Register Today for SUR/FIN Atlanta – Sessions Begin at 8:30 AM on Monday, June 19, 2017

The NASF SUR/FIN® Manufacturing & Technology Trade Show & Conference has expanded and is shaping up to be the event you can’t afford to miss. Because the 2017 event has so much to offer, the conference program will now begin at 8:30 AM on Monday, June 19. This is a departure from recent years when the conference program kicked off in the afternoon. The new schedule allows attendees to take advantage of the full range of conference sessions without sacrificing time on the show floor.

The conference program can be viewed at In addition to the key session offerings such as Advances in Surface Finishing and Automotive and Technical Responses to REACh, there will also be sessions on Aerospace & Defense, Technology for Increasing Performance, and more. Attendees and exhibitors will have a total of 14 sessions from which to choose, plus complimentary sessions such as the Sustainability Summit, Nadcap and keynote presentations from Executive Director of the Automotive Industry Action Group J. Scot Sharland and Scott Fetter with the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program at Lockheed Martin.

More than 180 companies will showcase the latest equipment, supplies and services in more than 100 product categories. SUR/FIN exhibitors will provide their expertise in surface technology to make your company more efficient and profitable. Looking for a particular product or service from our exhibitors? You’ll find it here.

Registration is now open at

Posted in Education, Events, International, NASF Chapters, NASF Members, New Members

Outlook on the Federal Regulatory Agenda: A Tectonic Shift in Washington

The Trump Administration and Republican leaders in Congress have launched 2017 with several early actions on an agenda that, if implemented, would represent a tectonic shift in the U.S. regulatory landscape, particularly in the areas of environment, labor, health and safety.

Nominees and Advisors

The president’s nominees to head key agencies – Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt for the Environmental Protection Agency and burger chain executive Andy Puzder for Department of Labor – are widely known critics of the federal bureaucracy and government overreach. Pruitt led states’ efforts in recent years in major lawsuits against EPA. Puzder, who battled regulation in California, has warned that overly strict labor laws will lead employers to replacing workers with machines. Both nominees are now awaiting Senate confirmation.

The president also recently named activist investor and billionaire Carl Icahn as his special advisor on regulatory overhaul. He promised a regulatory moratorium and a rollback of key Obama Administration executive orders and memos on a host of topics. That’s exactly what’s transpired since Trump took office.

The President’s EPA transition team chief, libertarian think-tank advocate Myron Ebell, recently called the environment movement “the greatest threat to freedom.” He suggested last week that EPA’s budget should be cut by two-thirds, from 15,000 to 5,000 employees.

Executive Orders and a Regulatory Freeze

The President just this week signed an executive order promising that going forward for each new regulation issued, two old regulations would have to be eliminated. In announcing the policy, he noted “we’re cutting regulations massively for small business – and for large business” and that the annual impact on the economy of government rules would be “no greater than zero.”

The order follows an Inauguration Day memo from the President’s Chief of Staff Reince Priebus to all departments and agencies. The directive would freeze a number of recently finalized regulations for a 60-day review period. It also instructed agency heads to also consider delaying effective dates for regulations beyond the 60-day time period. The temporary moratorium on regulations is not uncommon for incoming presidents.

Indeed, several major rules that the Obama administration was speeding to the finishing line will be held up. Among them is the Department of Labor’s controversial overtime rule to boost worker pay, along with several EPA regulations.  Another on the slate is a rule to make hardrock mining operations show the financial ability to pay for contamination clean-up if closed. This is the first in a series of rules that EPA has anticipated would affect a range of industries in the future, including surface finishing.

Regulatory Reform Legislation on Capitol Hill

On Capitol Hill, Republicans with control of both legislative chambers on Capitol Hill have moved swiftly in the first few weeks of the new Congress to reshape the future of regulation. In its first week back in Washington, the House began action on and approved several regulatory relief bills, including:

  • the REINS Act (Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny) – requires Congress to approve any agency rule estimated to have more than a $100 million cost on the U.S. economy;
  • the Regulatory Accountability Act – requires agencies to complete a number of steps on a proposed rule, including weighing the direct and indirect costs and benefits of their rules on jobs and economic growth; and
  • the Midnight Rule Relief Act – allows Congress to repeal in a single vote any rule finalized in the last 60 legislative days of the Obama administration.

