Category: Metal cleaning

Webinar: Safer alternatives for solvent applications

May 26, 2021, 11:30 am-1:00 pm CDT
Register here.

A range of many different types of solvents are used in diverse ways by thousands of companies in the nation. Find out how you can help those companies adopt pollution prevention (P2) measures by guiding them to safer alternatives. Get ideas on where and how to focus P2 efforts.

The US EPA P2 grant program describes several National Emphasis Areas (NEAs) and solvents are used extensively by companies in these NEA sectors. This webinar, sponsored by the Pacific Northwest Pollution Prevention Resource Center (PPRC), will identify nine major solvent applications used in two or more of the NEAs. They will describe:

  • How the solvents are used in the application
  • The types of solvents used
  • The safer alternatives that can be used in their place

Webinar attendees, including P2 program grantees, will have the opportunity to provide input on which solvent application areas they would like to learn more about. Additional webinars may be scheduled in the future that will cover the applications of interest and their alternatives in greater detail.

During the webinar, Dr. Wolf will answer questions on the solvents, safer alternatives, and implementation strategies.

Who should attend this webinar?

  • P2 program grantees
  • State and local government agency P2 technical assistance providers
  • EPA regional P2 staff
  • Industry representatives

Speakers

  • Jean Waters, Pacific Northwest Pollution Prevention Resource Center (PPRC)
  • Katy Wolf, Ph.D., Consultant

EPA releases final risk evaluations for trichlorethylene (TCE) and carbon tetrachloride

U.S. EPA recently completed final risk evaluations for trichlorethylene (TCE) and carbon tetrachloride under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).

The next step in the process required by TSCA is risk management. EPA will propose and take public comments on actions to address the unreasonable risks identified in the risk evaluation. According to TSCA, the agency must finalize those actions within two years of completing the final risk evaluation. EPA’s proposed regulations could include requirements on how the chemical is used, or limiting or prohibiting the manufacture, processing, distribution in commerce, use, or disposal of this chemical substance, as applicable.

There will be additional opportunities for public participation. Just like the risk evaluation process, there will be opportunities for public comment as EPA works to propose and finalize risk management actions for TCE. You can stay informed by signing up for EPA’s email alerts or checking the public dockets at http://www.regulations.gov. 

Register for EPA’s December 15 Webinar on TCE

On December 15, 2020, from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM EST, EPA will host a webinar to educate stakeholders on the risk management process under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) and the findings in the final risk evaluation for trichloroethylene (TCE). The webinar also provides the opportunity for the public to provide input on considerations the agency should take into account for managing these unreasonable risks.

Register for the webinar. If you would like to provide oral comments during the webinar, you must register by December 11 at 5 PM. Select “attend and make a comment” when registering. You may register as a listen-only attendee at any time up to the end of the meeting. For listen-only attendees, select “listen-only” when registering. Information on how to connect to the webinar will be provided upon registration.

Details on how to access the webinar and slides will be sent to participants after registering via Eventbrite.com. Please ensure that emails from Eventbrite.com will not be blocked by your spam filter. EPA will provide a transcript and recording on EPA’s TCE webpage following the webinar.

Additionally, EPA will begin formal consultations with state and local governments, tribes, environmental justice communities, and small businesses. There will also be an open public comment period on any draft risk management regulation.

EPA Seeks Small Businesses Input on Risk Management Rulemakings for Carbon Tetrachloride and TCE

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is inviting small businesses, governments, and not-for-profits to participate as Small Entity Representatives (SERs) to provide advice and recommendations to two Small Business Advocacy Review (SBAR) panels. There will be one panel for carbon tetrachloride and one panel for trichloroethylene (TCE). Each will focus on the agency’s development of proposed rules to address unreasonable risks identified in EPA’s recently completed Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) risk evaluations for these chemicals.

Under TSCA, EPA is required to evaluate the risks associated with exposure to existing chemicals in commerce using the best available science then take action to address any unreasonable risks identified. The agency issued a final risk evaluation for carbon tetrachloride in November 2020, showing unreasonable risks to workers under certain conditions of use. The agency also issued a final risk evaluation for TCE in November 2020, showing unreasonable risks to workers and consumers under certain conditions of use. EPA is now moving to the risk management step in the TSCA process by working to draft regulations to protect public health from the unreasonable risks identified in the final risk evaluations.

