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Textiles: Regulations
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Summary of Applicable Federal Statutes and Regulations

This section discusses the federal regulations that may apply to this sector. The purpose of this section is to highlight and briefly describe the applicable federal requirements, and to provide citations for more detailed information.

Depending upon the nature or scope of the activities at a particular facility, these summaries may or may not describe all applicable environmental requirements. Moreover, they do not constitute formal interpretations or clarifications of the statutes and regulations. For further information readers should consult the Code of Federal Regulations and other state or local regulatory agencies. EPA hotline contacts are also provided for each major statute.

General Description of Major Statutes

Resource Conservation and Recovery Act
Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act
Emergency Planning And Community Right-To-Know Act
Clean Water Act
Safe Drinking Water Act
Toxic Substances Control Act 
Clean Air Act 
Clean Water Act (CWA) 
Clean Air Act (CAA) 
Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) 

Resource Conservation and Recovery Act    

The Resource Conservation And Recovery Act (RCRA) of 1976 which amended the Solid Waste Disposal Act, addresses solid (Subtitle D) and hazardous (Subtitle C) waste management activities. The Hazardous and Solid Waste Amendments (HSWA) of 1984 strengthened RCRA?s waste management provisions and added Subtitle I, which governs underground storage tanks (USTs).

Regulations promulgated pursuant to Subtitle C of RCRA (40 CFR Parts 260-299) establish a ?cradle-to-grave? system governing hazardous waste from the point of generation to disposal. RCRA hazardous wastes include the specific materials listed in the regulations (commercial chemical products, designated with the code "P" or "U"; hazardous wastes from specific industries/sources, designated with the code "K"; or hazardous wastes from nonspecific sources, designated with the code "F") or materials which exhibit a hazardous waste characteristic (ignitability, corrosivity, reactivity or toxicity and designated with the code "D").

Regulated entities that generate hazardous waste are subject to waste accumulation, manifesting and record-keeping standards. Facilities must obtain a permit either from EPA or from a state agency which EPA has authorized to implement the permitting program if they store hazardous wastes for more than 90 days before treatment or disposal. Facilities may treat hazardous wastes stored in less-than-ninety-day tanks or containers without a permit. Subtitle C permits contain general facility standards such as contingency plans, emergency procedures, record-keeping and reporting requirements, financial assurance mechanisms, and unit-specific standards. RCRA also contains provisions (40 CFR Part 264 Subpart S and ?264.10) for conducting corrective actions which govern the cleanup of releases of hazardous waste or constituents from solid waste management units at RCRA-regulated facilities.

Although RCRA is a federal statute, many states implement the RCRA program. Currently, EPA has delegated its authority to implement various provisions of RCRA to 47 of the 50 states and two U.S. territories. Delegation has not been given to Alaska, Hawaii or Iowa. Most RCRA requirements are not industry-specific but apply to any company that generates, transports, treats, stores or disposes of hazardous waste. Here are some important RCRA regulatory requirements:

