Jump to main content or area navigation.

Contact Us

Taking Toxics Out of the Air

Summaries of EPA's Final Air Toxics MACT Rules

Secondary Lead Smelter Industry
Final rule published June 23, 1995

  • Secondary lead smelters produce lead from scrap and provide the primary means for recycling lead-acid automotive batteries. The basic operations performed at these facilities include battery breaking, smelting, refining and alloying. Air Toxics Emissions Bar Graph: Pre-rule 1,940 tons compared to Post-rule 540 tons
  • Secondary lead smelter facilities emit a number of toxic air pollutants, including 1,3-butadiene (a known human carcinogen) and lead compounds.
  • EPA's rule requires facilities to reduce emissions from a number of sources, including smelting furnaces, kettles, dryers, and fugitive sources such as material handling.
  • The rule affects all 23 secondary lead smelters in the United States. It will reduce emissions of air toxics from these facilities by 1,400 tons per year, a 72 percent reduction from the preregulated levels emitted by these facilities. In addition, the rule is expected to reduce emissions of particulate matter (which can cause serious respiratory problems) from these facilities by 150 tons per year, and carbon monoxide (which can cause adverse health effects, including fatigue, nausea, and respiratory problems) by 88,000 tons per year.

Petroleum Refining IndustryImage of Petroleum Tanks
Final rule published August 18, 1995

  • Petroleum refineries process crude oil to produce automotive gasoline, diesel fuel, lubricants, and other petroleum-based products.
  • Toxic air pollutants, including benzene (a known human carcinogen) and toluene (known to affect the central nervous system and cause developmental problems), are released from storage tanks, equipment leaks, process vents, and wastewater collection and treatment systems at these facilities.
  • EPA's rule requires facilities to control emissions from these sources. The rule allows emissions averaging within the petroleum refining facility, and provides additional flexibility by permitting the use of emissions averaging among emission points at petroleum refineries, marine terminal loading operations, and gasoline distribution facilities located at the same site.
  • The rule affects all petroleum refineries in the United States and will reduce emissions of 11 air toxics by 53,000 tons per year, a 59 percent reduction from the pre-regulated levels emitted by these facilities. In addition, the rule is expected to reduce VOC emissions by over 277,000 tons per year, a 60 percent reduction from preregulated levels emitted by these facilities.

Aerospace Manufacturing and Rework Industry
Final rule published September 1, 1995

  • Aerospace manufacturing and rework facilities produce and/or repair aerospace vehicles and vehicle parts, such as airplanes, helicopters, space vehicles, andAir Toxics and VOC Emissions Bar Graph: Pre-rule 205,000 tons compared to Post-rule 82,000 tons missiles.
  • Toxic air pollutants such as methylene chloride (a probable human carcinogen) and chromium (Chromium VI, the most toxic form, is known to cause lung cancer) are released from these facilities during paint stripping, cleaning, priming, top-coat application, and chemical milling maskant operations.
  • EPA's rule requires facilities to eliminate most emissions of toxic air pollutants (particularly methylene chloride) from paint stripping operations and to implement controls that will reduce emissions of air toxics resulting from other operations. In addition, many reductions will be achieved through housekeeping actions. The final rule provides a variety of options for meeting these requirements.
  • The rule provides industry the flexibility to meet the required reductions in the most cost-effective way, which should yield cost savings for industry sources. For example, the rule contains a market-based emissions averaging provision, which allows facilities to overcontrol some emission points while undercontrolling others.
  • The rule affects an estimated 2,800 aerospace manufacturing facilities and will reduce emissions of air toxics and VOCs by 123,000 tons per year, a 60 percent reduction from the preregulated levels emitted by these facilities.

Marine Tank Vessel Loading Operations
Final rule published September 19, 1995

  • Marine tank vessels are used to transport crude oil, gasoline, and toxic chemicals among refineries, bulk terminals, chemical plants, and pipeline terminals.
  • These vessels release toxic air pollutants (including benzene, toluene, hexane, xylene, and ethyl benzene) into the air during loading and unloading operations.
  • EPA's rule sets limits for both air toxic pollutants and VOCs. It requires large marine loading terminals (i.e., terminals that load either 200 million barrels per year of crude oil, or 10 million barrels per year of gasoline) to reduce emissions of VOCs by at least 95 percent. It also requires all other major sources to reduce air toxic emissions by 97 percent.
  • The rule affects an estimated 30 marine tank vessel loading facilities. It will reduce VOC emissions from these facilities by approximately 43,000 tons per year, of which 4,500 tons are air toxics.

Wood Furniture Manufacturing
Final rule published December 7, 1995

  • The wood furniture manufacturing industry includes cabinet shops and facilities that make residential and industrial furniture.
  • Toxic air pollutants, including toluene, xylene, methanol, and formaldehyde, are released from these facilities during finishing, gluing, and cleaning operations. These air toxics can cause eye, nose, throat, and skin irritation; damage to the heart, liver, and kidneys; and reproductive effects.
  • EPA's rule limits the amount of hazardous air pollutants that can be contained in the coatings used for finishing, gluing, and cleaning operations (substitutes areAir Toxics Emissions Bar Graph: Pre-rule 55,000 tons, compared to Post-rule 22,000 tons available that contain lower quantities of hazardous air pollutants). In addition, the rule contains work practice standards such as keeping containers closed, training workers, and periodically inspecting equipment to locate and repair leaks.
  • The rule affects an estimated 750 wood furniture manufacturing facilities and will reduce air toxics emissions by 33,000 tons per year (a 60 percent reduction from preregulated levels) and VOC emissions by an additional 8,400 tons per year.

