PRINTING United Alliance Works with Michigan on New Air Regulations for Printing Operations
Because several areas in Michigan failed to achieve compliance with the National Ambient Air Quality Standard for ozone, the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) is moving forward with a series of new regulations designed to reduce the precursors of ozone, which are volatile organic compounds (VOC) and nitrogen oxides (NOx). The Michigan counties designated as nonattainment include those in the West and the Detroit area and include Berrien, Livingston, Macomb, Monroe, Oakland, St. Clair, Washtenaw, and Wayne. In addition, portions of Allegan and Muskegon counties are also designated as nonattainment.
The inability to demonstrate compliance with the ozone standard has triggered requirements in the Clean Air Act requiring EGLE to develop and implement a new set of air pollution control regulations designed to reduce emissions of VOCs and NOx. EGLE will have to adopt federal Environmental Protection Agency guidelines on a variety of industries including printing since VOCs are emitted.
To develop the new regulations, EGLE formed a workgroup of interested parties primarily composed of industry representatives and consultants to provide feedback on the structure and requirements of the new rules. Since the beginning, PRINTING United Alliance has been involved in the workgroup.
The regulations under development that will impact printing operations include:
- Cold cleaners (e.g., parts washers)
- Industrial solvent cleaning
- Paper, film, foil coating operations
- Miscellaneous industrial adhesives
- Graphic arts lines (i.e., flexographic and rotogravure)
- Flexible packaging
- Offset lithographic and letterpress printing
After the initial set of draft regulations was shared with the workgroup for review and comment, PRINTING United Alliance submitted extensive comments on all applicable drafts. In comments on the industrial solvent cleaning, paper, film, foil coating, and miscellaneous industrial adhesives drafts, PRINTING United Alliance requested that printing operations be included in the list of exempt operations. The comments on the flexible packaging and the lithographic and letterpress printing rules focused on providing clarity to the requirements, streamlining the applicability provisions, and specifying what needs to be accomplished to demonstrate compliance.
The new regulations need to be formally proposed and finalized by March of 2023. It is anticipated another set of draft regulations will be presented to the workgroup in the near future.
Gary Jones is the Director of Environmental, Health and Safety Affairs at PRINTING United Alliance, the most comprehensive member-based printing and graphic arts association in the United States, comprised of the vast communities which it represents. The Alliance serves industry professionals across market segments with pertinent education, training, workshops, events, research, government and legislative representation, safety, and environmental sustainability guidance, as well as resources from the leading media company in the industry – NAPCO Media. Now a division of PRINTING United Alliance, Idealliance is the global leader in standards training and certification for printing and graphic arts operations across the entire industry supply chain.
In this article, Gary addresses Michigan’s new air regulations for printing operations. More information about workplace requirements related to environmental compliance can be found at Business Excellence-Environmental, Health and Safety or reach out to Gary should you have additional questions specific to how these issues may affect your business: firstname.lastname@example.org.
To become a member of PRINTING United Alliance and learn more about how PRINTING United Alliance subject matter experts can assist your company with services and resources such as those mentioned in this article, please contact the Alliance membership team: 888-385-3588 / email@example.com.
Gary A. Jones is the director of environmental, health and safety (EHS) affairs at PRINTING United Alliance in Fairfax, VA. His primary responsibility is to monitor and analyze EHS regulatory activities at all domestic and some international government levels. He provides representation on behalf of the printing and specialty graphic imaging industry. In doing so, Mr. Jones works closely with the federal and state-level Environmental Protection Agencies (EPA), Occupational Safety and Health Agency (OSHA), Department of Transportation (DOT), and other agencies. He also provides membership assistance on EHS compliance and sustainability programs through a variety of approaches including responding to inquiries, presentations, writing, and consulting services.
Mr. Jones is also supporting PRINTING United Alliance’s efforts for the Sustainable Green Printing Partnership (SGP). SGP is dedicated to assisting printing operations respond to the customer demand for sustainable printing.
He holds a BS in biology from LaRoche College and an MS in chemistry from the University of Pittsburgh.