Since passage in the House, the Senate is now reviewing these measures, but Democrats have promised opposition there. The bills were passed by the House in earlier Congresses but were never previously acted on by the Senate.

In addition, House leaders have assembled a first short list of major Obama-era rules for repeal in the coming days. Republican leaders have promised to use their legal authority to scuttle the regulations under a rarely used legislative tool, the Congressional Review Act. The law, enacted in 1996, has been successfully invoked by Congress only once. In 2001, Republicans used it as President George W. Bush took office to overturn a major OSHA workplace ergonomics standard from the Clinton Administration.

EPA – Selected Regulatory Targets

Several major environmental regulations that the Trump administration has targeted for elimination, reform or delay include EPA’s Clean Power Plan to set carbon emission limits on power plants, the agency’s revised ozone standard and EPA’s controversial Clean Water Rule, which would determine which rivers, lakes, streams and ponds are subject to federal jurisdiction. The U.S. Supreme Court just this month agreed to hear arguments in litigation over the water rule. For surface finishing, EPA is still reviewing whether to propose tighter wastewater discharge limits for the industry, and NASF will continue to work closely with EPA and the Trump administration to inform the agency’s decision.

Department of Labor and OSHA – Selected Regulatory Targets

One of the most controversial labor regulations advanced by the Obama Administration has been the overtime rule. The rule, which would have raised the salary threshold for exemption from overtime pay, was blocked by a Texas district court judge just before it went into effect on Dec. 1, 2016. Both the incoming White House and Republicans in Congress have argued the rule should be scrapped, along with a growing list of other Obama-era labor rules and decisions from DOL, the National Labor Relations Board and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

On workplace safety matters, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s efforts to make major changes in recordkeeping and reporting for business have been opposed by a range of industry groups, including NASF. Among these have been OSHA’s final electronic reporting rule to put injury and illness records of employers on the internet, and the agency’s pending final rule that would allow OSHA to cite employers for alleged injury and illness recordkeeping violations up to five years old, an extension much longer than the current limit of six months.

It’s only January, and a profound shift is underway in Washington. The regulatory agenda will be in a center spotlight this year, along with further action on tax reform, trade, immigration, health care and infrastructure. NASF has been closely engaged at the agencies and will continue to monitor and inform decisions that impact the industry as the year unfolds.  Look for new updates on specific issues in play in the coming weeks and months. In the meantime, we look forward to having you join us for the NASF Washington Forum in the nation’s capital on Apr. 25-27, 2017. For more information, go to


Posted in Business, Government Relations, International, Law & Regulation | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

With Trump Regulatory Freeze, NASF Watching New EPA Superfund Clean-Up Rule’s Impact on Surface Finishing

With the Trump administration’s aggressive focus on regulatory overhaul, one of several dozen issues the NASF has been watching is an otherwise obscure rule for the hardrock mining industry. But in early December, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency proposed a new Superfund cleanup rule that NASF members should watch closely. The new proposal stems from an agency hazardous waste initiative under the Obama Administration that covers surface finishing as well as several other manufacturing sectors.

The latest proposed rule, which industry anticipated throughout 2016, would subject hard rock mining companies to a determination of future cleanup responsibilities and require each company to obtain bonds or insurance or self-assure to cover the cost of that clean up.

This is an important development for NASF members and finishing operations nationwide. A few years ago, EPA listed metal finishing on the list of sectors that would be targeted for what would be new, extremely burdensome requirements under the federal Superfund law that could potentially bankrupt both small and large companies.

NASF Has Advised Dropping Financial Assurance Requirements

NASF has been monitoring the rule’s progress for several years and held discussions with EPA, arguing that the agency’s approach was misguided on several fronts. EPA more recently expanded the metal finishing category to cover more facilities in the larger fabricated metals sector.

