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SoCal Drops Metal Coating Rule

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

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After nearly two years in development, California has abruptly halted further work on plans to tighten emission rules on metal coating operations until 2013, the American Coatings Association reports.

California's South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) had proposed amendments to Rule 1107, Coating of Metal Parts and Products, to take effect in Nov. 2012, but the agency now plans to hold off until it resolves certain occupational exposure concerns related to tertiary butyl acetate (TBAc) and dimethyl carbonate (DMC), ACA reports.

California has halted plans to tighten emission rules on metal coating operations.

The purpose of Rule 1107 is to reduce VOC emissions from the coating of metal parts and products. The rule applies to all metal coatings operations, except those performed on aerospace assembly, magnet wire, marine craft, motor vehicle, metal container, and coil coating operations.

ACA's Concerns

Originally adopted in 1979, Rule 1107 was last amended in 2006. Ever since the air district proposed its newest round of amendments, ACA has responded with multiple sets of comments.

Most recently, ACA addressed what it believed to be "problematic" interim limits, expressing concern that the air district's contention that the interim limit was needed to encourage waterborne coatings would eliminate many high-solids coatings.

ACA had suggested dropping the proposed Jan. 1, 2015, interim limits to give coatings manufacturers adequate time to develop coatings and to work with application facilities to install and become comfortable with the new coatings and equipment.

U.S. EPA

SCAQMD said the proposed changes would reduce emissions by 1.26 tons per day.

The association had also suggested the waterborne coating definition be modified as "any coating which contains more than 20 percent by weight in its volatile fraction, as applied," calling the proposed definition at five percent of the volatile fraction "too stringent."

SCAQMD had previously incorporated some of ACA's suggested revisions, including the extension of compliance dates by one year, a one-year sell through and use through, an increase in TBAc and DMC permit modification thresholds, a more reasonable viscosity exemption, and additional rule language modifications.

What If

Under the proposal, the primary changes would have been to the General category, with limits on multi-component coatings reduced to 150 gm/L from the current 340.

SCAQMD had argued that improvements in coatings technology over the last 13 years have made it possible to reduce VOC emissions and that the changes would reduce emissions by 1.26 tons per day.

The air district had also stated that two-thirds of the facilities that report to the South Coast region already complied with the proposed limits.

Although the rule would have applied only to Southern California, SCAQMD is considered to be highly influential on environmentally policies nationwide.

   

Tagged categories: American Coatings Association (ACA); Metal coatings; Regulations; SCAQMD; VOC emissions

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