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EPA Regulation and the Manufacturing Industry


With over 1,500 active coal processing plants and a growing number of domestic manufacturing facilities relying on water intake, land use, and fossil fuel consumption, the production of dangerous emissions and the consumption of natural resources are on the rise in the US. The off-shoring trends that characterized the end of last century are now experiencing a reversal as chemical, food processing, pharmaceutical production, and metal fabrication facilities return to domestic landscapes and share land, air, and water supplies with local residents.

As the EPA works to keep pace with the growing rate of emissions and toxic by-products generated by these facilities, responsible manufacturing companies are doing everything they can to comply with legal regulations. The most competitive companies—those with an eye on future growth–are going even further, implementing re-burning, waste reduction, and emission-control technologies that exceed legal regulations and support long term financial and global sustainability.

If your manufacturing operation relies on shared resources and poses a threat to the environment and the community that supports your business, you’re certainly doing everything in your power to protect your brand by demonstrating respect for the land, water, air quality, and petro-chemical use that you depend on to stay in business. As you work to make intelligent long term decisions, keep these considerations in mind.

Coal Combustion Residuals

Recently implemented components of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) are designed to regulate coal ash disposal by electric utilities and power plants. While coal is rapidly being replaced by more effective and sustainable energy sources, this fossil fuel still supplies approximately 40 percent of the nation’s electricity. So the regulation of toxic and dangerous emissions remains a strong priority for responsible players in the industry. To make sure your facility stays in full compliance with the RCRA standards, conduct regular audits and employ high quality safety and emissions engineering teams.

Particle Pollution and Water Intake

A recent component of the Clean Water Act went into effect in April of 2014, and will help industries control the destructive impact of intake systems that draw water from lakes, rivers and reservoirs. Additional regulations based on National Ambient Air Quality Standards are designed to control fine particle pollution and prevent this pollution from crossing state lines. If you aren’t sure your current production practices are in compliance with these regulations, contact your local EPA office and engage your legal team.

Effective compliance, financial strength, and long term sustainability all begin with smart business management and smart staffing decisions. Hiring the right people can help you stay compliant, which can support business success and earn global respect. But weak hiring decisions can lead to environmental irresponsibility, which can undermine your reputation, subject your company to fines and penalties, and threaten the survival of your business. Make the right moves with guidance from the staffing experts at CSS.

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