Chromium Electroplaters

Picture of chrome plating dip machine.

In November 1994, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) issued national regulations (National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants or NESHAP) to control air emission of chromium from chromium electroplating and anodizing tanks. The Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 directs the U.S. EPA to regulate emissions from a number of toxic chemicals, including chromium, from a wide range of industrial sources. Chromium electroplating and anodizing tanks are one of the largest sources of chromium emissions in the United States. The hexavalent form of chromium is highly toxic and a known human carcinogen, causing lung cancer; less is known about the cancer risk of the trivalent form of chromium, but it can accumulate in the lungs and may result in decreased lung function after continuous exposure.

Over 5,000 facilities perform chromium electroplating and/or anodizing in the United States. Many facilities are small job shops that are located near residential areas. Hard chromium electroplating operations deposit a thick layer of chromium directly on a base metal to provide wear and corrosion resistance, low friction, and hardness (for hydraulic cylinders, industrial rolls, etc.). Decorative chromium electroplating operations deposit a think layer of chromium on a base metal, plastic, or undercoating to provide a bright finish and wear and tarnish resistance (for bicycles, auto trim, tools, etc.). Chromium anodizing operations form a chromium oxide layer on aluminum to provide corrosion and wear resistance (for aircraft parts, architectural structures, etc.). Except for the trichrome decorative process, which uses the trivalent form of chromium, all other electroplating processes use the hexavalent form of chromium.

The Chromium Plating NESHAP is enforced by each District Office of the Air Quality Division, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality.

As of September 21, 2015, perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS)-based fume suppressants are prohibited from being added to tanks subject to the chromium electroplating NESHAP (Subpart N). Subpart N defines PFOS-based fume suppressants as a fume suppressant that contains one percent or greater PFOS by weight.

 


Technical Assistance Resources


Initial Notification Report (May 2007)

 


Recordkeeping and Reporting Forms


NESHAP for Chromium Emissions from Hard and Decorative Chromium Electroplating and Chromium Anodizing Tanks: Recordkeeping and Reporting Forms - Use this set of twelve forms to comply with the recordkeeping and reporting requirements of National Emission Standard for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) for Chromium Emissions from Hard and Decorative Chromium Electroplating and Chromium Anodizing Tanks.

 

Reporting Forms

Notification of Construction/Reconstruction   Word  PDF
Notification of Performance Test   Word  PDF
Performance Test Results   Word  PDF
Notification of Compliance Status   Word  PDF 
Ongoing Compliance Status   Word  PDF 

 

Recordkeeping Forms

Composite Mesh-Pad Systems or Combination Packed-Bed Scrubber/Composite Mesh-Pad Systems Operation and Maintenance  Word  PDF
Fiber-Bed Mist Eliminators Operation and Maintenance  Word  PDF
Packed-Bed Scrubbers Operation and Maintenance   Word  PDF
Monitoring Data  Word  PDF
Daily Process Operations  Word  PDF
Fume Suppressant - Stalagmometer      Excel  PDF
Fume Suppressant - Tensiometer   Excel  PDF

 

 


For More Information or Additional Assistance, contact the
Environmental Assistance Program  at 800-662-9278

Do you have an outreach idea or suggestion for our Program?  Please feel free to submit your requests to: James Ostrowski.