No matter what part of the composites supply chain you participate in, everyone has the same goals – to remain competitive in a global market while driving innovations. One of the biggest obstacles to remaining competitive in our industry is having to navigate through complex government regulations – many of which can be costly for composites manufacturers.
ACMA provides its members with resources to run their business and remain competitive in a complex government regulatory environment. Some of these resources include tools and guides for hazardous waste, fire codes, styrene, OSHA’s Hazard Communication Standard (HCS), combustible dust, and so much more. All of these are available at http://acmanet.org/regulatory-compliance.
One particular tool helps companies monitor their plant emissions and saves the composites industry millions of dollars per year – the Unified Emission Factors (UEF). Composite manufacturers need reliable, accurate and accepted estimates of their air emissions for several purposes: reporting releases to EPA’s Toxic Release Inventory, applying for and complying with air permits, and business planning. The use of inaccurate emission estimates can lead to serious regulatory problems and production limitations.
ACMA, with the support of other industry experts, developed these factors that helped the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) determine a workable and effective maximum achievable control technology (MACT) standard that almost all composites manufacturers are required to comply with. Businesses all throughout the composites industry now use the UEF to calculate emissions for compliance reports that go to state environmental agencies that grant air permits. The standards, as well as ACMA’s UEF standard calculator, can help businesses avoid unaffordable stack tests.
According to Perry Bennett, Health Safety and Environmental Director at Molded Fiber Glass, “Without the UEF and ACMA advocacy it is likely that our MACT Standard would have been unaffordable, and would have seriously jeopardized the viability of our businesses. For the past 10 years we have had a workable MACT standard that has allowed our businesses to compete in the marketplace.”
Mike Zais, Manager of Manufacturing Process Engineering at Xerxes Corporation, says the UEF standard being nationally recognized by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) is also a big member benefit.
“The UEF emission factor is a very significant benefit because it has emission standards that are nationally recognized, so we can go into any states that we operate and use those standards, and they’re accepted by the regulatory community,” said Zais. “It’s not only a huge benefit to us, but to other members.”