SCAQMD Governing Board Adopts Rule to Reduce Metal Particulate Emissions

March 3, 2017

The South Coast Air Quality Management District’s Governing Board today adopted a measure that will reduce metal particulate emissions, some of which are air toxic contaminants, from metal grinding and metal cutting operations at forging facilities. 

The rule will require 22 businesses in SCAQMD’s four-county jurisdiction to begin compliance activities immediately.  The rule was developed with input from community and business representatives.

“Over the past few years we have learned a great deal about the metal forging industry and the need to quickly address emissions from these types of operations,” said Wayne Nastri, SCAQMD’s executive officer. “This rule requires facilities to take immediate action, helping to protect public health from exposure to toxic metals in all areas of our region.”

Currently, metal grinding and cutting operations are exempt from SCAQMD permits, and as such, operations are currently an unregulated source category.  The measure, known as Rule 1430, will prohibit metal forging facilities from conducting outdoor metal grinding and metal cutting operations. 

The rule requires emissions from metal grinding and cutting operations to be properly vented to air pollution control equipment and that these operations be conducted within a building enclosure.  Furthermore, the facility must implement housekeeping measures to minimize fugitive emissions.

The rule includes contingency measures that an owner or operator of a metal forging facility would be required to implement if SCAQMD receives four confirmed odor complaints within a consecutive six-month period. 

SCAQMD is the air pollution control agency for Orange County and major portions of Los Angeles, San Bernardino and Riverside counties.