US EPA has proposed to review and revise, if needed, the National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) standard for  Reinforced Plastic Composites Production, especially as it relates to small businesses.

The EPA promulgated NESHAP for reinforced plastic composites production on April 21, 2003. The final rule (40 CFR part 63, subpart WWWW) includes standards for both new and existing sources of hazardous air pollutants (HAP), as well as monitoring, performance testing, recordkeeping, and reporting requirements related to those standards.

The NESHAP regulates production and ancillary processes used to manufacture products with thermoset resins and gel coats. The final standards contain a HAP emissions threshold that distinguishes between sources that typically can meet the HAP emissions limits using pollution prevention, and those that must use add-on controls.

Based on SBA size definitions and reported sales and employment data, EPA identified 279 of the 357 companies owning reinforced plastic composites facilities as small businesses. EPA performed an economic impact analysis (EIA) that indicated that 12 % of facilities owned by small business were at risk of closure because of the final rule.  A Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act (SBREFA) panel had recommended that EPA provide special flexibility to these companies. Provisions to reduce the adverse impact on small business, including minimized reporting and recordkeeping requirements and establishing separate floors for specialty products, were incorporated into the final rule.

In the Federal Register notice EPA announced it will review this action pursuant to section 610 of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 610). As part of this review, EPA will consider and solicit comments on the following factors: (1) The continued need for the rule; (2) the nature of complaints or comments received concerning the rule; (3) the complexity of the rule; (4) the extent to which the rule overlaps, duplicates, or conflicts with other Federal, State, or local government rules; and (5) the degree to which the technology, economic conditions or other factors have changed in the area affected by the rule.

Comments on the proposed review must be received by EPA within 60 days of the notice, which was dated October 31, 2012.

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