18 April 2007 23:45 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS news)--The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Wednesday announced final rules that will further limit facility-wide emissions from chlorinated solvent cleaning operations and reduce solvent emissions by an estimated 1,700 tonnes/year.
Only 7% of these facilities currently exceed the new 60 tonne/yr methylene chloride equivalent emission limit, according to EPA, so the new regulation will impact only the highest-emitting facilities.
EPA originally proposed 25 and 40 tonne/year limits, but settled on the higher limit after considering more recent data.
“I think [the rule] gets EPA what it needs in terms of risk reduction and public health, but it lessens the burden on industry,” said Steve Risotto of the Halogenated Solvents Industry Alliance.
Facilities with multiple degreasing machines could face hurdles in complying with the new regulation, he said.
A number of these large facilities are already considering chlorinated solvent alternatives, including aqueous systems, hydrocarbons and alkyl bromides, according to industry sources.
EPA has set a 3-year deadline for degreasing facilities to comply with the new caps.
The rule does allow three specific industry sectors - aerospace, narrow tubing and continuous web - to continue with the old emissions limits established by the original 1994 air toxics rule.
Those special industry sectors would require different solvent cleaning machines to comply, and such technology is not yet available.
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