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EPA Review Determines Current Air Toxics Standards for Four Industries Protect Public Health
Release Date: 03/31/2006
Contact Information: John Millett, (202) 564-4355 / firstname.lastname@example.org
(03/31/06) EPA has issued rules finding that additional reductions in air toxics emissions are not necessary for four industry categories: cooling towers, ethylene oxide sterilization plants, magnetic tape manufacturing operations and gasoline distribution terminals. EPA made these findings based on recent analyses that show existing air toxics standards for these industries protect public health.
Since 1990, EPA has issued 96 hazardous air pollutant regulations that require 174 industry source categories to eliminate 1.7 million tons per year of hazardous air pollutants. The Clean Air Act requires EPA to assess the impact of its air toxics standards eight years after they are issued. EPA must require additional emissions reductions if the review shows that the standards do not sufficiently protect human health or the environment. The agency also must require additional reductions if new emission-control technology or pollution prevention practices have become available.
1) Ethylene Oxide Sterilization: EPA's existing air toxics standards limit emissions at commercial sterilization facilities that use ethylene oxide to sterilize heat- and moisture-sensitive products, and as a fumigant to control microorganisms or insects. EPA's analysis of remaining air toxic emissions from these facilities found that the risks to humans, as well as ecological effects, are low enough that further controls are not warranted. The technology assessment did not find any advancement in emissions control or prevention practices. Under the 1994 standards, these facilities will continue to reduce hazardous air pollutants by 1,000 tons per year.
More information on this action: epa.gov/ttn/oarpg/t3/fact_sheets/finaleorisk_fs.html
2) Industrial Cooling Towers: EPA's existing air toxics standards for industrial process cooling towers eliminated the use of chromium-based water treatment chemicals that EPA suspects causes cancer or other serious health or environmental effects. The standards prevent 25 tons of chromium from being emitted into the air each year. As a result of the 1994 regulation, the cooling towers industry substituted several chemicals for chromium, including three other toxic air pollutants: methanol, ethylene thiourea and chloroform. EPA's risk assessment of remaining air toxic emissions at these facilities found that the risks posed by current emissions from cooling towers are low enough that further controls are not warranted. The technology assessment did not find any advancement in emissions control or prevention practices.
More information on this action: epa.gov/ttn/oarpg/t3/fact_sheets/finalipctrisk_fs.html
3) Magnetic Tape Manufacturing: EPA's air toxics standards limit emissions at facilities that manufacture magnetic tape, including audio and video tape for consumer use. EPA's analysis of remaining air emissions showed a low risk from each of the six magnetic tape producing facilities in the country. The technology review found that no new emissions controls or pollution prevention practices have become available for this industry. Under the existing standards, these facilities will continue to reduce hazardous air pollutants by 2,300 tons per year.
More information on this action: epa.gov/ttn/oarpg/t3/fact_sheets/finalmagtaperisk_fs.html
4) Gasoline Distribution Terminals: Air toxics standards for the gas distribution industry limit emissions at terminals where gasoline is loaded into trucks for delivery to gas stations. These standards reduce toxic emissions by 2,300 tons annually. EPA's analysis of remaining emissions from these facilities showed a low risk to public health. Based on the analyses and after considering public comments, EPA has decided to retain the existing standards.
More information on this action: epa.gov/ttn/oarpg/t3/fact_sheets/finalgasdistrisk_fs.html