Agency Limits Effluent Rule for Metal Products

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on May 13 published a final rule establishing technology-based effluent limitations guidelines for discharges of "oily wastes"

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on May 13 published a final rule establishing technology-based effluent limitations guidelines for discharges of "oily wastes" from facilities that produce, maintain, or rebuild metal products and machinery (MP&M). The rule becomes effective June 12.

The agency had originally proposed much broader effluent guidelines and pretreatment standards for MP&M facilities, but later withdrew them and issued a new proposal after receiving more than 4000 pages of comments on the first proposal.

After issuing a second proposal and receiving additional comments, the agency decided to limit the final regulation to discharges covered by the proposal's Oily Wastes subcategory. While earlier versions of the rule would have set new effluent limitations and pretreatment standards for about 10,000 facilities in 18 industrial categories, the final rule applies to about 2400 facilities.

EPA's May 13 notice includes the agency's rationale for limiting the rule's scope, as well as a history of the rulemaking process.

According to the rulemaking notice, the final rule applies to industrial and state, local, and federal facilities "that discharge wastewater from oily operations and manufacture, maintain, or rebuild metal parts, products or machines used in the following sectors: Aerospace, Aircraft, Bus & Truck, Electronic Equipment, Hardware, Household Equipment, Instruments, Mobile Industrial Equipment, Motor Vehicles, Office Machines, Ordnance, Precious Metals and Jewelry, Railroad, Ships and Boats, Stationary Industrial Equipment, and Miscellaneous Metal Products."

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