The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia has reinstated the original compliance date for the boiler maximum achievable control technology (MACT) and solid-waste incinerator rules that the Environmental Protection Agency published in March 2011.

In May, EPA had asked for a stay of the rules to give the agency more time to incorporate information from industry that it had not been able to include in the March 2011 rules. EPA issued a revised proposal in December 2011.

But district court Judge Paul L. Friedman said in a Jan. 9 ruling that EPA's request for a delay of the rules was "arbitrary and capricious." He also said that owners and operators of certain boilers and process heaters must install MACT equipment by March 2014, three years after the original rule was published.

The Sierra Club, which sued to vacate the stay, contends the original rules will reduce illnesses such as lung cancer and asthma. However, the National Association of Manufacturers says the court's action will hurt industrial competitiveness and cost jobs. 