Outgoing EPA Assistant Administrator Mathy Stanislaus, who heads the federal hazardous waste program, argues that the agency’s approach of requiring a company to secure a bond, letter of credit or other financial assurance mechanisms would lead to more cleanups in the United States.

“This proposed rule, once finalized, would move the financial burden from taxpayers and ensure that industry assumes responsibility for these cleanups,” Stanislaus said. “The proposed rule would also give companies an economic incentive to use environmentally protective practices that can help prevent future releases.”

Mining Industry Shared “Case Study” with NASF Members in Washington

This past year, attendees at the NASF Washington Forum heard from National Mining Association’s Tawny Bridgeford, who highlighted the mining industry’s experience as a “case study.” She noted that the onerous EPA requirements in the pipeline for miners would severely impact surface finishing facilities if the rules weren’t curbed early in the process.

The proposed rule, which was moving to proposal stage in December, formally identified the next group of sectors in the pipeline for financial assurance rules, specifically electric power generation, transmission and distribution, and petroleum and coal products manufacturing.

The agenda of the new Trump administration will clearly have some bearing on the outcome of the mining and other regulations during 2017. Because the agency released its proposal so late in the year, the new temporary regulatory moratorium just announced by the White House over inauguration weekend is expected to delay and possibly derail it. More shortly.

Posted in Business, Government Relations, International, Law & Regulation | Tagged , , , , ,

Obama Signs Major Trade Bills Into Law Giving President Fast-Track Authority

After much turmoil in Congress, particularly within his own party, President Obama signed two trade bills into law in June that were essential for moving his trade agenda forward. By providing the President additional authority for trade negotiations, the bills will likely facilitate passage of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade agreement among twelve countries in the Asia Pacific region.

The Defending Public Safety Employees’ Retirement Act (H.R. 2146) included language providing the president “fast-track” or Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), which allows the president to present trade agreements to Congress for an up-or-down vote without amendments from Congress.  The Trade Preferences Extension Act (H.R. 1295) provides trade adjustment assistance (or “TAA”) to workers who lose their jobs as a result of a free trade agreement.

Passage of both bills was hailed as a victory by both the President and many congressional Republicans, which came on the heels of a major defeat the week before when Democrats initially voted against the package of bills despite a full court press lobbying effort by President Obama in the days leading up to the vote.

Posted in International, Law & Regulation | Tagged , ,

New Chemicals List Issued by Global Aerospace Industry

Boeing  New 747-8 Intercontinental

The global aerospace industry issued in May the sector’s “first ever” declarable substances list to identify potentially harmful substances and prioritize certain materials for phase out and substitution in the supply chain. The International Aerospace Environmental Group (IAEG) developed the list, which is intended to be a coordinated approach to reporting and managing chemicals.

Referred to as the “Aerospace & Defence Declarable Substances List (AD-DSL),” it contains around 800 chemicals and a dozen families of chemicals, is considered an initial common list of substances that are used in or are critical for aerospace and defense applications, including manufacture and maintenance.

Members of the IAEG have noted that the list will be reviewed every six months. Sally Gestautas, Raytheon’s global substances program manager, who chairs the IAEG working group that developed a chemicals reporting standard for the IAEG, noted that, among other things, “widespread adoption of this list will highly improve material use, information, transparency and consistency in our industry.” Over three dozen companies worked to develop the list, and the project included both OEMs and suppliers.

Posted in International

NASF Launches New Surface Coatings Guide

Advanced Surface Technology Vols. 1 & 2NASF announces a new resource for finishers, suppliers and the OEM community – Advanced Surface Technology.

Advanced Surface Technology is the most comprehensive reference to date for a wide range of coating and finishing applications.  The publication is both a practical guide for any professional or operation in the coatings value chain, as well as a core text for the teaching of engineers and scientists at all levels in the field of surface technology.

The two-volume hardcover set, authored by Drs. Per Moller and Lars Pleth Nielsen, contains the most current information in an understandable format and is filled with numerous easy-to-understand illustrations, charts and descriptive graphics.  It should serve as an inclusive, easy-to-use tool for finishers, suppliers, and the OEM community.

