Solvent Degreasing

Contact: Environmental Assistance Program, 800-662-9278
Agency: Environmental Quality

Picture of a degreasing tank.

In December 1994, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) issued national regulations (National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants or NESHAP) to control toxic air pollutant emissions from solvent cleaning machines that use any of the following halogenated solvents: methylene chloride, perchloroethylene, trichloroethylene, 1,1,1-trichloroethane, carbon tetrachloride, chloroform, or any combination of these halogenated HAP solvents. This regulation is a pollution prevention regulation that reduces solvent usage by requiring the use of good housekeeping practices and efficient, well-controlled cleaning machines. Solvent cleaning machines are used to dry materials and remove soils, such as grease, wax, and oil from metal parts (such as nuts, bolts, and springs), circuit boards, sheet metal, assemblies, and other materials. The halogenated solvents listed above are known or suspected carcinogens, and have high usage and emissions in solvent cleaning. Therefore, the USEPA has determined that emissions from cleaning machines using these solvents present a threat to human health or the environment. The USEPA regulates the emissions of these machines in order to meet the requirements of the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990.

The Halogenated Solvent Degreasing NESHAP is enforced by each District Office of the Air Quality Division, Michigan Department of Natural Resource and Environment.

 

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