What Manufacturers Can Do To Reduce Emissions

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) monitors the emissions produced by manufacturers. Manufacturers rely on the US Federal Register, a daily journal of the US government to maintain compliance with EPA emissions statutes. These guidelines keep manufacturers current on any changes to compliance regulations regarding manufacturing emissions. Manufacturers hire regulatory affairs specialists to create and maintain compliance reports like the annual EPCRA (Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act) surveys, RCRA (Resource Conservation and Recovery Act) and permits. Manufacturers may outsource the job of maintaining compliance to environmental specialists. Manufacturers can reduce emissions, hazardous storage and waste by using citations contained in the Code of Federal Regulations in the Federal Register.

How Some Manufacturers Reduced Emissions

Manufacturers of flavors and fragrances find it imperative to seek ways to reduce emissions. The EPA defines emissions according to specifics of the manufacturing processes. For example, three NJ manufacturers invested several million dollars in biofiltration units to contain emissions from spice, butter and perfume production. These manufacturing plants are located in northern and central NJ in areas within close proximity to residences.

Manufacturers review daily output of process emissions to remain in compliance. This is generally done by the plant manager. Emission data is linked to computers that calculate process throughput and volume of emissions. An environmental advocate with a Master’s of Public Administration says any changes in a plant’s emissions output have to be reported to the EPA.Each US state has an environmental agency that reports to the federal EPA, so emissions control can be managed on a smaller scale.

What Pollution Control Equipment Manufacturers Use to Reduce Emissions

Depending on the type of manufacturing process, pollution control equipment like industrial scrubbers, baghouses, cyclones, biofilters and biotrickling filters are used to reduce emissions. Industrial scrubbers are towers connected to the end process where vapors or emissions are most likely to occur. The scrubber has a fan that propels emissions into the tower and onto scrubber packing. Industrial baghouses basically capture emissions onto specially treated bags that trap emissions. Cyclones are used mainly in metal manufacturing. The cyclonic action of this equipment spins emissions into a separate chamber.

Biofilters and biotrickling filters provide an innovative method of avoiding high costs of removal of emission-saturated bags. The biofiltration chamber is filled with porous media inoculated with microorganisms that break down pollutants in emissions from organic processing materials. Biotrickling filters are used mainly for emissions from inorganic processed materials.


Basically, to remain in accordance with EPA regulations, what manufacturers can do to reduce emissions is make sure they maintain federal and state compliance and install adequate emission control equipment. The methods for controlling emissions exist—it’s up to manufacturers to implement these methods and take any other steps necessary to reduce their emissions output.

Emma Sturgis, the author of this post, is a freelance writer from Boston, MA.

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