Pollution Prevention and Control Technologies for Plating
The surface finishing industry has changed! We can no longer operate
by using only our traditional expertise to make the engineering
and production decisions that bring in, keep and satisfy customers.
Now, every decision we make is influenced by the impact of environmental
mandates and other laws which shape surface finishing operations.
In this changing and highly regulated industry we must draw on
every resource available to make smart business decisions that
not only satisfy our customers but also keep our operations on
the pace of rapidly changing technology and in environmental compliance.
The National Center for Manufacturing Sciences, National Association
of Metal Finishers' Pollution Prevention and Control Technology
for Plating Operations is just such a resource.
Twenty years ago when this industry was first regulated for water
discharges, most metal finishers had a very limited knowledge
of, or experience with the mechanisms required to comply. We innovated,
experimented, and expended immense amounts of money in an effort
to satisfy the new regulations. In the end, only the application
of all its innovation, plus legal action to challenge the implementation
of unreasonable provisions of the regulations, allowed many of
us to remain in business. While all of these efforts gave the
industry much needed "breathing room," it came at a
great cost, both financial and in attrition to our ranks.
The time and resources expended to create the national assessment
which follows here makes it much less likely that we will need
to repeat this struggle in coming years. The data in these pages
provide both industry and regulators with a representative look
at this industry's successful response to the challenges of clean
water regulation, what it has cost, what has worked, what has
not worked, and at least an idea of what the future may hold.
On behalf of NAMF, I would like to thank all of the facilities
and suppliers that took their valuable time to respond to our
request for information. The best recognition of their efforts
will come however when industry members put this information to
good use. This document represents the financial and program commitment
of the NCMS and NAMF to providing collective, usable information
that can help individual facilities and the industry as a whole
compete and comply in the 1990's and beyond.
David Marsh, President, National Association of Metal Finishers,
Marsh Plating Corporation, Ypsilanti, Michigan
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