NASF Provides Training Session for EPA on Plating Industry Air Rule

EPA Region V Office of Enforcement recently identified some common problems with compliance with the plating and polishing NESHAP rule for area sources (40 CFR Part 63, Subpart WWWWWW), and then asked the state Small Business Environmental Assistance Programs (SBEAPs) in Region 5 (IL, IN, MI, MN, OH, WI) to see if they can work with the industry to facilitate compliance.

The SBEAP representatives contacted NASF representatives in each state and invited them to participate in a dialogue to develop the best approach to facilitate further compliance with the plating and polishing area source rule. During these discussions the NASF representatives noted that some of the compliance issues identified by EPA may be the result of misinterpretations and confusion regarding the implementation of the rule requirements and indicated the industry’s willingness to assist in the development of guidance to ensure continued compliance with the requirements of the plating and polishing rule.   Specifically, NASF agreed to present a compliance training session on the rule for SBEAP and EPA officials.

On November 15, 2016, NASF representatives, Joelie Zak and Jeff Zak of Scientific Control Laboratories and Jeff Hannapel of The Policy Group, went to the EPA Region 5 offices in Chicago and provided a training session and informal discussion on the plating and polishing rule for a small group of SBEAP and EPA Region 5 officials.  The group included SBEAP representatives from Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin, as well as officials form EPA Region 5 enforcement and air toxics offices.

The training sessions focused on fundamental plating processes and the requirements of the rule, particularly with regards to how the industry demonstrates compliance with the management practices and the use of wetting agents and fume suppressants. The presentation and discussion was well received and much appreciated by the audience of regulators.  While the EPA enforcement officials did not necessarily agree with NASF and SBEAP representatives on the scope of the potential compliance issues with the rule requirements, all parties agreed to develop guidance that could provide further clarification for industry and agency inspectors on how the rule must be implemented.  This guidance will be shared with surface finishing facilities that may be subject to the rule and agency inspectors and other regulators who are charged with implementing and enforcing the requirements of the rule.

The partnership among the NASF, EPA, and the SBEAP representatives continues to be a very constructive process. NASF will disseminate compliance assistance and guidance on the applicable requirements of the plating and polishing rule to promote ongoing compliance with the rule for the surface finishing industry.

For more information regarding the plating polishing area source rule and the industry’s efforts to promote compliance with EPA and the states, please contact Jeff Hannapel with NASF at

Posted in Education, Government Relations, Law & Regulation