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Decorative Chromium Electroplating

Related Industries:

Any facility which conducts decorative chrome electroplating

Regulations in a Nutshell:

All decorative chrome platers must use a wetting agent type fume suppressant or foam blanket in the plating solution to prevent the generation of chromium mists.

Summary of EPA's Final Air Toxics MACT Rule:

  • Chromium electroplating and anodizing operations coat metal parts and tools with a thin layer of chromium to protect them from corrosion and wear. Examples of electroplated parts include appliances, automotive parts, and large cylinders used in construction equipment and printing presses. Anodized parts include miscellaneous aircraft components such as wings and landing gears.
  • Hexavalent chromium (known to cause lung cancer) is released during the electroplating and anodizing processes.
  • EPA's rule sets specific emissions limits for new and existing chromium electroplating and anodizing operations that fall into specific size categories. The rule requires facilities to meet emissions limits through the use of pollution prevention practices and controls. 

Current regulations that could apply to hard chrome platers:

  • Air permitting- In some cases, exemptions from permitting may apply (i.e.-Act 918)  
  • Title V permitting- see "air permitting"
  • Air toxics
  • National Emission Standard for Hard Chromium Electroplating
  • Louisiana State regulation LAC 33:III.2113 addresses practical housekeeping and maintenance practices to reduce emissions from organic compounds.

Final Rule:

Reporting and Recordkeeping:

  • Required to fill a HW-1 form as a generator of hazardous waste.  hw-1.pdf
  • May require registration with the LSP (LA State Police) Tier II Right-To-Know.   See LCN (Louisiana Chemical Network) website (www.dps.state.la.us/lcnweb.nsf ).

Housekeeping Suggestions:

  • Properly maintain all pollution control equipment
  • Do not spill tank solution on the floor
  • Promptly clean all spills

Pollution Prevention:

  • Route rinse water back into plating tank
  • Thoroughly clean all pieces before cleaning
  • Recycle cleaning solvents whenever feasible
  • Contain tanks to limit effect in a spill or leak event

 

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