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Trichloroethylene and Chlorinated Solvents Reduction

The Massachusetts Toxics Use Reduction program has designated trichloroethylene (TCE) as one of five high priority substances that are to receive special attention during FY 2004, with the aim of attaining significant reduction in use. One of the important uses of TCE has historically been for metal degreasing; according to the Chemical Economics Handbook, 30,000 metric tons of TCE were used in the United States in 2000 for metal cleaning and other "emissive" uses.

This project is targeted at smaller businesses using TCE, who do not have direct access to pollution prevention information and resources. It should result in a significant reduction in use, emissions, and disposal of a very hazardous chemical. It thus directly addresses the goals of the Pollution Prevention Grants program. The work is being performed as a cooperative activity between the Massachusetts Toxics Use Reduction Institute (TURI) and the Massachusetts Office of Technical Assistance for Toxics Use Reduction (OTA), sister agencies established by the 1989 Massachusetts Toxics Use Reduction Act (TURA).

Task 1

The first task will be to continue to identify and locate as many Massachusetts users of TCE as possible and to offer them technical assistance. Additional resources not utilized in the first TURI mailing, such as the Harris Register, will be used to identify more firms. Joint OTA/TURI site visits will be performed, and alternatives tested in the TURI SSL. This will be a continuation of Tasks 1 and 2 in the current grant.

This task will continue through the first six months of the second year.

Task 2

OTA will host two workshops for TCE users that will focus on compliance with MACT standards and alternatives to using TCE in industrial processes. The workshops will provide an opportunity to reach the large constituency of TCE users, especially those that may otherwise not take advantage of the one-on-one technical assistance available to them. All of the names on the various mailing lists developed under this grant, along with AESF and NAMF membership lists, will be invited to the workshops.

The workshops will be scheduled toward the end of the second year. One will be held in eastern Massachusetts and the other in western Massachusetts.

Task 3

During the last six months of the second year, all of the companies that had been offered technical assistance during the first eighteen months will be contacted and interviewed to assess their progress toward eliminating TCE use. Specific data on TCE use reduction will be collected, analyzed and reported to EPA. In addition, we will assess the reasons behind any such reductions. For example, we will attempt to answer these questions: did the field visits by OTA and TURI lead directly to the adoption of TCE alternatives by the companies visited? Did the laboratory testing performed by the TURI Surface Solutions Laboratory lead directly to the adoption of TCE alternatives by the companies whose parts were tested?

Companies adopting TCE alternatives will also be asked about the capital costs and savings associated with the change in technology. Information on changes in energy and water use will also be collected.

Task 4

A joint TURI/OTA Technical Report will be published and distributed to EPA, NEWMOA, NPPR and other state pollution prevention agencies. This report will discuss the lessons learned, include case studies of successful implementations, and recommend strategies to get smaller companies to reduce their TCE use. The report will also be posted on the TURI and OTA web sites.

A separate final report will be prepared specifically for EPA Region I. This report will present detailed data on the activities performed under the two years of funding, including the number of companies identified, the number of companies assisted, and the successes and difficulties encountered in developing substitute chemistries. Reductions in actual TCE use and emissions as a result of our efforts will be calculated and reported. Estimates will be made as to the total capital costs incurred by the participating companies and the savings expected from the use of the new technologies. Impacts on energy and water use will be evaluated. In addition, recommendations will be made to EPA regarding strategies to extend our approach to other states and regions.