EPA signed an agreement last week with Autoliv Automobile Safety Products Inc., a manufacturer of explosive products for use in the air bag industry, to test an alternative treatment of hazardous wastes generated at their Promontory, Utah, facility.
Currently, the wastes are treated off-site at a treatment, storage and disposal facility that is permitted to accept hazardous wastes from outside sources and treat it by open burning.
Although open burning is an approved treatment method under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), the pollution from open burning cannot be controlled.
Autoliv proposed to adapt their highly advanced metals recovery facility to process their hazardous wastes on-site.
This innovation will allow the wastes to go through a permitted air pollution control system, therefore, reducing the amount of air pollution released to the environment.
To implement this project, EPA and the Utah Department of Environmental Quality will grant Autoliv a conditional exemption from RCRA requirements that regulate hazardous waste treatment, storage and disposal.
Autoliv can test this alternative treatment through Project XL, an EPA initiative that tests innovative ways of achieving better and less costly public health and environmental conjunction with greater accountability to stakeholders.
Providing flexibility for companies who strive to attain environmentally superior results is a key element of Project XL, said EPA.
By using this process, Autoliv could potentially eliminate the open burning of 158,000 pounds of explosive material per year, which in turn will eliminate 22,876 pounds per year of particulate emissions, according to EPA.
More information about Project XL can be found at www.epa.gov/ProjectXL.
by Virginia Sutcliffe