EPA is currently taking a two-prong approach to address Ethylene Oxide emission standards. Ethylene oxide is one of 187 Hazardous Air Pollutants (HAPS) that is regulated under the Clean Air Act and is widely used in industry to make other chemicals (such as antifreeze, textiles, plastics, detergents, and adhesives) and can also be used to sterilize industrial equipment and plastic devices.
Miscellaneous Organic Chemical Manufacturing
- One approach EPA has taken to address ethylene oxide emissions is through proposed amendments to the National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) for the Miscellaneous Organic Chemical Manufacturing source category. Proposed revisions include requirements for storage tanks, process vents, and equipment leaks.
- The proposed amendments along with a fact sheet and other information is available here.
- Comments on these proposed amendments must be received on or before February 18, 2020 and may be submitted here.
Commercial Sterilization and Fumigation Operations
- Another approach EPA has taken to address ethylene oxide emissions is through its Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for ethylene oxide commercial sterilization facilities. EPA is considering the possibility of potential control measures that may include controls for fugitive emissions of ethylene oxide, safety measures for the chamber exahust vents, process equipment improvements, and advances in add-on control technologies fro point sources.
- EPA is seeking to solicit information from small businesses through a Small Business Advocacy Review Panel and through an information request to gather information from commercial sterilization companies. Comments must be received on or before February 10, 2020 and may be submitted here.
- Additional information on Ethylene Oxide Emission Standards for Sterilization Facilities can be found here.
Any Pennsylvania small businesses that has questions regarding any of the ethylene oxide proposed rulemakings or information requests can contact EMAP by calling our toll-free environmental hotline at (877) ASK-EMAP.