WASHINGTON — Changes to wood finishing emissions standards have been finalized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The changes, which go into effect Nov. 21, 2014, affect wood products manufacturers with major source Title V permits.

Restrictions are now set on conventional spray guns operating at above 10 psi, as well as formaldehyde emissions in finishing materials and adhesives. Also now regulated are emission limits during startup and shutdown operations, as well as periods of equipment malfunction. EPA published the finalized rule Nov. 21.

The National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) for wood furniture manufacturing operations were promulgated on Dec. 7, 1995. Regulated under NESHAP are large manufacturers of secondary wood products: residential and office furniture, upholstered furniture, cabinets, wood fixtures and partitions, lockers and shelving.

In the revised NESHAP, EPA has set a limit on formaldehyde content in coatings and adhesives to 1 percent by weight. EPA said it also will allow an alternative compliance option limit of 400 pounds per rolling 12-month period, as was originally proposed. In announcing the two options, EPA said it recognized that using only the 400-pound limit “would not be cost effective for facilities with high production volume because, while they use low-formaldehyde coatings, these facilities would still exceed the 400 pounds per 12-month period because of the quantity of coatings and contact adhesives applied. To further reduce formaldehyde emissions, these facilities would require the addition of costly control devices and/or reconstruction of their spray line system…Such facilities can, however, cost-effectively comply with a standard that limits the formaldehyde content of coatings and contact adhesives to 1 percent.”

EPA also modified the conventional spray gun ban in the finalized NESHAP to “allow the use of conventional spray guns if emissions from the finishing station are routed to a control device.”

Emission exemptions were also lifted during startup and shutdown operations in the plant.



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