Cleaning with Chemicals that will Make the EPA Smile

epa complianceThe Environmental Protection Agency, or EPA, creates industry wide mandates regarding the need for using chemical cleaning solvents that do not put in danger workers, people, or the environment. The EPA calls this list of rules, or guidelines, MACT standards (Maximum Achievable Control Technology). MACT standards requires all industrial organizations, and any business that engages in industrial cleaning, to test its chemical solvents and verify whether the chemical compounds in the solvent ingredients emit hazardous toxins into the environment. If the outcome of the test does not satisfy MACT specific emissions limits, then the organization must cease and desist from using the chemical cleaning solvent. The EPA researches and tests chemical compounds commonly used in cleaning and degreasing solvents, and tests those solvents against emissions levels that have been determined safe for people to use, and for environmental exposure. The purpose is to reduce both health and environmental risks associated with the use of any chemical compound found in cleaning solvents. Only when the EPA concludes that industrial organizations are conforming to lower emissions standards will it be able to rest easy and smile.

Optimum emissions levels to which industrial businesses must adhere, according to MACT standards devised by the EPA, are based on the average of low emissions output achieved by the best performing industrial facilities. During the process of determining what is achievable, based on what the best performing industrial facilities are accomplishing, the EPA investigates areas such as clean processes, control devices, and work practices. At this point, the EPA can set the average standard based on the results, or, if it deems necessary, can establish a more stringent standard, for which it reserves the right. For the EPA to make such a move toward more stringent policies, changes in economics, environmental scenarios, and public health issues must be in play to force such a move.

The EPA recognizes the work that organizations like Ecolink perform, because these kinds of organizations lend assistance to not only informing both industrial organizations and the general public, but also provide solutions that promote the swift transitioning to an eco friendly, green alternative chemical cleaning solutions with low emissions – which makes the EPA very happy. Developing and administering standards that reduce toxic emissions found in chemical cleaning agents is the name of the game, and the EPA is thrilled that organizations like Ecolink aid in achieving improved safety standards. This collaborative approach should continue achieve successes related to the toxic reduction of industrial cleaning solvents.

Industrial businesses that choose to consult with Ecolink are able to identify additional measures that help protect public health and the environment from toxic chemicals found in industrial cleaning solvents. Ecolink has proven successful at enforcing EPA protocol by locating safer industrial cleaning solvents, and helping industrial companies switch to eco friendly, green alternative cleaning solutions.

How does the EPA Regulate the Industrial Cleaning Industry?

Epa Cleaning RegulationsThe EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) develops regulations, also known as or called MACT (Maximum Achievable Control Technology) standards, requiring industrial organizations and other entities involved in possibly emitting hazardous toxins into the environment to meet specific emissions limits that are based on emissions levels viewed as safe. In addition, the EPA applies a risk based approach to assess how these technology-based emissions limits are reducing health and environmental risks. Based on this assessment, the EPA may implement additional regulations or stricter standards to address any significant remaining health or environmental risks. The EPA has been instilling regulations to protect people and the environment since the early 1970s.

The EPAs MACT standards are based on the emissions levels that have already been achieved by the best performing similar facilities. This straightforward, performance based approach yields standards that are both reasonable and effective in reducing the toxic emissions of industrial businesses. When developing a MACT standard for a particular source category, the EPA investigates the level of emissions currently being achieved by the best performing similar sources through clean processes, control devices, and work practices, along with other methods. These emissions levels set a guideline, or baseline for the new standard. At a minimum, a MACT standard must achieve, throughout the entire industry, a level of emissions control that is at least equivalent to the baseline. The EPA reserves the right to establish a more stringent standard when the potential for economic, environmental, and public health enhancements are at play.

At present, the EPA focuses efforts on reducing emissions of toxic air pollutants, as well as the VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) found in industrial cleaning products through its MACT emission standards. The EPA will continue to work with industrial businesses, environmental groups, state, local, and tribal agencies, and other interested parties, including Ecolink, to further develop standards that will continue to reduce air toxic emissions even more.

The EPA anticipates that its technology-based approach will continue to prove successful at reducing air toxins found in industrial cleaning products. Additional assistance from organizations like Ecolink that work toward providing eco friendly, green alternative compounds for industrial companies to eliminate air toxins are also expected to directly bolster the EPAs efforts. To identify additional measures beyond the technology standards set forth by the EPA that are needed to protect the public health and the environment from toxic air pollutants found in industrial cleaning agents, contact Ecolink. Ecolink has proven successful in enforcing EPA mandates by introducing safer industrial cleaning products, and helping industrial businesses transition to these eco friendly, green alternative industrial cleaning solutions. Call Ecolink to find out how they can help your industrial business make the switch to a safer cleaning solvent.

Does your Vapor Degreaser meet MACT Standards?

Recently, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) inspected vapor degreasers at several plants, in a variety of industries, and unfortunately, every plant involved in the inspection did not comply with the EPA’s Vapor Degreaser Maximum Available Control Technology (MACT) Standard. The average penalty cost levied on each plant found not to be compliant was over then thousand dollars, which, because the penalties are not tax deductible, had to be paid out of the profits of each company. Additional costs were involved as well, such as management time, fees for both attorneys and consultants, along with wasted solvents. The following were reasons for non-compliance found during the inspections:

  • Ecolink1The chain hoist used to lower and raise a parts container into the vapor degreaser exceeded the maximum allowable speed of eleven feet per minute. The reason for the specified maximum speed is to assure the vapor blanket is not disrupted to the extent that vapor spills out of the degreaser and emanates into the air.
  • The temperature at the center of the air blanket did not comply with the requirement that the temperature be thirty percent or less of the solvent’s boiling point. This ensures that the solvent vapors condense and fall back into the sump tank rather than evaporating throughout the plant.
  • The freeboard ratio was not measured correctly. Freeboard ratio is the ratio of the freeboard height to the smaller interior dimension (length, width or diameter) of the machine.
  • Covers were not in place when the degreaser was not in use.

In addition, (and a hint to those industrial businesses finding it difficult to meet compliance standards) the biggest tip-off that violations are present comes when entering a shop and one can smell the distinct odor of degreaser solvent.

The best way to ensure your vapor degreaser meets MACT standards is to incorporate Ecolink’s Hypersolve vapor degreaser. Hypersolve is a new cleaner solvent vapor degreaser based on n-propyl bromide as an alternative for traditional chlorinated solvents. Hypersolve has very low ozone depletion potential (0.002) and no flash point. Applications include the ability to vapor degrease a variety of contaminants and substrates. Hypersolve cleans difficult contaminants such as oils, greases, adhesives, solder fluxes, and resins.

Hypersolve is a diverse compound that has numerous applications including the following:

  • Drying agent
  • Precision cleaning
  • Cleaner/degreaser
  • Automotive parts cleaning
  • Printed wiring board cleaning
  • Adhesive and sealant removal
  • Surface wipe cleaning
  • Carbon soil removal
  • Metal cleaning, hydraulic parts, wheels and brakes

If your business is in need of any of the above applications, then let Ecolink help you make the transition to their Hypersolve vapor degreaser to ensure you are compliant with MACT standards concerning vapor degreasers. When switching to Ecolink’s Hypersolve, your industrial business immediately reduces its chance of being found non compliant with MACT standards.