  • Identification of Solid and Hazardous Wastes (40 CFR Part 261) lays out the procedure every generator must follow to determine whether the material in question is considered a hazardous waste, solid waste or is exempted from regulation.
  • Standards for Generators of Hazardous Waste (40 CFR Part 262) establishes the responsibilities of hazardous waste generators including obtaining an EPA ID number, preparing a manifest, ensuring proper packaging and labeling, meeting standards for waste accumulation units, and record-keeping and reporting requirements. Generators can accumulate hazardous waste for up to 90 days (or 180 days depending on the amount of waste generated) without obtaining a permit.
  • Land Disposal Restrictions (LDRs) (40 CFR Part 268) are regulations prohibiting the disposal of hazardous waste on land without prior treatment. Under the LDRs program, materials must meet LDR treatment standards prior to placement in a RCRA land disposal unit (landfill, land treatment unit, waste pile or surface impoundment). Generators of waste subject to the LDRs must provide notification of such to the designated TSD facility to ensure proper treatment prior to disposal.
  • Used Oil Management Standards (40 CFR Part 279) impose management requirements affecting the storage, transportation, burning, processing and re-refining of the used oil. For parties that merely generate used oil, regulations establish storage standards. For a party considered a used oil processor, re-refiner, burner or marketer (one who generates and sells off-specification used oil), additional tracking and paperwork requirements must be satisfied.
  • RCRA contains unit-specific standards for all units used to store, treat or dispose of hazardous waste, including tanks and containers. Tanks and containers used to store hazardous waste with a high volatile organic concentration must meet emission standards under RCRA. Regulations (40 CFR Part 264-265, Subpart CC) require generators to test the waste to determine the concentration of the waste, to satisfy tank and container emissions standards, and to inspect and monitor regulated units. These regulations apply to all facilities that store such waste, including large quantity generators accumulating waste prior to shipment off-site.
  • Underground Storage Tanks (USTs) containing petroleum and hazardous substances are regulated under Subtitle I of RCRA. Subtitle I regulations (40 CFR Part 280) contain tank design and release detection requirements, as well as financial responsibility and corrective action standards for USTs. The UST program also includes upgrade requirements for existing tanks that must be met by Dec. 22, 1998.
  • Boilers and Industrial Furnaces (BIFs) that use or burn fuel containing hazardous waste must comply with design and operating standards. BIF regulations (40 CFR Part 266, Subpart H) address unit design, provide performance standards, require emissions monitoring, and restrict the type of waste that may be burned.

EPA's RCRA, Superfund and EPCRA Hotline, at (800) 424-9346, responds to questions and distributes guidance regarding all RCRA regulations. The RCRA Hotline operates weekdays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., ET, excluding federal holidays.

Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act    

The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA), a 1980 law known commonly as Superfund, authorizes EPA to respond to releases, or threatened releases, of hazardous substances that may endanger public health, welfare or the environment. CERCLA also enables EPA to force parties responsible for environmental contamination to clean it up or to reimburse the Superfund for response costs incurred by EPA. The Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act (SARA) of 1986 revised various sections of CERCLA, extended the taxing authority for the Superfund, and created a free-standing law, SARA Title III, also known as the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA).

The CERCLA hazardous substance release reporting regulations (40 CFR Part 302) direct the person in charge of a facility to report to the National Response Center (NRC) any environmental release of a hazardous substance which equals or exceeds a reportable quantity. Reportable quantities are listed in 40 CFR ?302.4. A release report may trigger a response by EPA, or by one or more federal or state emergency response authorities.

EPA implements hazardous substance responses according to procedures outlined in the National Oil and Hazardous Substances Pollution Contingency Plan (NCP) (40 CFR Part 300). The NCP includes provisions for permanent cleanups, known as remedial actions, and other cleanups referred to as removals. EPA generally takes remedial actions only at sites on the National Priorities List (NPL), which currently includes approximately 1,300 cites. Both EPA and states can act at sites; however, EPA provides responsible parties the opportunity to conduct removal and remedial actions and encourages community involvement throughout the Superfund response process.

EPA's RCRA, Superfund and EPCRA Hotline, at (800) 424-9346, answers questions and references guidance pertaining to the Superfund program. The CERCLA Hotline operates weekdays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., ET, excluding federal holidays.

Emergency Planning And Community Right-To-Know Act    

The Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act (SARA) of 1986 created the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA, also known as SARA Title III), a statute designed to improve community access to information about chemical hazards and to facilitate the development of chemical emergency response plans by state and local governments. EPCRA required the establishment of state emergency response commissions (SERCs), responsible for coordinating certain emergency response activities and for appointing local emergency planning committees (LEPCs).

