Degreasers to Cut Air Toxics Emissions
Approximately 50 of the largest degreasing facilities will reduce air toxics emissions under tighter EPA standards that will prevent an additional 1,700 tons of solvent emissions and save the industry more than $1 million per year. Degreasers, also known as the halogenated solvent cleaning industry, use solvents to remove soils such as grease, oils, waxes, carbon deposits and tars from metal, plastic, fiberglass and other surfaces.
Most degreasing facilities are well-controlled and already meet the amended standards. The rule focuses on the remaining higher-emitting sources. For theses degreasers, EPA is requiring facilities to reduce emissions of the solvents methylene chloride, perchloroethylene and trichloroethylene. The emission limits will provide affected facilities with the flexibility to reduce their emissions using any traditional methods available.
EPA issued a national rule to limit emissions of air toxics from degreasing operations in 1994. This rule is one of 96 rules called maximum achievable control technology (MACT) standards that require 174 industry sectors to eliminate 1.7 million tons of 187 air toxics. Congress listed these toxic air pollutants in the Clean Air Act. There are nearly 1,900 degreasing operations in the United States. EPA estimates that the 1994 standards prevent nationwide emissions of air toxics by 85,300 tons per year.
The rule addresses the residual risk and the eight-year technology review provisions in the Clean Air Act. These provisions direct EPA to review existing control technology standards. EPA is to tighten those standards if needed to protect health or because of improvements in emissions reduction methods.
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