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Technology Transfer Network - OAR Policy and Guidance





  • On October 18, 2005, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed to maintain without changes, the December 1994 national emission standards to control hazardous air pollutants from the six facilities nationwide that manufacture magnetic tape. Hazardous air pollutants, also known as air toxics, are known or suspected to cause cancer or have other serious health or environmental effects. This proposed rule is posted at:https://www3.epa.gov/ttn/oarpg/t3pfpr.html.
  • EPA issued a national rule to limit emissions of toxic air pollutants from these facilities in 1994. This rule is one of 96 rules called maximum achievable control technology (MACT) standards that require 174 industry sectors to eliminate 1.5 million tons per year of 188 toxic air pollutants. Congress listed these toxic air pollutants in the Clean Air Act.
  • The 1994 MACT standards for the magnetic tape manufacturing industry reduce emissions of toxic air pollutants by 2300 tons each year.
  • The Clean Air Act requires EPA to assess the risk remaining after the application of the 1994 MACT standards. These are often called residual risk assessments.
  • EPA must also review and revise the 1994 standards, as necessary, by taking into account developments in practices, processes and control technologies.
  • We are proposing no further action at this time to revise the standards, because:
    • The risk assessment found that after application of the standards the chronic cancer, non-cancer, and acute risks to humans, as well as ecological effects, from these facilities are low enough that further controls are not warranted.
    • The technology assessment did not identify any advancements in practices, processes, and control technology. In fact, two new technologies (optical recording media and solid state recording media) may eventually supplant magnetic tape production.
  • The proposal announces EPA's decision to retain the existing standards and requests public comments on the residual risk assessment and technology review.
  • EPA will accept public comment on its residual risk assessment and technology review for magnetic tape manufacturing facilities for 60 days following publication of the proposed action in the Federal Register.

  • The magnetic tape manufacturing industry uses a primary coating process in which a mixture of magnetic (metal) particles, resins, and solvents (the coating mix) is applied to either a plastic film (tape) or paper. Products from this industry include video and audio tapes.
  • The air toxic emissions are predominantly solvents used in the coating operation and cleaning of equipment; the major solvents used are methyl ethyl ketone and toluene. Some particulate air toxic emissions (e.g., cobalt) may occur from the transfer of the magnetic particles to the coating mix.
  • The Clean Air Act requires EPA to regulate air toxics from large industrial facilities in two-phases.
  • The first phase is technology-based, where EPA develops standards for controlling the emissions of air toxics from sources in an industry group (or a source category). These MACT standards are based on emissions levels that are already being achieved by the better-controlled and lower.emitting sources in an industry. EPA finalized the MACT standard for magnetic tape manufacturing facilities in December 1994.
  • Within 8 years of setting the MACT standards, EPA is required to assess the remaining health risks from each source category to determine whether the MACT standards appropriately protect public health. Applying this "risk-based" approach called residual risk, EPA must determine whether more health-protective standards are necessary.
  • Also, every 8 years after setting the MACT standards, the Clean Air Act requires that EPA review and revise them, if necessary, to account for improvements in air pollution controls and or prevention.

  • To download the proposed action from EPA's website, go to (Recent Actions( at the following address: https://www3.epa.gov/ttn/oarpg/ramain.html.
  • Today's proposed action and other background information are also available either electronically in EDOCKET, EPA's electronic public docket and comment system, or in hard copy at EPA's Air and Radiation Docket and Information Center, Environmental Protection Agency, Room B102, 1301 Constitution Avenue, NW, Washington, DC (Docket ID No. OAR-2003-0161). The Public Reading Room is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays. The telephone number for the Public Reading Room is (202) 566-1744, and the telephone number for the Air and Radiation Docket and Information Center is (202) 566-1742.
  • HOW TO COMMENT: Comments will be accepted for 60 days beginning when this proposal is published in the Federal Register. All comments should be identified by Docket ID No. OAR-2003-0161 and submitted by one of the following methods:
    • Federal eRulemaking Portal ( http://www.regulations.gov);
    • EDOCKET ( https://www.epa.gov/edocket )
    • E-mail ( a-and-r-docket@epa.gov );
    • Facsimile (202) 566-1741;
    • Mail (Air and Radiation Docket and Information Center, Environmental Protection Agency, Mailcode: 6102T, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20460); or
    • Hand delivery (Air and Radiation Docket and Information Center, Environmental Protection Agency, Room B102, 1301 Constitution Avenue, NW, Washington, DC).
  • For further information about the proposed action, contact Mr. H. Lynn Dail of EPA's Office of Air Quality, Planning, and Standards, Emission Standards Division, Coatings and Consumer Products Group at (919) 541-2363 or by e-mail at dail.lynn@epa.gov. Or visit the magnetic tape manufacturing operations website at https://www.epa.gov/ttn/atw/magtape/magtappg.html.
  • The EPA's Office of Air and Radiation (OAR) home page on the Internet contains a wide range of information on the air toxics program, as well as many other air pollution programs and issues. The OAR home page address is: https://www.epa.gov/oar.

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