An update of environmental and safety issues for your area.
By Marci Kinter
If you’re not staying up to date on environmental and safety issues in your area/region, you’re missing out on an opportunity to help your company. Establishing and maintaining a working knowledge base of environmental compliance and health-and-safety-related rules and regulatory updates can aid you in establishing a best-practices scenario for your operation while avoiding potential costly penalties. Plus, you’ll put your company in better position to market itself as a green or sustainable operation to incoming clients.
What follows are just a few recent updates on legislation from around the country. Visit sgia.org for on-going regulatory updates.
Updating air regulations in Arizona
The Maricopa County Air Quality Department in Arizona has released a proposed directive updating Rule 337, Graphic Arts. This rule regulates emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and, most importantly, the department has included digital printing operations within its list of impacted facilities. And, this rule does impact manufacturers and suppliers to our industry.
While the proposal is not yet in effect, it’s important to understand its ramifications. Digital printing has been defined as a method of printing that does not use a physical master, stencil or plates, but uses an electronic device to transfer variable data, in the form of an image, from a computer to a variety of substrates. Digital printing methods include, but are not limited to, inkjet printing, electrophotographic printing, dye-sublimation printing, thermal wax printing, and solid ink printing. The rule’s requirements also apply to screen-printing operations.
Under the rule’s provisions, manufacturers and suppliers are defined as any person offering for sale within Maricopa County any VOC-containing materials for use in graphic-arts operations. This would include both screen and digital operations. MSDSs or product data sheets are to be supplied showing the material name, manufacturer’s name, specific mixing instructions, if applicable, and VOC content of the product as applied. It’s important to note that the rule does exempt radiation-cured inks and coatings from coverage under the regulation.
For both screen and digital operations, there are proposed VOC-content limitations for ink systems as well as requirements to reduce VOC emissions from cleaning solvents through the use of work practices.