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The information contained in this site is provided for your review and convenience. It is not intended to provide legal advice with respect to any federal, state, or local regulation. You should consult with legal counsel and appropriate authorities before interpreting any regulations or undertaking any specific course of action.

Plain English Guide to Regulations
Wastewater Discharges

Federal Laws and Regulations

Electroplating Categorical Standards (40 CFR 413)
Metal Finishing Categorical Standards (40 CFR 433)
General Pretreatment Regulations (40 CFR 403)

faucetElectroplating Categorical Standards (40 CFR 413)
Electroplating Categorical Standards (40 CFR 413) are applicable to wastewater from these six specific operations:

Most facilities that were initially covered by the Electroplating Categorical Standards (1984 compliance date for most facilities) were subsequently covered by the Metal Finishing Categorical Standards (1986 compliance date for most facilities). Excluded from the Metal Finishing rules are all existing indirect discharging job shops electroplaters and independent printed circuit board manufacturers. For these two groups of facilities, the Electroplating Standards still apply.

The electroplating pretreatment standards for existing dischargers (Part 413) include an alternative mass-based standard for printed wiring board manufacturing facilities. The standard is expressed in units of milligrams per square meter of boards processed per operation. An operation is any "electroplating" step (e.g., electroless copper plating, copper sulphate plating) that is followed by a rinsing step. These standards can only be used based upon prior agreement between a metal finishing facility and the regulatory authority.

One purpose of the mass-based standards is to encourage the implementation of pollution prevention. For example, a facility that has a concentration-based copper limitation has less regulatory compliance incentive to install a drag-out tank and counterflow rinse than a facility with a mass-based limitation. That is because a facility with a concentration limit has to treat the wastewater to the same low concentration level regardless of the incoming flow rate and concentration. Alternatively, the facility with the mass-based standard may reduce the wastewater flow and mass of copper entering the treatment system and not have to achieve as low of and effluent concentration.

For most affected facilities, the Electroplating Standards are administered by a local or state wastewater agency.

The full text of the Electroplating Categorical Standards (40 CFR 413) can be viewed by clicking HERE (requires Adobe Acrobat Reader).

Metal Finishing Categorical Standards (40 CFR 433)
The Metal Finishing Category covers wastewater from 46 unit operations : the six operations covered by the Electroplating Categorical standards, plus an additional 40 operations. If any of the six electroplating operations are present, then the Metal Finishing standards apply to wastewater from any of the 46 listed metal finishing operations. Also, all direct discharge electroplating and metal finishing facilities are covered by the Metal Finishing Categorical Standards (i.e., the Electroplating Standards apply only to indirect dischargers).

Excluded from the Metal Finishing rules are all existing indirect discharging job shops electroplaters and independent printed circuit board manufacturers. For these two groups of facilities, the Electroplating Standards still apply.

For most affected facilities, the Metal Finishing Standards are administered by a local or state wastewater agency.

The numerical pretreatment standards for the Metal Finishing Category can be viewed by clicking HERE.

The full text of the Metal Finishing Categorical Standards (40 CFR 433) can be viewed by clicking HERE (requires Adobe Acrobat Reader).

General Pretreatment Regulations (40 CFR 403)
The General Pretreatment Regulations affect all metal finishing and electroplating manufacturing facilities that discharge process wastewater to a POTW.

The full text of the General Pretreatment Regulations (40 CFR 403) can be viewed by clicking HERE (requires Adobe Acrobat Reader).

 



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