Coatings makers are working hard to reshape a growing number of state industrial solvent restrictions that could impact industry manufacturing.
“Many states have established, or are in the process of adopting, industrial solvent cleaning regulations that could impact coatings, ink, adhesive and resin manufacturing operations,” reports the American Coatings Association, which has been keeping a wary eye on the trend.
Department of Veterans Affairs
|Many soldiers use industrial cleaning solvents to accomplish a variety of military tasks.|
The coating manufacturers’ group says it has been “actively engaged” in efforts to blunt the impact of these initiatives on its members.
The rules involve the type of solvents used extensively with process equipment, tanks, lines and other components in manufacturing many types of paints and coatings. The solvents may also be used as paint thinners or as a coating ingredient.
Because a portion of all solvents evaporates during use, these materials are responsible for large amounts of VOC emissions.
The new rules typically set a VOC limit of 50 g/l on cleaning solvents. That means most of the current cleaning solvents would need to be disposed of and replaced by exempt solvents such as acetone.
Seeking ‘More Reasonable’ Standards
The rules generally target ozone “nonattainment areas” and apply to facilities that generate at least 15 lb./day of uncontrolled solvent cleaning VOC emissions.
Rules have been adopted or are in the works in Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Maryland, Connecticut, Wisconsin, New Hampshire, the District of Columbia, Delaware, Texas, Missouri, and North Carolina, according to ACA.
Control Techniques Guidelines: Industrial Cleaning Solvents (EPA, 2006)
The group says it has worked successfully with about 20 states to gain “more reasonable solvent cleaning standards that would allow continued use of the higher VOC solvents currently used in the industry.”
Instead of the 50 g/l limit, the revised rules generally allow higher-VOC cleaning solvents, changes in work practices or other options.
Despite ACA’s efforts, most of the new rules still include record-keeping requirements, ACA notes. These include documenting:
• Name, identification and volume of each VOC-containing cleaning solution;
• The volume of each fresh cleaning solvent used for cleaning; and
• The volume of cleaning solvent recovered for either offsite or onsite reuse or recycling for further cleaning use.
Members may also obtain a state matrix of the rules from ACA.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Industrial Cleaning Solvent Control Technique Guidelines (CTG) provide additional information.