The National Association for Surface Finishing has released its Public Policy Update for March 2021. Some of the highlights in the update are summarized below. You can access the March 2021 Public Policy Update here.
NASF Chromium Finishing Symposium for CARB — NASF and its California chapters presented a chromium plating symposium for the California Air Resources Board (CARB), as it considers possible regulatory options to transition hexavalent chromium processes to trivalent chromium. The symposium included a slate of industry experts who discussed the status of trivalent chromium plating technology and the current barriers and timelines for a broad application of trivalent chromium processes.
White House Executive Order on Critical Supply Chains — President Biden signed an Executive Order directing a series of reviews of global supply chains to create more resilient and secure supply chains for critical materials and goods. The reviews will involve multiple departments within the Executive Branch and will implicate a broad range of policy-related concerns, including defense, intelligence, health, climate, the economy, geopolitics and human rights.
Interim Guidance on Destruction and Disposal of PFAS — EPA published a draft Interim Guidance on Destroying and Disposing of Certain PFAS and PFAS-Containing Materials That Are Not Consumer Products. The new interim guidance outlines the current state of the science on techniques and treatments that may be used to destroy or dispose of PFAS and PFAS-containing materials from non-consumer products. NASF joined the American Chemistry Council in submitting comments on the interim guidance.
Small Business Administration PPP Assistance — The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) established a 14-day, exclusive Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan application period for businesses and nonprofits with fewer than 20 employees to promote equitable relief for small businesses. These steps demonstrate the commitment to racial and gender equity, reaching low and moderate-income, rural, urban, and other underserved areas.
EPA Releases Updated Environmental Justice Mapping Tool (EJSCREEN) — EPA released an update of EJSCREEN, the Agency’s publicly available environmental justice screening and mapping tool to identify environmental burdens on vulnerable populations. This update is a refresh of the environmental and demographic data currently contained in EJSCREEN and enhances the tool by adding new and improved functionality such as climate change indicators.
Superfund Listing of PFOS and PFOA – The Biden EPA is reviewing a January 14, 2021 Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) on the potential listing of PFOS and PFOA as hazardous substances under CERCLA, better known as the federal Superfund law. EPA is expected to resubmit the ANPRM or issue a proposed rulemaking that may include a revised approach or modified language.
EPA Drinking Water Standard for PFOS and PFOA — EPA proposed a regulatory determination to regulate PFOS and PFOA in drinking water, which is the first step in setting a federal drinking water standard.
OSHA Proposed Hazard Communication Standard — The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued a proposed rule to amend and update the agency’s Hazard Communication Standard. The move would update the current US regulation to align with the most recent version (revision 7) of the UN Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS).
The National Association for Surface Finishing has released its Public Policy Update for February 2021. Some of the highlights in the update are summarized below. You can access the February 2021 Public Policy Update here.
President Issues Executive Orders — The Biden White House in the first few weeks has issued over three dozen executive orders, memorandums, proclamations, and other measures that focused on four priority issues: 1) Covid-19, 2) economic stimulus, 3) climate change policy, and 4) racial equity. These actions provide a blueprint for the Biden Administration’s expansive agenda over the next few years.
Regulatory Freeze Memorandum — The Biden Administration issued a “regulatory freeze” memorandum for all federal agencies to allow time for review any new or pending rules from the Trump administration.
NASF Webinar on COVID Workplace Practices — The webinar included a panel of NASF member companies who shared various measures they have taken to manage COVID in the workplace and mitigate the spread of Covid-19.
COVID-19 Relief Legislation — Congress passed $900 billion coronavirus relief legislation in December that extended relief through March 2021, providing support to help people and businesses get through the next several months of the pandemic. President Biden is advocating for a new 1.9 trillion-dollar stimulus package.
OSHA COVID Workplace Standards — The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently issued an updated and strengthened its Guidance on Mitigating and Preventing the Spread of COVID-19 in the Workplace. In addition, OSHA is considering a federal emergency temporary standard (ETS) on COVID-19 with a March 15, 2021 deadline.
EPA Releases Effluent Guidelines Program Plan — EPA released its Effluent Guideline Program Plan 14 under Clean Water Act section 304(m). Plan 14 provides an update on the PFAS Multi-Industry study and includes organic chemical manufacturers, airports, rug and textile manufactures, pulp and paper manufacturers, and the metal finishing point source category.
Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for Superfund Listing of PFOS and PFOA — EPA issued an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) on the potential listing of PFOS and PFOA as hazardous substances under CERCLA (or Superfund law). EPA requested public comment and data on whether it should use authority under CERCLA or RCRA to list PFOS and PFOA as hazardous substances.
EPA Drinking Water Standard for PFOS and PFOA — EPA took the next step to regulate PFOS and PFOA under the Safe Drinking Water Act by issuing final regulatory determinations. EPA will now initiate the process to develop a national primary drinking water regulation for PFOS and PFOA, which will include further analyses, scientific review, and opportunity for public comment.
Multi-Sector General Permit for Industrial Stormwater Discharges — EPA issued the final 2021 National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Multi-Sector General Permit (MSGP) that authorizes stormwater discharges associated with industrial activity. The final MSGP allows for reduced monitoring burdens and increased flexibility in demonstrating compliance with the permit requirements for industrial stormwater discharges.
Federal Environmental Civil Penalties Increased for 2021 — U.S. EPA recently increased its maximum civil penalties for violations of air, water, chemical, and hazardous waste to keep pace with inflation.
Michigan EGLE Screening Levels for Air Emissions of 6:2 FTS — The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE), Air Quality Division issued an initial threshold screening level (ITSL) for air emissions of 6:2 fluorotelomer sulfonate (or 6:2 FTS). 6:2 FTS is used in the current formulations of fume suppressants for chrome plating applications. NASF submitted comments on the ITSL and met with state officials to discuss the industry’s concerns. In response to comments, EGLE concluded that the current screening level of 1 µg/m3 was determined to be appropriate and defensible.
The National Association for Surface Finishing has released its Public Policy Update for January 2021. Some of the highlights in the update are summarized below. You can access the NASF January 2021 Public Policy Update here.
Here are some highlights:
Washington Transition Update – The incoming Biden administration and Georgia runoff election may shift environmental policy and chemicals policy (including PFAS regulation). NASF suspects environmental justice and climate change will be at the top of the agenda, as well as new initiatives on the labor, health and safety, tax, trade and other fronts.
TRI Data Release – The EPA has released updated 2019 Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) data that includes summary and trend information, but does not include EPA’s full analysis of the 2019 data. The 2019 TRI National Analysis, to be published in early 2021, will examine different aspects of the data, including trends in releases, other waste management practices, and pollution prevention activities.
Stormwater – In March 2020, the EPA published its proposed 2020 National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Multi-Sector General Permit (MSGP) that authorizes stormwater discharges associated with industrial activity in areas where EPA is the NPDES permitting authority. NASF has submitted comments on the proposed MSGP.
Chemical Risk Evaluations – The EPA identified n-propyl bromide (1-bromopropane) as one of its first ten high priority chemicals under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). N-propyl bromide is used as a solvent to clean parts prior to surface finishing. EPA has one year from the risk evaluation to issue a proposed rule and two years from the risk evaluation to issue a final rule. NASF as well as a few of its members have been invited to participate in the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act (SBREFA) panel as small entity representatives (SERs).
EPA has also identified trichloroethylene (TCE) as one of its first ten high priority chemicals under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). TCE has been used as a solvent to clean parts prior to surface finishing.
PFAS Sampling Plan – NASF, with the assistance of Dr. Janet Anderson, developed a PFAS Sampling and Analysis Plan (SAP) for NASF members.
PFAS Federal Regulations – In 2020, the EPA proposed a regulatory determination to regulate PFOS and PFOA in drinking water. This is the first step in the regulatory process to establish a federal drinking water standard for PFOS and PFOA. NASF has encouraged the EPA to consider a treatment-focused regulatory approach to a drinking water standard for PFOS and PFOA, and that the treatment technologies considered must be technologically and economically feasible, consistent with the SDWA.
In 2020, the EPA issued a final significant new use rule (SNUR) for long-chain perfluoroalkyl carboxylate (LCPFAC) chemical substances that imposes notification and other regulatory requirements on the manufacture, import or processing of certain new uses of specified LCPFAC substances, including PFOA and its salts. This SNUR does include PFOS or 6:2 FTS, the substances used in fume suppressants in the surface finishing industry. Accordingly, the article exemption for PFOS and 6:2 FTS would not be impacted by this SNUR.
