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U.S. EPA proposes emission limits for rubber processing

The authorities aim to close a current gap in the Rubber Tire Manufacturing industry.

Among the HAPs to be regulated are THC, PAH, PM and metal HAP.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposes an amendment to the National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants for Rubber Tire Manufacturing.

It is required by the Clean Air Act (CAA), the primary federal law that regulates air emissions from stationary and mobile sources, that emissions of hazardous air pollutants (HAP) must be regulated. These HAPs are pollutants that are known or suspected to cause cancer or other serious health effects or adverse environmental effects. For the HAPs, certain thresholds of emissions have to be met. They are recorded in a CAA HAP list which is continuously updated.

The HAPs are identified based on their specific source categories. One of those categories is the Rubber Tire Manufacturing source category. It consists of facilities that produce rubber tire components including but not limited to rubber compounds, sidewalls, tread, tire beads, tire cord, and liners. The Rubber Tire Manufacturing source category is split into 4 subcategories for different phases of rubber tire manufacturing. These subcategories include rubber processing, tire production, tire cord production, and puncture sealant application.

Currently, there are no emission limits for the rubber processing subcategory. The EPA is aiming to address this gap by proposing to establish MACT (maximum achievable control technology) emission limits for THC, PAH, and PM and metal HAP. For the implementation, the EPA proposes a 3-year transition period based on its expectation that many existing sources would need to install add-on controls to comply with the proposed emission limits.

The proposed amendment is open for comments until 2 January 2024. More information on the National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants: Rubber Tire Manufacturing and the envisioned amendments can be found here.

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