EPA’s Proposal to deList EGBE
The National Paint and Coatings Association (NPCA) has submitted comments to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) urging it to move forward with a proposed rule in response to an industry petition to remove from the Clean Air Act’s (CAA) list of hazardous air pollutants (HAP), ethylene glycol monobutyl ether (EGBE), a primary solvent used in surface coatings, inks and adhesives. The paint industry is seeking use of EGBE as an alternative low-ozone-forming solvent in the reformulation of coatings in compliance with maximum achievable control technology (MACT) standards for various National Emission Standard for HAPs, as well as the NESHAP for Miscellaneous Coating Manufacturing (MCM).
NPCA believes that further delay in de-listing EGBE will seriously undermine efforts to develop such materials, and may actually penalize manufacturers by forcing industry to unnecessarily make substantial investments.
In its comments, NPCA argued that expedited finalization of the proposed rule’s recommendation to de-list EGBE from the HAP list could reduce industry’s coating manufacturing emission inventories. EGBE has a number of physical and chemical properties that make it an attractive candidate for some of the reformulations needed to meet the MACT standards. Continued delays in the decision to de-list EGBE frustrate the ability to include it as a reformulation tool. NPCA pointed to years of evaluation on EPA’s part and the results of risk assessments demonstrating that emissions of EGBE may not reasonably be anticipated to result in adverse human health or environmental effects, and argued that the delisting of EGBE under the CAA will not impact other potential concerns, as EGBE will still be regulated under several other EPA statutes, such as the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, Toxic Release Inventory reporting under Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act, and Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act. EGBE emissions will still be regulated under CAA, as well as state and local regulations.