Adhesives & Sealants Headlines / Green Products/Applications

SOCMA Says Concerns Remain Despite EPA's Proposed Changes to Chemical Manufacturing Area Sources Rule

The Society of Chemical Manufacturers and Affiliates (SOCMA) said serious concerns remain over the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) failure to completely exempt “synthetic minors” from a key Title V provision in the rule.

The Society of Chemical Manufacturers and Affiliates (SOCMA) recently acknowledged improvements to proposed changes to the chemical manufacturing area sources rule, but said serious concerns remain over the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) failure to completely exempt “synthetic minors” from a key Title V provision in the rule.

The new proposal reportedly addresses several of SOCMA’s concerns, such as fixing the “family of materials” concept in a way that gives chemical companies certainty regarding the reach of the rule. On others, however-especially the Title V provision-SOCMA reports it is concerned about the EPA’s logic and the rule’s cost impact. This rule has been a top environmental priority for SOCMA members over the last few years, leading SOCMA to file a Petition for Reconsideration of the final rule with the EPA in February 2010.

The EPA originally proposed to exempt all chemical manufacturing area sources from the requirement to obtain a costly Title V permit, but reversed course in the final rule. The requirement that synthetic minors get a Title V permit-which is currently stayed-would limit the speed and flexibility with which those units can respond to market opportunities. This is reportedly a major issue for SOCMA members, whose batch and specialty chemical businesses have diverse and rapidly changing product mixes.

SOCMA also expressed disappointment about the EPA’s failure to address other issues raised in the 2010 petition, including the establishment of a de minimis threshold and a fairer R&D exemption. In fact, by not? proposing to reduce the applicability threshold in one area, the EPA will actually increase the number of facilities that will be subject to the rule.

The agency also did not address the urgent need for an extension of the October 2012 compliance deadline, which SOCMA has repeatedly raised with the EPA. Given the uncertainty about what the end result of the reconsideration process would look like-including confusion about how the concept of “family of materials” would affect the scope of the rule-SOCMA members have been hesitant to begin investing significant sums of money to comply with a rule that is still a work in progress in many significant respects. The EPA will be hard-pressed to finalize the revised rule before the compliance date and, in fairness, should postpone the deadline until well after that rule is published.

For more information, visit

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to Adhesives & Sealants Industry Magazine.

You must login or register in order to post a comment.



Image Galleries

ASI April 2014 Photo Gallery

Our April 2014 issue is now available!


ExxonMobil Tackifier Expansion

Dwight Tozer, vice president of ExxonMobil’s Adhesion Industry business, discusses the company’s latest tackifier expansion project with Editor-in-Chief Susan Sutton.

More Podcasts

Adhesives & Sealants Industry Magazine

ASI June 2015 cover

2015 June

Welcome to our annual Dispensing & Curing Equipment Directory!
Table Of Contents Subscribe

Better Jobs

Is the economy prompting you to consider leaving your job for a better one?
View Results Poll Archive


Handbook of Sealant Technology

The Handbook of Sealant Technology provides an in-depth examination of sealants, reviewing their historical developments and fundamentals, adhesion theories and properties, and today’s wide range of applications.

More Products

ASI 2014 Buyers GuideASI's Buyers' Guide

Annual purchasing resource for equipment used in the manufacture/formulation of adhesives, sealants, pressure sensitives, tapes and labels and for application of finished adhesives. 


facebook_40px twitter_40  youtube_40pxlinkedin_40 google+ icon ASI 30px

Clear Seas Research

With access to over one million professionals and more than 60 industry-specific publications, Clear Seas Research offers relevant insights from those who know your industry best. Let us customize a market research solution that exceeds your marketing goals.