In September, PMPA members learned about the proposed Rule 1144 for the four-county Los Angeles/Southern California Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD). Former PMPA president Jim Hemingway of Alger Manufacturing LLC, Ontario, Calif., provided the information.
In early October, PMPA leaders and I attended a public hearing and made comments on the proposed rule. We met with other representatives of the metalworking industry and with metalworking fluids suppliers. We also submitted formal written comments to clarify terms and certain aspects of the proposed rule. This rule targets the elimination of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) in metalworking fluids and rust preventives in the Los Angeles area.
The PMPA mission statement is "to lead progressive members toward global competitiveness and sustainable success while effectively representing the precision machining industry." Sustainable success means more than just sustaining the business. In its fullest definition, it also recognizes that we must be good neighbors and use practices that are environmentally sustainable as well.
I was not surprised that such a rule came out of the Los Angeles basin. Prior to modern development, the original name of the basin was "Valley of the Smokes." That was because of the naturally occurring tars and organics on the land’s
surface and the area’s unique geography.
PMPA continues to work with our member companies, suppliers and the SCAQMD to assure that the air quality goals, the competitiveness and sustainability of our precision machining industry in the Los Angeles area, and the contractual requirements of our customers are all served by whatever rules are implemented.
Using U.S. Census figures, I estimate the proposed rule could potentially affect as many as 3,222 precision machining-related jobs in only Orange, Los Angeles, Riverside and San Bernardino counties. The rule could also cause $577 million in lost sales for those shops.
Sound science, commitment to protecting and serving our customers, and employing responsible technologies are goals we all share. PMPA will continue to work on this issue to help achieve a win-win-win outcome.
The first win would be for the environment and human health. The second win would be for the sustainability of precision machining as an economic base in the L.A. area. And the third win would be for the customers of our industry. These customers count on their anti-lock brakes not locking up; their fuel vapor recovery units recovering all of the fuel vapors; and the aerospace, munitions and solar energy parts functioning as designed.
This can only happen if we maintain our processes as consistent and capable, rather than a source of unanticipated variability. Assuring that our industry has the time needed to manage the transition to new products without negatively affecting our customers is a major focus of PMPA’s comments on the proposed rule.
Together, we will make a difference—a responsible and sustainable difference that cleans our air and maintains our global competitiveness. To learn more about the proposed Rule 1144 and how it could affect your shop’s operations if it is widely adopted, download the .pdf document at http://tinyurl.com/44qs25. To learn more about the PMPA’s comments and activities in this area, go to www.pmpa.org and look at "Breaking News."