EPCRA and the EPCRA regulations (40 CFR Parts 350-372) establish four types of reporting obligations for facilities which store or manage specified chemicals:

  • EPCRA ?302 requires facilities to notify the SERC and LEPC of the presence of any extremely hazardous substance (the list of such substances is in 40 CFR Part 355, Appendices A and B) if it has such substance in excess of the substance's threshold planning quantity, and directs the facility to appoint an emergency response coordinator.
  • EPCRA ?304 requires the facility to notify the SERC and the LEPC in the event of a release equaling or exceeding the reportable quantity of a CERCLA hazardous substance or an EPCRA extremely hazardous substance.
  • EPCRA ?311 and ?312 require a facility at which a hazardous chemical, as defined by the Occupational Safety and Health Act, is present in an amount exceeding a specified threshold to submit to the SERC, LEPC and local fire department material safety data sheets (MSDSs) or lists of MSDSs and hazardous chemical inventory forms (also known as Tier I and II forms). This information helps the local government respond in the event of a spill or release of the chemical.
  • EPCRA ?313 requires manufacturing facilities included in SIC codes 20 through 39, which have 10 or more employees, and which manufacture, process or use specified chemicals in amounts greater than threshold quantities, to submit an annual toxic chemical release report. This report, known commonly as the Form R, covers releases and transfers of toxic chemicals to various facilities and environmental media, and allows EPA to compile the national Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) database.

All information submitted pursuant to EPCRA regulations is publicly accessible, unless protected by a trade secret claim.

EPA's RCRA, Superfund and EPCRA Hotline, at (800) 424-9346, answers questions and distributes guidance regarding the emergency planning and community right-to-know regulations. The EPCRA Hotline operates weekdays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., ET, excluding federal holidays.

Clean Water Act    

The primary objective of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act, commonly referred to as the Clean Water Act (CWA), is to restore and maintain the chemical, physical and biological integrity of the nation's surface waters. Pollutants regulated under the CWA include "priority" pollutants, including various toxic pollutants; "conventional" pollutants, such as biochemical oxygen demand (BOD), total suspended solids (TSS), fecal coliform, oil and grease, and pH; and "nonconventional" pollutants, including any pollutant not identified as either conventional or priority.

The CWA regulates both direct and indirect discharges. The National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) program (CWA ?502) controls direct discharges into navigable waters. Direct discharges or "point source" discharges are from sources such as pipes and sewers. NPDES permits, issued by either EPA or an authorized state (EPA has authorized 42 states to administer the NPDES program), contain industry-specific, technology-based and/or water quality-based limits, and establish pollutant monitoring requirements. A facility that intends to discharge into the nation's waters must obtain a permit prior to initiating its discharge. A permit applicant must provide quantitative analytical data identifying the types of pollutants present in the facility's effluent. The permit will then set the conditions and effluent limitations on the facility discharges.

A NPDES permit may also include discharge limits based on federal or state water quality criteria or standards that were designed to protect designated uses of surface waters, such as supporting aquatic life or recreation. These standards, unlike the technological standards, generally do not take into account technological feasibility or costs. Water quality criteria and standards vary from state to state, and site to site, depending on the use classification of the receiving body of water. Most states follow EPA guidelines which propose aquatic life and human health criteria for many of the 126 priority pollutants.

Storm Water Discharges

In 1987 the CWA was amended to require EPA to establish a program to address storm water discharges. In response, EPA promulgated the NPDES stormwater permit application regulations. These regulations require that facilities with the following stormwater discharges apply for an NPDES permit: (1) a discharge associated with industrial activity; (2) a discharge from a large or medium municipal storm sewer system; or (3) a discharge which EPA or the state determines to contribute to a violation of a water quality standard or is a significant contributor of pollutants to waters of the United States.

The term "stormwater discharge associated with industrial activity" means a stormwater discharge from one of 11 categories of industrial activity defined at 40 CFR 122.26. Six of the categories are defined by SIC codes while the other five are identified through narrative descriptions of the regulated industrial activity. If the primary SIC code of the facility is one of those identified in the regulations, the facility is subject to the stormwater permit application requirements. If any activity at a facility is covered by one of the five narrative categories, stormwater discharges from those areas where the activities occur are subject to stormwater discharge permit application requirements.

Those facilities/activities that are subject to stormwater discharge permit application requirements are identified below. To determine whether a particular facility falls within one of these categories, consult the regulation.

