SEMA eNews Vol. 15, No. 39, September 27, 2012

EPA Issues Stricter Chromium Emissions Rule

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has established new emissions standards for chromium electroplating and anodizing operations. For decorative chrome plating, the EPA has lowered the emissions levels for existing sources from 0.01 milligrams per dry standard cubic meter (mg/dscm) to 0.007 mg/dscm. New sources will be required to meet a 0.006 mg/dscm limit. The EPA also adopted a reduction in the bath surface tension, arguing that it will achieve further reductions in actual emissions. 

The agency is also banning the use of perflouroctyle sulfonates (PFOS), a substance that reduces the bath surface tension. The EPA contends that there are acceptable non-PFOS substitutes available in the marketplace. SEMA has questioned the need for additional regulations at a time when, according to the EPA’s own data, industry's emissions have been reduced by 99.7% since 1995. The plating and finishing industry's total U.S. emissions are less than 1% of all chromium emissions from various other sources. 

For additional information, contact Stuart Gosswein at stuartg@sema.org.