Proposed Greenhouse Gas Rule for Utilities May Increase Energy Costs for Industry

On June 16, 2014, EPA published a proposed rule on greenhouse gas emissions for utilities. The proposed rule would force power plants to cut carbon dioxide emissions by 30 percent by 2030, with a particular impact on coal-fired utilities. While the rule is focused on utilities, it could also have a significant impact on other industries that generate carbon dioxide emissions or that are significant energy consumers such as surface finishing operations.

The proposal sets the overall pollution reduction targets for individual states, and then gives states considerable flexibility on how to meet those goals. The rule would also set guidelines for states to follow to meet the emissions reduction goal. Utilities could be affected differently depending on the states in which they operate and what other carbon dioxide emitting industries are also located in the state. For example, to meet its greenhouse gas emissions reduction target as part of this proposal, a state may choose to get the reductions from a variety of sources, including utilities and other industrial sources in the state. These actions will most likely increase energy costs across the board and significantly impact the surface finishing industry.

The comment deadline for the proposed rule has been extended until December 1, 2014. EPA still plans to issue a final rule by June 2015. If you have any questions or would like additional information on this topic, please contact Jeff Hannapel at jhannapel@thepolicygroup.com.

Posted in Government Relations, Law & Regulation

EPA Continues Preliminary Review of Metal Finishing Wastewater Discharge Standards

The Association of Clean Water Administrators (ACWA), i.e. the association of state water quality regulators, requested EPA to revise the effluent limitation guidelines or issue new guidance regarding pretreatment standards for the metal finishing industry. EPA last issued pretreatment standards for the metal finishing and electroplating sectors in the early 1980s: Metal Finishing Effluent Limitation Guidelines (ELG) (40 CFR Part 433) and the Electroplating ELG (40 CFR Part 413).

The states identified this issue as its number one priority because it claimed that the use of new “green” chemistry and treatment technology are being used by the industry to remove more toxins from the waste stream. In particular, the states requested clarification on when facilities must convert from compliance with the electroplating ELG (Part 413) to the metal finishing ELG (Part 433). After NASF had several discussions with state and EPA officials noting that treatment technology for metals in wastewater discharges has not changed, the Agency indicated that it does not plan to revise the finishing pretreatment standards at this time, but may be willing to work with states on guidance to address their concerns.

On September 16, 2014, EPA issued its Preliminary 2014 Effluent Guidelines Program Plan and indicated that it will continue a preliminary category review of the metal finishing point source category (40 CFR Part 433). As part of this biennial report, EPA specifically solicited data and other information on the discharge and treatment of metals, including chromium, nickel, zinc, cadmium, copper, lead and silver, from the metal finishing industry. While it is not clear if EPA plans to revise the metal finishing ELG in the near future, the Agency will continue its review of this issue.

Comments on EPA’s preliminary review and data solicitation are due on November 17, 2014. The NASF will continue to work closely with state and EPA officials on this issue. If you have any questions or would like additional information regarding this action, please contact Jeff Hannapel at jhannapel@thepolicygroup.com.

Posted in Government Relations, Law & Regulation

Bill Wiggins Awarded CA Metal Finishers Lifetime Achievement Award

The Metal Finishing Association of Southern California (MFASC), a chapter of the National Association for Surface Finishers (NASF), honored former Burbank Mayor and owner of Glendale-based Automation Plating Corporation, Bill Wiggins, with the coveted Lifetime Achievement Award during their annual Fall Outing on October 11th.

This is the 7th year MFASC has hosted the annual event, attracting nearly one hundred leaders from state and national surface finishing organizations to the beautiful Terranea Resort in Rancho Palos Verdes. The Fall Outing includes 3 days of board meetings, valuable networking opportunities and a special awards banquet.

During this year’s banquet, the MFASC presented the coveted Lifetime Achievement award to Bill Wiggins, owner of Automation Plating Corporation and former mayor of Burbank, California. A respected leader throughout the surface finishing industry, the Lifetime Achievement award commemorates Mr. Wiggins’ generous service, valuable assistance and outstanding contributions to the status and advancement of the surface and metal finishing industries.

“Regardless of how much time was spent or sacrifices were made in contribution to the association,” Mr. Wiggins said, “it has all been more than worthwhile. I have received 5 times that back in friendship, education and fellowship, for which I am truly grateful.”

Throughout his career, Mr. Wiggins actively served as an MFASC board member for forty years in addition to taking a leadership role at the national level for NASF. As the organizations move toward significant expansion of their programs over the next several years, Mr. Wiggins’ positive impact on their development is proving truly invaluable.

Posted in Events, NASF Chapters

Abstract Submissions Now Open for SUR/FIN 2015

Are You the Future of Surface Technology?

NASF is building a lineup of industry experts to present on innovative topics for the SUR/FIN 2015 Technology Conference. Here is your opportunity to be part of this comprehensive conference featuring top industry experts, academics and business leaders from around the world who will present emerging technologies and processes that are set to revolutionize the future of surface technology. Click here to learn more about SUR/FIN 2015 speaking opportunities. Prospective speaker abstracts are due November 18, 2014.

Posted in Events

NASF SUR/FIN Trade Show Continues to Increase in Value

Results of a recent survey conducted by NASF revealed 2014 SUR/FIN Manufacturing and Technology Conference attendees found significant added value in taking their conference participation to the trade show floor.

Overall, an impressive 98% of SUR/FIN’s nearly 1,200 surveyed attendees visited the trade show to network and check out the latest innovations and technologies in the industry. In fact, an average of 60% of 2014 participant’s time was spent connecting with exhibitors on the trade show floor.

SUR/FIN organizers attribute the trade show’s rising success to their attention to strengthening the quality of the experience for both exhibitors and attendees.

“Our commitment to quality is the foundation behind the success of the show,“ said 2015 SUR/FIN Conference Chairman, Mark Norton of Grand Rapids-based Walgren Company. “Our goal has always been, and continues to be, producing the industry’s most prominent event for industrial finishing professionals looking to network with top industry analysts, thought leaders and product experts.”

As a result, this year’s SUR/FIN Conference and Trade Show enjoyed a strong boost in image. Survey results show 90% of attendees recommend SUR/FIN to their peers and partners in the industry.

Early statistics for SUR/FIN 2015 confirm this positive feedback. Over 85% of exhibit space is already sold, and exhibit reservations are filling up fast.  For more information and to reserve exhibit space, visit nasfsurfin.com.

Posted in Events