Chrome Plating - Regulatory Information
California Air Resources Board Staff to Develop Amendments to the Hexavalent Chromium Airborne Toxic Control Measure for Chrome Plating and Chromic Acid Anodizing Operations
This notice is to inform you that the California Air Resources Board (CARB) staff is beginning a rulemaking to amend the Hexavalent Chromium Airborne Toxic Control Measure for Chrome Plating and Chromic Acid Anodizing Operations (Chrome Plating ATCM). Throughout this process, CARB staff will be collecting information and soliciting input on ways: to further reduce emissions of hexavalent chromium from chrome plating and chromic acid anodizing operations, and to address concerns about potential environmental effects of chemical fume suppressants. The goal of CARB’s rulemaking is to minimize community exposure to hexavalent chromium and other compounds used in plating operations.
Why is CARB staff developing amendments to the Chrome Plating ATCM?
CARB staff will be amending the Chrome Plating ATCM to address recent findings showing high levels of hexavalent chromium exposure in local communities. Recent studies in the South Coast Air Basin have found that some chrome plating and chromic acid anodizing facilities still pose an unacceptable health risk to nearby communities.
These findings indicate that emissions from non-regulated tanks, such as sodium dichromate seal tanks, and fugitive emissions from chrome plating tanks may be a significant contributor to hexavalent chromium emissions. In addition, community members have expressed concerns regarding the health and environmental impacts from fluorinated chemicals used in chemical fume suppressants.
CARB staff will be looking for opportunities to further reduce hexavalent chromium emissions and exposure in communities, including evaluating the feasibility of using less toxic trivalent chromium and the role of enclosure systems to improve pollutant capture and control. CARB staff will also be evaluating the potential health and environmental impacts associated with chemicals used in fume suppressants and possible alternatives to the existing chemical fume suppressants.
In addition, other less substantial revisions are required to align with the National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants - Hard and Decorative Chromium Electroplating and Chromium Anodizing Tanks.
What technical work is CARB staff undertaking now to inform the amendments?
CARB staff will be conducting facility-specific surveys, site visits, emissions source testing, and ambient monitoring in and around existing plating and anodizing facilities. This data collection effort will allow us to better understand the emission sources of hexavalent chromium at these operations and to prioritize emission reduction strategies.
We also continue to coordinate closely and share data with the South Coast Air Quality Management District staff that are developing the District’s region-specific Proposed Amended Rule 1469.
What information is CARB staff seeking from others?
We are requesting information from: chrome platers and anodizers; manufacturers of chemical products used in the plating/anodizing process (including fume suppressants); developers of potential alternative chemicals and processes with reduced health and environmental impacts; manufacturers of facility enclosures and chromium emission control techniques; organizations involved in establishing performance specifications for military, aerospace and other plating applications; and researchers who may have data on air quality monitoring near plating facilities, air monitoring methods for the fluorinated compounds used in fume suppressants, or alternative plating processes and chemicals.
As always, we welcome ideas from community residents regarding opportunities to avoid or minimize the impacts of chrome plating operations.
CARB staff is also interested in demonstration projects, including objective measurements of the performance of trivalent chromium versus hexavalent chromium for both decorative and hard plating operations. This type of real-world data would be helpful to move alternative chrome plating technologies (such as trivalent chrome plating) forward. Additional research and testing is also important to evaluate the use of mechanical in-tank controls, the efficacy of using more environmentally friendly chemical fume suppressants, and housekeeping or maintenance practices to reduce chemical exposures.
How can I be involved in the process?
The Chrome Plating ATCM amendments will be developed in a public process. In the second half of 2018, CARB staff will hold kick-off meetings to discuss the objectives and schedule for the rulemaking. We plan to convene an informal working group of industry, community and environmental advocates, and other interested parties to solicit input during the rule making process. We expect that working group meetings will begin by late 2018. We value your input and invite you to participate in the process.
How can I get more information?
If you have any questions, contact Eugene Rubin, Air Pollution Specialist, at (916) 323-0006.