Clean up Your Act: How Manufacturers Are Working to Protect the Environment


Cleaning up the environment is an expeditious endeavor that has been with us for many years. The United States has managed to comply with EPA standards through Environmental Auditing. Simplification of what are complex environmental regulations has been an invaluable resource for health and safety professionals, attorneys and corporate interests.

Industries That are Working to Protect the Environment

Federal environmental regulations apply to a host of industries including manufacturing and service facilities as well as oil and gas companies, utilities, exploration concerns, chemical companies and regulatory agencies. There is further guidance for more industry-specific air quality standards that cover such concerns as coating industry operations, pesticide active ingredient manufacturing, hazardous waste combustion, petroleum and petroleum products, inorganic chemical manufacturing, site remediation and upstream oil and natural gas processing.

Commercial and Industrial Boilers and Process Heaters

Each state implements their own emissions regulations in addition to those imposed by the Federal Clean Air Amendments. Boilers and pressure vessels are subject to work practice standards that call for periodic tune ups and energy assessments. A preventative maintenance plan gives industry operators the ability to maintain compliant baselines with annual inspections coordinated with the insurance inspector and the water treatment company, if their presence is required.

Guidance and Emissions Regulations

The National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) for Major Sources outlines the latest compliance information and rules that govern how industry operates. Today, nearly every industrial facility in the U.S. has equipment that is affected by one or more NESHAP rules. The Maximum Achievable Control Technology or an MACT audit provides a level of control that helps reduce hazardous air pollutant (HAP) emissions.

MACT Requirements

MACT equipment requirements apply to refrigerated condensers, temperature sensors and, for some facilities, carbon absorbers and PERC detectors. Operating requirements include leak detection, machine maintenance, door operation, PERC storage, draining filters and parts replacement. Record-keeping requirements include PERC purchases and PERC consumption, condenser temperature readings, monitoring for leaks and repair records.

Maintenance Programs Help Ensure Regulatory Compliance

This service provides for securing the boiler by performing the proper lockout procedure before draining. Both fireside and waterside are opened. The furnace area and refractory are cleaned to remove soot accumulation and carbon deposits. Cracks are repaired. Low water cut-offs are cleaned and checked. The unit is closed and sealed, and waterside gaskets are replaced. The burner, air damper, diffuser, pilot assembly, oil nozzle and oil strainer on oil line at the burner are all cleaned. Both the oil train and gas train components are checked, and piping is checked for leaks or wear. A maintenance report is written.

While the Federal Regulations can be complex and subject to consistent changes, each state has NESHAP navigation tools and checklists to help operators determine if their equipment is subject to which standards. It is a matter of checking into the latest information and rules for Industrial, Commercial and Institutional Area Source Boilers. By following these state regulatory standards, using tune-up guidance and record keeping, manufacturers are doing all they can to protect the environment.

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Author: Anica O