  • Category i: Facilities subject to stormwater effluent guidelines, new source performance standards, or toxic pollutant effluent standards.
  • Category ii: Facilities classified as SIC 24-lumber and wood products (except wood kitchen cabinets); SIC 26-paper and allied products (except paperboard containers and products); SIC 28-chemicals and allied products (except drugs and paints); SIC 291-petroleum refining; and SIC 311-leather tanning and finishing, 32 (except 323)-stone, clay, glass and concrete, 33- primary metals, 3441-fabricated structural metal, and 373-ship and boat building and repairing.
  • Category iii: Facilities classified as SIC 10-metal mining; SIC 12-coal mining; SIC 13-oil and gas extraction; and SIC 14-nonmetallic mineral mining.
  • Category iv: Hazardous waste treatment, storage or disposal facilities.
  • Category v: Landfills, land application sites, and open dumps that receive or have received industrial wastes.
  • Category vi: Facilities classified as SIC 5015-used motor vehicle parts; and SIC 5093-automotive scrap and waste material recycling facilities.
  • Category vii: Steam electric power generating facilities.
  • Category viii: Facilities classified as SIC 40-railroad transportation; SIC 41- local passenger transportation; SIC 42-trucking and warehousing (except public warehousing and storage); SIC 43-U.S. Postal Service; SIC 44-water transportation; SIC 45-transportation by air; and SIC 5171-petroleum bulk storage stations and terminals.
  • Category ix: Sewage treatment works.
  • Category x: Construction activities except operations that result in the disturbance of less than five acres of total land area.
  • Category xi: Facilities classified as SIC 20-food and kindred products; SIC 21-tobacco products; SIC 22-textile mill products; SIC 23-apparel-related products; SIC 2434-wood kitchen cabinets manufacturing; SIC 25-furniture and fixtures; SIC 265-paperboard containers and boxes; SIC 267-converted paper and paperboard products; SIC 27-printing, publishing and allied industries; SIC 283-drugs; SIC 285-paints, varnishes, lacquer, enamels and allied products; SIC 30-rubber and plastics; SIC 31-leather and leather products (except leather and tanning and finishing); SIC 323-glass products; SIC 34-fabricated metal products (except fabricated structural metal); SIC 35-industrial and commercial machinery and computer equipment; SIC 36- electronic and other electrical equipment and components; SIC 37- transportation equipment (except ship and boat building and repairing); SIC 38-measuring, analyzing and controlling instruments; SIC 39-miscellaneous manufacturing industries; and SIC 4221-4225-public warehousing and storage.

Pretreatment Program

Another type of discharge that is regulated by the CWA is one that goes to a publicly-owned treatment works (POTWs). The national pretreatment program (CWA ?307(b)) controls the indirect discharge of pollutants to POTWs by "industrial users." Facilities regulated under ?307(b) must meet certain pretreatment standards. The goal of the pretreatment program is to protect municipal wastewater treatment plants from damage that may occur when hazardous, toxic or other wastes are discharged into a sewer system and to protect the quality of sludge generated by these plants. Discharges to a POTW are regulated primarily by the POTW itself, rather than the state or EPA.

EPA has developed technology-based standards for industrial users of POTWs. Different standards apply to existing and new sources within each category. "Categorical" pretreatment standards applicable to an industry on a nationwide basis are developed by EPA. In addition, another kind of pretreatment standard, "local limits," are developed by the POTW in order to assist the POTW in achieving the effluent limitations in its NPDES permit.

Regardless of whether a state is authorized to implement either the NPDES or the pretreatment program, if it develops its own program, it may enforce requirements more stringent than federal standards.

Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasure Plans

The 1990 Oil Pollution Act requires that facilities that could reasonably be expected to discharge oil in harmful quantities prepare and implement the more rigorous Spill Prevention Control and Countermeasure (SPCC) Plan required under the CWA (40 CFR ?112.7). There are also criminal and civil penalties for deliberate or negligent spills of oil. Regulations covering response to oil discharges and contingency plans (40 CFR Part 300), and facility response plans to oil discharges (40 CFR ?112.20) and for PCB transformers and PCB-containing items were revised and finalized in 1995.

EPA?s Office of Water, at (202) 260-5700, will direct callers with questions about the CWA to the appropriate EPA office. EPA also maintains a bibliographic database of Office of Water publications which can be accessed through the Ground Water and Drinking Water resource center, at (202) 260-7786.

