31 August 1998 00:00 [Source: ICB Americas]Environmental Protection Agency has issued a final set of regulations designed to significantly reduce volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions from three consumer and commercial product industries by more than 235,000 tons per year.
The final rules represent EPA's initial step toward meeting a Clean Air Act mandate that requires the agency to control 80 percent of VOC emissions from consumer and commercial products to reduce ground-level ozone, or smog.
EPA's national VOC emissions standard is backed by the chemical specialties industry, which wants uniform regulations rather than a patchwork of state and local requirements.
One rule covers the architectural paints and coatings industry, which makes interior and exterior house paints, highway and traffic paints, primers, industrial maintenance coatings, and wood and roof coatings.
The regulation, which will affect about 500 architectural coating manufacturers and importers nationwide, is expected to reduce VOC emissions by 113,500 tons per year, a 20 percent reduction from 1990 levels.
The rule establishes a VOC content limit for each of 61 categories of architectural coatings and will cost the industry an estimated $32 million per year, or $250 per ton of VOC reduced. For most products, manufacturers must comply with the regulation within one year.
The consumer products rule sets VOC limits for two dozen categories of household products, such as cleaning and personal care goods, as well as a variety of insecticides.
The regulation, which will affect about 220 consumer product manufacturers and importers, is expected to reduce VOC emissions by 90,000 tons annually--also a 20 percent reduction from 1990 levels.
The rule establishes a VOC content limit at the manufacturer's level for each consumer product category and is expected to cost the industry about $27 million per year. Manufacturers must comply within three months.
The third rule affects the auto refinishing coatings industry, which makes primers and topcoats used mostly by painters at body shops to refinish cars and trucks.
The regulation, which will affect five large coating manufacturers and importers and 10 to 15 smaller manufacturers, is expected to reduce VOC emissions by 32,000 tons annually.
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