EPA has published the draft Interim Guidance on Destroying and Disposing of Certain PFAS and PFAS-Containing Materials That Are Not Consumer Products with a 60-day public comment period under docket EPA-HQ-OLEM-2020-0527.
PFAS State Regulations – EPA Region 5, EPA Office of Research and Development (ORD) and the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE) conducted PFAS testing of fume suppressants currently in use and effluent discharge at approximately 12 plating shops in Michigan. The goal of this project was to determine if any PFOS is present in the fume suppressant currently in use and which PFAS, if any, may be in the effluent discharges of finishing shops.
On September 24, 2020, the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE), Air Quality Division issued an initial threshold screening level (ITSL) for air emissions of 6:2 fluorotelomer sulfonate (or 6:2 FTS) of 1 μg/m³, with annual averaging time. 6:2 FTS is used in the current formulations of fume suppressants for chrome plating applications.
Water Technology Research – NASF and the AESF Foundation have joined the Water and Environmental Technology (WET) Center Industrial Advisory Board, which focuses on a broad range of water and wastewater technologies and related public health issues.
To get more information on any of the stories mentioned above, access the full NASF January 2021 Public Policy Update here.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Region 5’s office has initiated a voluntary air toxic reduction effort with regulated industry sectors in 6 states: Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin.
Facilities covered by the Degreasing Organic Cleaners Halogenated Solvent Cleaners standard (40 CFR Part 63, Subpart T) may receive a letter from EPA Region 5 requesting their participation to help reduce or eliminate the use of the regulated solvents.
Halogenated solvents include:
- Trichloroethylene (TCE)
- Methyl chloroform (TCA, 111- trichloroethane)
- Dichloromethane (DCM, methylene chloride)
- Perchloroethylene (PERC)
- Carbon Tetrachloride (CTC)
The National Association for Surface Finishing (NASF) and the surface finishing industry have made significant progress in reducing the use of halogenated solvents and air emissions from these solvents. Historically, these solvents have been used to clean parts prior to finishing, and halogenated solvents are still in use for applications where substitute solvents are not feasible. Where halogenated solvents continue to be used, facilities implement a variety of control technologies to minimize air emissions.
Even with the success in reducing emissions of halogenated solvents from the surface finishing industry, NASF is partnering with EPA to help members identify additional options for product substitution and improved control technologies to reduce or eliminate air emissions from halogenated solvents. Solvent substitution may allow the facility to reduce or eliminate permit or other compliance requirements under the federal standard, protect worker health and reduce costs. More information on alternative solvents can be found on EPA’s website.
More information on the regulatory benefits of safer solvents can be found here.
NASF and EPA will soon develop a webinar to provide more details on this initiative. For more information regarding the NASF/EPA partnership on this initiative, please contact Jeff Hannapel with NASF at firstname.lastname@example.org.
California’s Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986 (Proposition 65) is a complex regulation for which it is difficult to find determinative answers. California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) recently updated its warning regulations that apply to products manufactured after August 30, 2018. As a result, many NASF members have received letters from customers that sell or distribute products in California asking if the products need Prop 65 warnings and labels.
Even if a part is plated outside California, but is sold or distributed in California, warning labels may be required. NASF is providing 3 documents that can help in determining whether warning labels are required for products that are sold or distributed in California.
Download Proposition 65 Documents
Washington, DC – The National Association for Surface Finishing sends this reminder: submit your 2017 injury and illness summary report electronically to OSHA today, before Sunday’s deadline.
OSHA estimates that 450,000+ US companies must submit 2017 Form 300A data under the agency’s tracking system – the Injury Tracking Application (ITA). Companies are required to submit Form 300A if they meet these criteria:
- Large Companies – If you have 250 or more employees and are currently required to keep OSHA injury and illness records.
- Small and Medium-Size Companies – If you have 20-249 employees and are classified in certain industries with historically high rates of occupational injuries and illnesses. This category includes most manufacturing operations, including companies in the surface finishing industry.
More information on this reporting requirement is available on the OSHA website at https://www.osha.gov/injuryreporting/index.html.
For further information, please contact Jeff Hannapel with NASF at email@example.com