Safe Drinking Water Act    

The Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) mandates that EPA establish regulations to protect human health from contaminants in drinking water. The law authorizes EPA to develop national drinking water standards and to create a joint federal-state system to ensure compliance with these standards. The SDWA also directs EPA to protect underground sources of drinking water through the control of underground injection of liquid wastes.

EPA has developed primary and secondary drinking water standards under its SDWA authority. EPA and authorized states enforce the primary drinking water standards, which are contaminant-specific concentration limits that apply to certain public drinking water supplies. Primary drinking water standards consist of maximum contaminant level goals (MCLGs), which are non-enforceable health-based goals, and maximum contaminant levels (MCLs), which are enforceable limits set as close to MCLGs as possible, considering cost and feasibility of attainment. 

The SDWA Underground Injection Control (UIC) program (40 CFR Parts 144-148) is a permit program which protects underground sources of drinking water by regulating five classes of injection wells. UIC permits include design, operating, inspection and monitoring requirements. Wells used to inject hazardous wastes must also comply with RCRA corrective action standards in order to be granted a RCRA permit, and must meet applicable RCRA land disposal restrictions standards. The UIC permit program is primarily state-enforced, since EPA has authorized all but a few states to administer the program. 

The SDWA also provides for a federally-implemented Sole Source Aquifer program, which prohibits federal funds from being expended on projects that may contaminate the sole or principal source of drinking water for a given area, and for a state-implemented Wellhead Protection program, designed to protect drinking water wells and drinking water recharge areas. 

EPA?s Safe Drinking Water Hotline, at (800) 426-4791, answers questions and distributes guidance pertaining to SDWA standards. The Hotline operates from 9 a.m. through 5:30 p.m., ET, excluding federal holidays. 

Toxic Substances Control Act     

The Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) granted EPA authority to create a regulatory framework to collect data on chemicals in order to evaluate, assess, mitigate and control risks which may be posed by their manufacture, processing and use. TSCA provides a variety of control methods to prevent chemicals from posing unreasonable risk. 

TSCA standards may apply at any point during a chemical?s life cycle. Under TSCA ?5, EPA has established an inventory of chemical substances. If a chemical is not already on the inventory, and has not been excluded by TSCA, a premanufacture notice (PMN) must be submitted to EPA prior to manufacture or import. The PMN must identify the chemical and provide available information on health and environmental effects. If available data are not sufficient to evaluate the chemicals effects, EPA can impose restrictions pending the development of information on its health and environmental effects. EPA can also restrict significant new uses of chemicals based upon factors such as the projected volume and use of the chemical. 

Under TSCA ?6, EPA can ban the manufacture or distribution in commerce, limit the use, require labeling or place other restrictions on chemicals that pose unreasonable risks. Among the chemicals EPA regulates under ?6 authority are asbestos, chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). 

EPA?s TSCA Assistance Information Service, at (202) 554-1404, answers questions and distributes guidance pertaining to Toxic Substances Control Act standards. The service operates from 8:30 a.m. through 4:30 p.m., ET, excluding Federal holidays. 

Clean Air Act     

The Clean Air Act (CAA) and its amendments, including the Clean Air Act Amendments (CAAA) of 1990, are designed to ?protect and enhance the nation's air resources so as to promote the public health and welfare and the productive capacity of the population.? The CAA consists of six sections, known as Titles, which direct EPA to establish national standards for ambient air quality and for EPA and the states to implement, maintain and enforce these standards through a variety of mechanisms. Under the CAAA, many facilities will be required to obtain permits for the first time. State and local governments oversee, manage and enforce many of the requirements of the CAAA. CAA regulations appear at 40 CFR Parts 50-99. 

Pursuant to Title I of the CAA, EPA has established national ambient air quality standards (NAAQSs) to limit levels of "criteria pollutants," including carbon monoxide, lead, nitrogen dioxide, particulate matter, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), ozone and sulfur dioxide. Geographic areas that meet NAAQSs for a given pollutant are classified as attainment areas; those that do not meet NAAQSs are classified as non-attainment areas. Under section 110 of the CAA, each state must develop a State Implementation Plan (SIP) to identify sources of air pollution and to determine what reductions are required to meet federal air quality standards. Revised NAAQSs for particulates and ozone were proposed in 1996 and may go into effect as early as late 1997. 