The book will also serve as the basis for future updates.  The authors aim to update the text with new information and link to additional online resources.

“We’re quite pleased to be a partner with the authors on this project,” said NASF President, Rick Delawder.  “Industrial surface finishers around the world now have a great new resource to both keep current and gain new knowledge to help benefit their companies and their customers.”

The two-volume hardcover set is now available for purchase online through the NASF website, for $130.00 plus handling for domestic and international shipping.

Posted in Education, International, NASF National, Research | Tagged , ,

More Chemicals, Metals Targeted under REACH

NASF and other trade associations worldwide are closely watching as the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) and other decision makers in the EU are discussing new substances to be added for potential restriction under the REACH chemicals framework.   A draft proposal containing 125 substances will be reviewed for the 2014-2016 timeframe.

The draft proposal puts forward 55 substances for review in 2014. The number has been steadily increasing since 2012, when 36 substances were evaluated. In 2013, 47 substances are being evaluated. The current REACH work plan assumes that 50 substances will be evaluated each year.  The agency intends to make a decision on adopting the 2014-16 update for 2014-2016 by next March.

Posted in Business, Government Relations, International, Law & Regulation

OSHA’s GHS HazCom Rule: Training Deadline is December 1, 2013

NASF members should be ready to comply with new training and other requirements under OSHA’s implementation of the Globally Harmonized System (GHS).  Did you know the deadline for the first round of regulations is  December 1, 2013?

The GHS is an approach for standardizing and harmonizing the classification and labeling of chemicals.  OSHA is now implementing the framework through its revised Hazard Communication Standard (HCS), first published in the Federal Register on March 26, 2012.  The new rule aims for a more logical approach to classifying chemicals and communicating hazards on labels and safety data sheets.  Companies that regularly handle, store, and use hazardous chemicals must periodically update safety data sheets and labels for chemicals covered under the hazard communication standard.  Employees must be trained as well.

What GHS Means to You

The new rules contain a new set of terminology for communicating potential chemical hazards in the workplace.  Companies handling chemicals will need to replace old Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDSs) with new Safety Data Sheets (SDSs) and update labels to meet GHS requirements, including new pictograms.  In addition, businesses will need to train employees to read the new SDSs and labels.

What are the Regulatory Deadlines?

By December 1, 2013, businesses must train employees regarding hazards of chemicals or categories of chemicals and the new label elements and SDS format.

By June 1, 2015, all labels and SDSs must be updated by chemical manufacturers, distributors or importers.  Distributors have an additional six months to distribute containers with manufacturers’ labels.

By June 1, 2106, employers must update Hazard Communication program and signs to comply with the new GHS requirements.

More Information from NASF and OSHA

NASF is preparing more information to assist companies with compliance.  In the meantime, background and guidance on complying with the GHS and the hazard communication standard is available on the OSHA website at

Posted in International, Law & Regulation | Tagged ,

Cobalt Metal and Nickel Nanoparticles to Be Included in NTP Report on Carcinogens

On September 20, 2013 the U.S.-based National Toxicology Program (NTP) issued a notice in the Federal Register requesting information on 20 new substances (including cobalt metal and nickel nanoparticles) that have been nominated for possible review and inclusion in NTP’s next Report on Carcinogens (RoC).  78 Fed. Reg. 57868 (2013).   The NTP is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Specifically, NTP requests information on the current production, use patterns, human exposure, and studies and other scientific information regarding the carcinogenicity of each of these 20 substances.  The information will be used to determine if NTP should propose a formal evaluation of these substances for the next RoC.  The deadline for receipt of this information is October 18, 2013.

The RoC is a congressionally mandated, science-based, public health report that identifies agents, substances, mixtures and exposures in the environment that pose a cancer hazard to humans.  The RoC is published biennially and is a cumulative list consisting of newly reviewed substances as well as those listed in previous editions of the RoC.

More information on the RoC is available on the NTP website at  If you have any further questions or would like additional information about this specific action or the RoC generally, please contact Jeff Hannapel at

Posted in International, Law & Regulation | Tagged ,