The Flexible Packaging Association’s (FPA) Environmental, Health, and Safety (EHS) Committee met for its quarterly meeting at Printpack’s Atlanta, GA, headquarters February 27-28, 2018. During the meeting, Committee members focused on reviewing the accuracy of the data provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that EPA intends to use in the Risk and Technology Review (RTR) of Paper & Other Web Coatings (POWC) Maximum Achievable Control Technology (MACT) Rule. The outcome of the mandated RTR is critically important to FPA members, as it has an impact on compliance with air emission standards and the potential need for additional control equipment at a significant cost to meet more stringent standards. It is noteworthy to mention that over the years, FPA has proactively worked on this issue with EPA staff, many of whom have now retired. FPA’s historical perspective and knowledge base is viewed by Ms. Kelley Spence, EPA project lead, as helpful in accelerating the project work, which is now on a fast track for completion due to a court order.
During a meeting with the EPA in October 2017, FPA invited the RTR project team to tour FPA member facilities to familiarize them with coating and lamination processes, including understanding the effectiveness of the most current emissions control equipment utilized by the industry. As a result, the EPA’s POWC MACT team visited two FPA member facilities in NC. The facility visits provided member companies an opportunity to explain and underscore the fact that the flexible packaging industry has reduced the use of Hazardous Air Pollutant (HAP) emitting coatings and inks by over 90%, and consequently, many manufacturing facilities are no longer major HAP sources. This is a significant environmental accomplishment for the industry, and expected to result in a no risk outcome in the current RTR. FPA intends to remain engaged until the completion of the assessment to ensure this outcome.
FPA reviews and updates the Environmental Issues Index quarterly, and the document was reviewed during the meeting with the Committee members. The index lists, in detail, all of the environmental issues that may impact the flexible packaging industry, and with members’ input, a plan of action was developed to address those concerns. The updated document is posted on the FPA website for members’ use. Additionally, Committee members received a collection of documents relevant to the flexible packaging industry that appeared in various publications over the past three months.
FPA recently formed a Food Contact Substances Transparency in Supply Chain Task Group, which met in conjunction with the EHS Committee meeting. The Task Group is intended to be a standalone group, currently planning to meet every six months. The purpose of the Task Group is to review issues related to food contact substances, develop coherent supply chain communication, submit comments on agency proposals, and engage with other trade associations, to be a collective force in addressing issues of concern.
The next FPA EHS Committee Meeting will be held July 18-19, 2018, in Chicago, IL, and hosted by Sun Chemical Corporation.
For More Information
For more information on the FPA EHS Committee, or its activities, please contact Ram Singhal at email@example.com or 410-694-0800.