Title I also authorizes EPA to establish New Source Performance Standards (NSPSs), which are nationally uniform emission standards for new stationary sources falling within particular industrial categories. NSPSs are based on the pollution control technology available to that category of industrial source. 

Under Title I, EPA establishes and enforces National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAPs), nationally uniform standards oriented towards controlling particular hazardous air pollutants (HAPs). Title I, section 112(c) of the CAA further directed EPA to develop a list of sources that emit any of 189 HAPs, and to develop regulations for these categories of sources. To date EPA has listed 174 categories and developed a schedule for the establishment of emission standards. The emission standards will be developed for both new and existing sources based on "maximum achievable control technology" (MACT). The MACT is defined as the control technology achieving the maximum degree of reduction in the emission of the HAPs, taking into account cost and other factors. Title II of the CAA pertains to mobile sources, such as cars, trucks, buses and planes. Reformulated gasoline, automobile pollution control devices, and vapor recovery nozzles on gas pumps are a few of the mechanisms EPA uses to regulate mobile air emission sources. 

Title IV of the CAA establishes a sulfur dioxide nitrous oxide emissions program designed to reduce the formation of acid rain. Reduction of sulfur dioxide releases will be obtained by granting to certain sources limited emissions allowances, which, beginning in 1995, will be set below previous levels of sulfur dioxide releases. 

Title V of the CAA of 1990 created a permit program for all "major sources" (and certain other sources) regulated under the CAA. One purpose of the operating permit is to include in a single document all air emissions requirements that apply to a given facility. States are developing the permit programs in accordance with guidance and regulations from EPA. Once a state program is approved by EPA, permits will be issued and monitored by that state. 

Title VI of the CAA is intended to protect stratospheric ozone by phasing out the manufacture of ozone-depleting chemicals and restricting their use and distribution. Production of Class I substances, including 15 kinds of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and chloroform, were phased out (except for essential uses) in 1996. 

EPA's Clean Air Technology Center, at (919) 541-0800, provides general assistance and information on CAA standards. The Stratospheric Ozone Information Hotline, at (800) 296-1996, provides general information about regulations promulgated under Title VI of the CAA, and EPA's EPCRA Hotline, at (800) 535-0202, answers questions about accidental release prevention under CAA ?112(r). In addition, the Clean Air Technology Center?s Web site includes recent CAA rules, EPA guidance documents, and updates of EPA activities ( then select Directory and then CATC). 

Industry-Specific Requirements 

The textile industry is affected by several major federal environmental statutes. In addition, the industry is subject to numerous laws and regulations from state and local governments designed to protect and improve the nation?s health, safety and environment. A summary of the major federal regulations affecting the textile industry follows. 

Clean Water Act (CWA)     

Since the textiles industry is a major water user, perhaps the most important environmental regulation affecting the textile industry is the Clean Water Act. In 1982, EPA promulgated effluent guidelines for the textile manufacturing point source category. The Textile Mills Point Source Category effluent guidelines are listed under 40 CFR Part 410. Part 410 is divided into nine subparts for each applying to a different textile manufacturing subcategory as outlined below. Each subpart contains effluent limitations, new source performance standards (NSPS), and pretreatment standards. 

