PIA and Southern California printing industry group successfully intervene to deflect proposed change to regional air pollution rules that would have limited printers to energy-cured inks and coatings, based on alleged air hazards from other processes

PITTSBURGH, Pennsylvania , May 12, 2014 (press release) – In a major victory for the printing and graphic arts industry, Printing Industries of America’s Environmental, Health, and Safety expert Gary Jones and Printing Industries Inc. of Southern California successfully collaborated to dispel the argument that energy-cured inks and coatings (e.g., ultraviolet and electron beam) should be mandated as the only option available to printers in Southern California. The outcome is significant. It preserves the ability of printers to select which printing process they can use to produce products for their customers that will provide the greatest business, economic, and environmental benefit.

Gary Jones, Assistant Vice President, Environmental, Health, and Safety Affairs, and Gerry Bonetto, Vice President, Government Affairs, Printing Industries Inc. of Southern California, prepared an in-depth letter that was sent to the Governing Board of the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) that was considering amendments to their air pollution regulation for the printing industry, Rule 1130. The SCAQMD was revising this rule to meet guidelines issued by the United States Environmental Protection Agency for lithographic, letterpress, and flexographic packaging printing. Several SCAQMD Governing Board members questioned why printers couldn’t exclusively use energy-cured inks and coatings. The letter was followed up by expert testimony given on behalf of Printing Industries Inc. of Southern California by Gary Jones at the public hearing on May 2, 2014.

SCAQMD is one of the leading air quality agencies in the nation. Its jurisdiction encompasses the greater Los Angeles area, which is known to have some of the worst air quality in the country. The mandates set by SCAQMD are almost always adopted by other air quality agencies nationally, and there was concern that the proposal to mandate the used of energy-cured inks and coating would quickly spread across the country.

“All printing processes have their own unique technological and environmental advantages, depending on the particular application,” said Jones. “We provided the SCAQMD Governing Board with critical environmental, technical, and economic impact information about lithographic and letterpress printing. This allowed them to make an informed decision about how the regulations should be structured and why it is not necessary to strictly use one process, in this case energy-cured inks.”

The Environmental, Health, and Safety team’s primary responsibility is to provide membership and local affiliates with EHS assistance in understanding and meeting regulatory requirements, implementing sustainability programs, and providing expertise when it’s needed most.

While the national organization of Printing Industries of America provides comprehensive services to meet all of your environmental, health, and safety consulting needs, your local affiliate may also offer environmental support. To view a listing of the affiliate regions, as well as contact information for each affiliate, visit www.printing.org/affiliates.

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