Shipbuilding and Ship Repair IndustryImage of Worker Painting Ship
Final rule published December 15, 1995

  • The shipbuilding and repair industry includes shipyards that construct and/or repair commercial or military vessels, such as barges and tankers.
  • Toxic air pollutants such as xylene and toluene are released during painting and associated cleaning operations.
  • EPA's rule, which is based on pollution prevention measures, requires that containers of paint and cleansers be kept closed, and that facilities use low-VOC coatings for painting and coating operations and handle solvent and paint wastes in a manner that minimizes spills and evaporation. The rule does not apply to major source facilities that use less than 1,000 liters (approximately 264 gallons) of marine coatings per year, or to boatyards that only build or repair recreational vessels (marine or freshwater) less than 20 meters (about 66 feet) long.
  • The rule affects an estimated 35 shipbuilding and repair facilities and will reduce emissions of air toxics from these facilities by 350 tons per year, a 24 percent reduction from the preregulated levels emitted by these facilities.

Printing and Publishing
Final rule published May 30, 1996

  • EPA's rule covers two distinct segments of the printing and publishing industry:
    • Publication rotogravure printers, which produce paper products such as catalogues, magazines, newspaper inserts, and telephone directories.
    • Package-product rotogravure and wide-web flexographic facilities that print on paper, plastic film, metal foil, and vinyl for use in products such as flexible packaging, labels, and gift wrap.Image of Worker Cleaning Printing Press
  • Toxic air pollutants (including toluene, xylene, methanol, and hexane) are released from the ink systems used by both types of printers.
  • For publication rotogravure facilities, EPA's rule limits air toxics emissions to 8 percent of the total amount used (for example, facilities that use only hazardous-air-pollutant-based solvents would be required to recover 92 percent of the air toxics). For package-product rotogravure and wide-web flexographic facilities, the rule requires 95 percent overall control of all organic hazardous air pollutant emissions from their presses.
  • EPA's rule incorporates flexible compliance options into its emissions control requirements. Facilities may use pollution prevention methods (which allow printers to eliminate the use of toxic chemicals or to substitute nontoxic chemicals for toxic ones), traditional emissions capture and control equipment, or a combination of the two.
  • The rule affects an estimated 27 publication rotogravure facilities and 100 package-product rotogravure and wide-web flexographic facilities. It will reduce air toxics emissions from publication rotogravure printers by about 5,500 tons per year, and those from package-product rotogravure and wide-web flexographic printers by about 2,100 tons per year.

Off-Site Waste Operations
Final rule published July 1, 1996

  • Off-site waste facilities include hazardous waste treatment, storage, and disposal facilities; industrial wastewater treatment facilities; solvent recycling facilities; and used-oil recovery facilities that manage hazardous air pollutant-containing materials generated at other facilities.
  • A number of toxic air pollutants (including chloroform, toluene, formaldehyde, and xylene) are released from tanks, process vents, equipment leaks, containers, surface impoundments, and transfer systems at these facilities.
  • EPA's rule combines equipment, operations, and work practice standards. For example, the rule requires that containers be covered and that process vents meet 95 percent organic emission controls.
  • The rule affects an estimated 250 off-site waste operation facilities. It will reduce air toxics emissions by 43,000 tons per year and VOC emissions by 52,000 tons per year.

Elastomer Production
Final rule published September 5, 1996

  • Elastomers are used in the production of many synthetic rubber products, including tires, hoses, footwear, adhesives, wire insulation, floor tiles, and latexes. Air Toxic Emissions Bar Graph: Pre-rule 12,800 tons compared to Post-rule 6,400 tons
  • A number of toxic air pollutants (such as styrene, hexane, and toluene) are released during the initial stages of the elastomer manufacturing process.
  • EPA's rule encourages the use of pollution prevention techniques to reduce the amount of air toxics released during elastomer production. The rule sets emissions limits for several specific emission points-storage tanks, process vents, equipment leaks, and wastewater systems. It also contains a market-based emissions averaging provision that allows facilities to overcontrol some emissions points while undercontrolling others, thus achieving the required reductions in the most cost-effective manner possible.
  • The rule affects 36 facilities nationwide and will reduce air toxics emissions by approximately 6,400 tons annually, a 50 percent reduction from current levels.

Polyethylene Terephthalate Polymer and Styrene-Based Thermoplastic Polymers Production
Final rule published September 12, 1996

  • Polyethylene terephthalate polymers and styrene-based thermoplastics are used in the manufacture of such products as polyester fibers, soft drink bottles, plastic automotive parts, packing materials, and plastic toys.
  • A number of toxic pollutants (including styrene, butadiene, and methanol) are released into the air during polymer production. Air Toxics Emissions Bar Graph: Pre-rule 19,400 tons compared to Post-rule 15,520 tons
  • To reduce the amount of air toxics released from polymer production facilities, EPA's rule sets emissions limits for several emissions points: storage vessels, process vents, equipment leaks, and wastewater operations. The rule also limits releases from process contact cooling towers at some existing and new facilities.
  • EPA developed the rule in partnership with industry representatives and other major stake-holders. The Agency estimates that new facilities will experience annual cost savings of about $5 million under the rule, due to pollution prevention measures.
  • The rule affects 66 facilities nationwide and will reduce emissions by approximately 3,880 tons annually, a 20 percent reduction from current levels.
Back to List of MACT Rules
Forward to Additional MACT Rule Summaries

Jump to main content.