Subpart  Applicability 
Subpart A ? Wool Scouring Wool scouring, topmaking and general cleaning of raw wool.
Subpart B ? Wool Finishing    Wool finishers, including carbonizing, fulling, dyeing, bleaching, rinsing, fireproofing and other similar processes.
Subpart C ? Low Water Use Processing Yarn manufacturing, yarn texturizing, unfinished fabric manufacturing, fabric coating, fabric laminating, tire cord and fabric dipping, carpet tufting and carpet backing. 
Subpart D ? Woven Fabric Finishing Woven fabric finishers which may include desizing, bleaching, mercerizing, dyeing, printing, resin treatment, water proofing, flame proofing, soil repellency application, and special finish application.
Subpart E ? Knit Fabric Finishing Knit fabric finishers which may include bleaching, mercerizing, dyeing, printing, resin treatment, water proofing, flame proofing, soil repellency application, and special finish application.
Subpart F ? Carpet Finishing Carpet mills which may include bleaching, scouring, carbonizing, fulling dyeing, printing, water proofing, flame proofing, soil repellency, looping and backing with foamed and unfoamed latex and jute.
Subpart G - Stock and Yarn Finishing Stock or yarn dyeing or finishing which may include cleaning, scouring, bleaching, mercerizing, dyeing and special finishing.
Subpart H ? Nonwoven Manufacturing Applies to process wastewater discharges from manufacture of nonwoven textile products of wool, cotton or synthetic, thermal and/or adhesive bonding procedures.
Subpart I ? Felted Fabric Processing Applies to process wastewater discharges from manufacture of nonwoven products by employing fulling and felting operations as a means of achieving fiber bonds.

Effluent limitations representing the degree of effluent reduction attainable by using either best practicable control technologies (BPT) or best available technologies (BAT) are given for all subcategories. BPTs are used for discharges from existing point sources to control conventional and nonconventional pollutants as well as some priority pollutants. BATs are used to control priority pollutants and nonconventional pollutants when directly discharged into the nation?s waters. 

Best practicable control technology (BPT) limits for biological oxygen demand (BOD), chemical oxygen demand (COD), total suspended solids (TSS), sulfide, phenol, total chromium and pH are set for every category (every subpart), with the exception of Subpart C (Low Water Use Processing Subcategory). Each subpart, with the exception again of Subpart C, also has best available technology (BAT) limits for COD, sulfide, phenols and total chromium. 

In Subpart C (Low Water Use Processing Subcategory) effluent reduction guidelines, attainable with best practicable control technologies (BPT) (40 CFR 410 Part 410.32), are set for BOD, COD, TSS and pH only. In addition, these BPT attainable limits differ depending on which type of low water use process a facility uses. The two types of low water use processes are general processing and water jet weaving. Water jet weaving is defined as ?the internal subdivision of the low water use processing subcategory for facilities primarily engaged in manufacturing woven greige goods through the water jet weaving process?(40 CFR 410 Part 410.31). General processing is any low water use processing, other that water jet processing, which facilities in this category may use. Similarly, best available technology (BAT) standards are also different depending on the process employed, but are only set for chemical oxygen demand (COD). 

New source performance standards (NSPS) for BOD, COD, TSS, sulfide, phenols, total chromium and pH are set for each subcategory. However, for the Low Water Use Processing Subcategory (Subpart C) and for the Woven Fabric Finishing Subcategory (Subpart D), the NSPS are divided into process specific standards. For the Woven Fabric Finishing Subcategory (Subpart D) these standards are different for simple manufacturing operations, complex manufacturing operations and for desizing. In Subpart C, NSPS are for general processing and water jet weaving and are only for BOD, COD, TSS, and pH. 

All existing and new sources discharging to POTWs in all subcategories in the Textile Mills Point Source Category are subject to the General Pretreatment Regulations for Existing and New Sources of Pollution set forth in 40 CFR Part 403. 

The Stormwater Rule (40 CFR ?122.26(b)(14) Subparts (i, ii)) requires facilities to apply for stormwater discharge permits if they are subject to stormwater effluent guidelines, new source performance standards, or toxic pollutant effluent standards. In addition, facilities are subject to stormwater permit application requirements if their primary SIC code is one of those identified in the regulations. To determine whether a particular facility falls within one of these categories, the regulation should be consulted. 

Clean Air Act (CAA)   

Under Title I of the CAA, EPA has the authorization to establish New Source Performance Standards (NSPSs), which are nationally uniform emission standards for new stationary sources falling within particular industrial categories. NSPSs are based on the pollution control technology available to that category of industrial source but allow the affected industries the flexibility to devise a cost-effective means of reducing emissions. EPA has not established NSPSs for the textiles industrial category. Refer to the EPA Sector Notebook on Plastic Resins and Manmade Fibers for a discussion of the NSPS for synthetic fiber production facilities (40CFR Part 60 Subpart HHH). 

