Unless you've spent the last year or so living in a cave, odds are good that you've heard of the EPA's proposed Metal Products & Machinery Rule. In a nutshell, MP&M proposes to dramatically limit pollutants from job shop waste streams. Opponents to the rule disagree with much of the EPA's data and argue that the proposal is not viable from a financial or technological standpoint. If approved "as is," the rule would have an enormous impact on the metal finishing industry in the U.S., putting between 10% and 40% (depending on who you ask) of the nation's finishing shops out of business.
Not surprisingly, MP&M has been a rather large topic of conversation on the web. Pages with MP&M-related content have been among the most frequently visited pages on PFOnline in 2001, and keying in "metal products and machinery" into a search engine like Yahoo! yields hundreds of results varying in relevance. That said, I thought I'd take the opportunity to draw attention to some of the web's best resources for information about MP&M.
EPA's Metal Products & Machinery Site
Perhaps the best way to acquaint yourself with MP&M is get your information straight from the horse's mouth. The site features a background of the rule, an explanation of effluent guidelines, an overview of the EPA's data-collection activities, a list of agency contacts, and of course, the proposed rule itself.
Along with AESF and MFSA, the National Association of Metal Finishers is leading the charge against MP&M. The recently redesigned NAMF web site features a vast number of useful resources for learning about MP&M. Click on the "Government Relations" button to access a wealth of MP&M information, including suggestions for communicating effectively with the EPA, a downloadable overview of the MP&M Rule (in Powerpoint format), and much more.
MFSA.org is the online home of the Metal Finishing Suppliers' Association. The site features an MP&M page, a list of MP&M talking points, regulatory updates, and sample letters for those considering submitting comments about the proposed ruling.
One of the most notable aspects of AESF's MP&M coverage is the inclusion of Frank Altmayer's comments that were submitted to the U.S. EPA following his three-minute oral testimony at the March 8, 2001 public hearing in Chicago, IL (click on the Gov't Relations tab to access it). Altmayer is the President of Scientific Control Laboratories, Inc., and also AESF's Technical Director. His comments represent one of the best, most coherent arguments against MP&M to date. Mr. Altmayer has also authored a sampling guidance report for MP&M, which is accesible via AESF's site, as well as www.sclweb.com.
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