WASHINGTON -- In a milestone regulatory action, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued a proposed hazardous air-pollutant emission standard for the manufacture of paints, coatings, inks, adhesives, and some polymers and resins.

The EPA is scheduled to finalize the standard in one year, and provisions of the measure would go into effect three years later. The proposed standard has been posted on the EPA Web site located at www.epa.gov/ttn/oarpg/t3pfpr.html.

The proposed standard, a massive, 534-page document, includes detailed hazardous air-pollutant emission limits and work-practice standards for a range of batch- and continuous-process functions and systems. These include process vents, wastewater streams, waste-management units, storage tanks, transfer operations and others.

The EPA said comments on the proposed regulation would be accepted for a 60-day period following publication of the standard in the Federal Register, putting the likely deadline for comments in mid-May.