Under Title V of the CAAA 1990 (40 CFR Parts 70-72) all of the applicable requirements of the amendments are integrated into one federal renewable operating permit. Facilities defined as "major sources" under the Act must apply for permits within one year from when EPA approves the state permit programs. Since most state programs were not approved until after November 1994, Title V permit applications, for the most part, began to be due in late 1995. Due dates for filing complete applications vary significantly from state to state, based on the status of review and approval of the state?s Title V program by EPA. 

A facility is designated as a major source under Title V if it includes sources subject to the NSPS acid rain provisions or NESHAPS, or if it releases a certain amount of any one of the CAAA regulated pollutants (SO , NO , CO, x x VOC, PM , hazardous air pollutants, extremely hazardous substances, ozone 10 depleting substances, and pollutants covered by NSPSs) depending on the region's air quality category. Title V permits may set limits on the amounts of pollutant emissions, require emissions monitoring, record-keeping and reporting. 

Depending on their location and operational factors, some of the larger textiles manufacturing facilities may be considered major sources and therefore would apply for a Title V permit. 

Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA)     

The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) was enacted in 1976 to address problems related to hazardous and solid waste management. RCRA gives EPA the authority to establish a list of solid and hazardous wastes and to establish standards and regulations for the treatment, storage and disposal of these wastes. Regulations in Subtitle C of RCRA address the identification, generation, transportation, treatment, storage and disposal of hazardous wastes. These regulations are found in 40 CFR Part 124 and CFR Parts 260-279. Under RCRA, persons who generate waste must determine whether the waste is defined as solid waste or hazardous waste. Solid wastes are considered hazardous wastes if they are listed by EPA as hazardous or if they exhibit characteristics of a hazardous waste: toxicity, ignitability, corrosivity or reactivity. 

Products, intermediates and off-specification products potentially generated at textiles facilities that are considered hazardous wastes are listed in 40 CFR Part 261.33(f). Some of the handling and treatment requirements for RCRA hazardous waste generators are covered under 40 CFR Part 262 and include the following: determining what constitutes a RCRA hazardous waste (Subpart A); manifesting (Subpart B); packaging, labeling and accumulation time limits (Subpart C); and record-keeping and reporting (Subpart D). 

Some textiles facilities may store some hazardous wastes at the facility for more than 90 days and may be considered a storage facility under RCRA. Storage facilities are required to have a RCRA treatment, storage and disposal facility (TSDF) permit (40 CFR Part 262.34). In addition, some textiles facilities considered TSDF facilities are subject to the following regulations covered under 40 CFR Part 264: contingency plans and emergency procedures (40 CFR Part 264 Subpart D); manifesting, record-keeping and reporting (40 CFR Part 264 Subpart E); use and management of containers (40 CFR Part 264 Subpart I); tank systems (40 CFR Part 264 Subpart J); surface impoundments (40 CFR Part 264 Subpart K); land treatment (40 CFR Part 264 Subpart M); corrective action of hazardous waste releases (40 CFR Part 264 Subpart S); air emissions standards for process vents of processes that process or generate hazardous wastes (40 CFR Part 264 Subpart AA); emissions standards for leaks in hazardous waste handling equipment (40 CFR Part 264 Subpart BB); and emissions standards for containers, tanks and surface impoundments that contain hazardous wastes (40 CFR Part 264 Subpart CC). 

Many textiles manufacturing facilities are also subject to the underground storage tank (UST) program (40 CFR Part 280). The UST regulations apply to facilities that store either petroleum products or hazardous substances (except hazardous waste) identified under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act. UST regulations address design standards, leak detection, operating practices, response to releases, financial responsibility for releases, and closure standards. 

Pending and Proposed Regulatory Requirements 

A NESHAP for Fabric Coating, Printing and Dying is under development and is scheduled to be proposed in November 1999 and promulgated in November 2000. (Contact Paul Almodovar, US EPA Office of Air and Radiation, at (919) 541-0283.)


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Hub Last Updated: 3/11/2008