying for many years. Dry Fog can be the most cost effective dust control system available while yielding results as good or better than any other control measure.


A Powder River Basin (PRB) Coal Mine did a pdfCost Analysis comparing various dust control systems. It concluded that Dry Fog has the Lowest 30 year Operation and Maintnence Cost of any BDT Dust Control System on the market! Approximately 25% lower than Passive Transfer Chutes, 35% lower than Wet Dust Scrubbers and 75% lower than a new Bag-house Collection System!

Chemical systems are not BDT for sub bituminous and lignite coals and were not even considered in this analysis. However, the requirements to purchase chemicals for the entire life of the system, typically makes chemical dust suppression systems the system with the highest cost of operation.

The U.S. Chemical Safety Board investigated combustible dust incidents from 1980 through 2004. It found that 18% of all incidents and fatalities involved dust collectors. The PRB mine analysis estimated that their former bag-houses used 2.5 times more energy than Dry Fog. The risk of fires, explosions and non-compliance has prompted nearly every PRB coal mine and over 100 Coal Fired Power Plants to phase out collection in favor of Fogging Systems. With Dry Fog, there is no explosive waste stream. Read the PRB Coal Mines complete Testimony to the EPA.

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