See the latest EHS federal and state regulatory updates due to COVID-19

Using solvents to clean production and maintenance parts as well as equipment at facilities is common in nearly all industrial facilities. New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) issued Part 226 of Title 6 CRR-NY several years ago to regulate various solvent-based cleaning operations to reduce emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOC) into the atmosphere. Until now, Part 226 has only regulated solvent metal cleaning in remote reservoir cleaners (i.e., degreasers or Safety-Kleen® parts washers) and other similar equipment. NYSDEC has recently revised the current regulation, as well as introduced a second regulation which regulates the use of solvents as a cleaning agent and establishes VOC content limits for cleaning solvents used in operations not covered by other regulations.

Part 226 has historically controlled processes such as cold cleaning degreasing, conveyorized degreasing and open top vapor degreasers. The requirements to control VOC relied upon limiting the vapor pressure of cleaning solvent used, and work practices to minimize the potential for evaporation of solvents during use and storage. With the recent change, the existing Part 226 regulation has been renamed Subpart 226-1, and the following important changes have been made which take effect on December 1, 2020.

  • The rule's applicability will expand from “solvent metal cleaning” to “solvent cleaning”, which includes cleaning any material using solvent in a cold cleaner and other solvent cleaning devices listed in the rule. Note that cleaning of porous material that may absorb solvent (e.g., fabric, wood, leather) is still prohibited under the new Part 226-1.
  • The approach for limiting VOC content in the limiting solvent will shift from the requirement to use cleaners with a maximum vapor pressure of 1.0 mm Hg, to a maximum VOC content of 25 grams per liter of VOC.
  • The rule introduces VOC controls for post-solder printed circuit boards (PCBs) and related adjunct processes which must use cleaning solutions with 150 grams VOC per liter or less.

Until December 1, 2020, the current Part 226 requirements apply.

NYSDEC has also finalized a new regulation, Subpart 226-2, which focuses on the use of industrial cleaning solvents in a wide array of applications that were not covered by other regulations. This new rule “specifically applies to the cleaning of foreign materials from surfaces of unit operations such as large and small manufactured components, parts, equipment, floors, tanks, and vessels.” Facilities that have actual emission of three or more tons of VOC from the use of industrial cleaning solvents on a rolling 12-month basis are subject to the requirements. Emissions from all methods of cleaning, including by hand, will be considered toward the applicability criteria. However, emissions from cleaning using techniques that are otherwise regulated by NYSDEC (i.e., Subpart 226-1 for cold cleaning degreasers, Part 228 for surface coatings and adhesive use or solvents with an environmental rating of A which comply with Part 212 requirements through demonstrating they meet T-BACT) are not to be included in the rolling 12-month total and are not regulated by Subpart 226-2.

A facility that uses industrial cleaning solvents may need to establish a process to calculate rolling 12-month VOC emissions from the use of industrial cleaning solvents to confirm applicability. If the 3 tons per year threshold is exceeded, facilities must meet work practice standards to prevent emissions of VOC from storage and use of industrial cleaning solvents to minimize evaporation. Additionally, the industrial cleaning solvents used must meet VOC content or vapor pressure requirements. Alternatively, emissions from such cleaning operations can be routed to a control device with 85% control.

NYSDEC has indicated that the changes were made with the intent to align 6 CCR-NY with the 2012 Ozone Transport Commission's Model Rule and comply with the 2006 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Industrial Cleaning Solvents Control Technique Guidelines.

If your facility uses solvents to clean parts or equipment used on site, Trinity can assist in determining if emissions exceed the Subpart 226-2 applicability threshold and the effect these changes to Part 226 will have on your operations overall. Please contact Brian Noel at (518) 205-9000 x1620 or to discuss your facility's details.