The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed new emissions standards for chromium electroplating and anodizing operations. For decorative chrome plating, the EPA wants to lower the emissions levels for existing sources from 0.01 milligrams per dry standard cubic meter (mg/dscm) to 0.007 mg/dscm. New sources would be required to meet a 0.006-mg/dscm limit. The EPA is also pursuing a reduction in the bath surface tension, arguing that it will achieve further reductions in actual emissions.
The EPA contends most facilities already meet the proposed standards and facilities that do not meet the standards could by simply using more fume suppressants. SEMA is reviewing the proposal but questions 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. Additionally, the plating and finishing industry's total U.S. emissions are less than 1% of all chromium emissions from various other sources.
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