Addressing all aspects of environmental and worker safety issues at the engineering stage is important when considering a plating system installation. Plating Resources, Inc. works with companies that desire to approach this in a responsible and proper manner.
We are positioned to assist you with gaining and maintaining full environmental and worker safety compliance. This is based on our experience with handling a myriad of similar applications. Most states follow the U.S. EPA and OSHA guidelines, with only California being slightly more stringent. Exceeding these regulations are quite easy and inexpensive if approached in the right manner.
EPA and OSHA fully endorse the application of Zero Discharge Recovery™ as it indicates that the user is a responsible party. This approach sets the tone for future communications and in many cases these agencies will want to use one of these installations as an example for others.
Each plating system is engineered to exceed all EPA environmental requirements, in most cases by a very significant amount. This gives the user the needed peace of mind by avoiding the potential for future liabilities. It also provides an edge in the marketplace.
An example of compliance with the air discharge regulations is a chrome plating system using our Extractor ventilation technology that only discharged 0.00139 mg/DSCM of Cr which is more than ten (10) times below the EPA limit of 0.015.
First, it's important to select a site that is appropriate for electroplating. The site should be located in an industrial area with appropriate zoning. The buyer should obtain guidance on this from the local government, its zoning and fire departments.
Plating Resources, Inc. is positioned to assist the buyer in applying for and securing the required environmental permits. These generally fall into two areas, a water discharge permit and an air discharge permit. Our professional approach has resulted in permit issuance in every case.
Water Discharge Permit:
A water discharge permit needs to be applied for even though the plating system will utilize Zero Discharge Recovery™ which means that it doesn’t have any connections to a sewer. The typical response is receiving a "no permit required" letter which should be retained on file.
Air Discharge Permit:
This permit relates to the ventilation system(s). The air discharge permit is actually in two parts; a Permit to Install and a Permit to Operate. Applying for these permits is a complicated and involved process that requires professional assistance. Detailed calculations are required on the expected total annual discharge, on a pounds per year basis, for every chemical involved along with numerous formulas relating to the ejection rates, airflow rates, static pressures, velocities, and removal efficiencies of the scrubbers and related ventilation components.
The permit application can only be drafted after these calculations are complete. These numbers are included in the permit application along with supporting documentation such as blueprints, copy of the property deed, a plot plan of the property and building, a site location map, and supporting technical literature. You will also need to include an Operation And Maintenance Plan (O&M Plan) which requires similar professional work.
The timeframe to complete the calculations and draft the permit application and O&M Plan is around 60 days after the final system engineering is finished. The control agency review typically takes another 90 days. Once approved by the control agency the application will be published for public comment which adds another 30 days.
The control authority will then issue a permit to install. When the plating system is operational the air discharge permit then needs to be completed by stack testing to verify that the discharge numbers are in line with the application. Upon approval of the stack test the control authority will issue the final permit to operate. It is then up to the owner to operate the plating system in accordance with the O&M Plan.
Operation & Maintenance Plan:
Certain types of plating, chrome as an example, will require that an O&M Plan be submitted along with the air discharge permit application. The O&M Plan is a fairly complex document that establishes the operation and maintenance of the plating system, mostly involving the air discharge. It also establishes the monitoring frequency and the recordkeeping requirements. Due to the calculations involved, the Final System Engineering must be completed prior to drafting the O&M Plan. Plating Resources, Inc. can provide the services needed to develop the O&M Plan so that it is coordinated with the system design and the permit application.
Stack testing is required on certain plating types, such as chrome, to verify that the numbers in the permit application are not being exceeded. This testing should be done immediately after the system start-up and run-off period. Upon approval of the results, the EPA will then issue the final Operating Permit.
The Plating Resources, Inc. Extractor ventilation system is equipped in the "Ready To Test" mode when it is installed. This includes EPA approved air straightening vanes and sampling ports. Stack testing, if needed, is a complex task that requires further professional assistance. We can provide the services of an on-site plating engineer for both preparation and overseeing the actual stack test(s) which will be conducted by an EPA approved laboratory. We can also include the required Notification and submission of a Test Protocol, the laboratory work, conversions & calculations, reporting and providing the final Notice Of Compliance.