The Regulatory Flexibility Act requires agencies to establish a SBAR panel for rules that may have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The SBAR panel will include federal representatives from the Small Business Administration (SBA), the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), and EPA.

SERs will be selected by the SBAR Panels to provide comments on behalf of their company, community, or organization and advise the panels on the potential impacts of the proposed rules on small entities. EPA is seeking self-nominations directly from the small entities that may be subject to the rule requirements. Other representatives, such as trade associations that exclusively or at least primarily represent potentially regulated small entities, may also serve as SERs.

SERs provide advice and recommendations to the panels. The SERs participate in consultations with the SBAR Panels via telephone, webinar, or in person in one or two meetings and are given an opportunity to submit written comments to the Panels. Self-nominations may be submitted through the link below and must be received by December 14, 2020.

In addition to engaging with small businesses, EPA is executing a robust outreach effort on risk management that includes formal consultations with state and local governments, tribes, and environmental justice communities. There will also be an open public comment on any draft risk management regulations.

Nominate yourself as a Small Entity Representative to the Carbon Tetrachloride SBAR Panel: https://www.epa.gov/reg-flex/potential-sbar-panel-carbon-tetrachloride-risk-management-rulemaking-under-toxic-substances 

Nominate yourself as a Small Entity Representative to the TCE SBAR Panel: https://www.epa.gov/reg-flex/potential-sbar-panel-trichloroethylene-tce-risk-management-rulemaking-under-toxic

Assessment of Safer and Effective Alternatives for Coating Removal Products

The Massachusetts Toxics Use Reduction Institute did a project to identify and evaluate safer alternatives to methylene chloride and other chemicals of high concern used in coating removal products. Read the results in the final report, Assessment of Safer and Effective Alternatives for Coating Removal Products.

See also: Assessment of Safer and Effective Alternatives to Methylene Chloride for Paint Stripping Products (2017)

TCE Alternatives Webinars and Training

MnTAP staff has produced a series of webinars to provide information to companies on TCE alternatives. Subscribe to receive announcements of new webinars. The webinars support MnTAP’s TCE Alternatives Project. Videos are also available from TCE alternatives training that they co-hosted with the Toxics Use Reduction Institute.

MnTAP/TURI training on finding effective alternatives to TCE

The Minnesota Technical Assistance Program (MnTAP) at the University of Minnesota and the Toxic Use Reduction Institute (TURI) at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell are partnering to provide no cost, technical assistance to find effective, safer cleaning options than trichloroethylene (TCE) for Minnesota businesses.

On June 11, 2019 MnTAP and partner TURI offered a training session on finding effective alternatives to TCE and more information about the TCE Alternatives Project.  Recordings of the event are now available for review on the MnTAP website.

Fluid dynamics simulation reveals the underlying physics of liquid jet cleaning

Read the full story at Science Daily.

In a significant advance for semiconductor manufacturing, mechanical engineers created a simulation that makes it easier to choose environmentally friendly water jet and underwater ultrasound techniques for cleaning processes.

Arresting Indoor Air Quality Criminals

Read the full story at Products Finishing.

When you think of criminals, the first thing that comes to mind probably isn’t humidity, or hazardous mists and vapors. But these so-called indoor air quality “criminals” can escape from open surface tanks used in metal finishing, causing irritation or harm to operators, as well as corroding the surrounding building structure and supporting utility systems.

Properly ventilating exhaust from and supply air to these open surface tanks is key to thwarting these fugitives before they can inflict damage, and doing so ultimately can save a company a whole lot of trouble.

Proposed rule: Trichloroethylene (TCE); Regulation of Use in Vapor Degreasing Under TSCA Section 6(a)

Read the full Federal Register notice.

Trichloroethylene (TCE) is a volatile organic compound widely used in industrial and commercial processes and has some limited uses in consumer and commercial products. EPA identified significant health risks associated with TCE use in vapor degreasing and EPA’s proposed determination is that these risks are unreasonable risks. To address these unreasonable risks, EPA is proposing under section 6 of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) to prohibit the manufacture (including import), processing, and distribution in commerce of TCE for use in vapor degreasing; to prohibit commercial use of TCE in vapor degreasing; to require manufacturers, processors, and distributors, except for retailers of TCE for any use, to provide downstream notification of these prohibitions throughout the supply chain; and to require limited recordkeeping.

Comments must be received on or before March 20, 2017.

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