Environmental Technology Verification Program

Article From: Products Finishing,

Posted on: 5/1/1998

In 1995, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) started the Environmental Technology Verification (ETV) program to verify the environmental performance of commercially available technologies through the evaluation of objective and quality-assured data.

In 1995, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) started the Environmental Technology Verification (ETV) program to verify the environmental performance of commercially available technologies through the evaluation of objective and quality-assured data. These evaluations provide potential purchasers and permitters with an independent and credible assessment of these technologies. It is important to note that the ETV program does not certify or rank technologies. By verifying technologies, the program will establish the truth of their performance under specific, predetermined criteria or protocols and adequate data quality assurance procedures.

The goal of the ETV programs is to identify and draw out promising industrial materials and processes from the private sector through EPA-supported performance verification. This verification of the performance data will be provided to purchasers and permitters. Organizations are selected for each pilot technology area to operate that pilot and conduct unbiased, third-party verification testing.

In 1997, EPA selected Concurrent Technologies Corp. (CTC), Johnstown, Pennsylvania, as the partner organization to operate the Coatings and Coating Equipment Program (CCEP), one of eight existing ETV pilot technology areas. The objective of CCEP is to verify the environmental performance of organic coating materials and coating application equipment needed by finishers because of their potential for widespread pollution prevention and multi-media emissions reduction benefits.

CCEP operates by first identifying focus areas (types of coatings or application equipment) that will benefit by third party verification testing. Focus areas are selected by reviewing compiled information from several sources, including market statistics on past and projected growth of coating types, and input from the program stakeholders, trade associations, end users and vendors. Once a focus area is selected, material and equipment vendors who manufacture products particular to that focus area are solicited via Commerce Business Daily announcements and direct mailings to provide products for testing.

Testing is conducted in accordance with a test plan developed under EPA quality control and assurance guidelines that are approved by CTC, EPA and the specific technology vendor. A report is prepared documenting the results. A verification statement, which is a brief summary of the results of the testing, is the final product of the program. This verification statement can be used by the vendor to document the environmental benefit and the associated third-party performance verification of a product.

CTC, an independent non-profit organization, is committed to assisting industry and government achieve world-class competitiveness. Through special concurrent engineering framework, CTC provides comprehensive solutions that improve product quality, productivity and cost effectiveness. The professional staff of CTC has the requisite experience, knowledge and resources to rapidly and effectively meet the diverse needs of clients by transitioning appropriate science, technology and management applications. CTC operates more than 600,000 sq ft of applied research and demonstration factory facilities in Johnstown and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, as well as ten regional offices across the country.

As part of the demonstration factories at Johnstown, CTC has a full-scale, industrial, conveyorized organic finishing line and coatings testing laboratory that is used for testing, evaluation and demonstration projects for industry and government clients. The finishing line includes pretreatment, electrocoating, liquid paint and powder coating capabilities and various curing technologies. The equipment is sized to process products up to four-ft-by-three-ft-by-three-ft and weighing up to 250 lbs.

The ETV program at CTC is being lead by Brian Schweitzer, who has managed numerous projects involving testing, evaluation and demonstration of coating materials and equipment for government and industry clients. Members of the CTC technical staff have extensive OEM coatings application, industrial coating process and coating testing experience. In order to assist with providing guidance for this ETV program, CTC has formed a stakeholder group. This group consists of representatives from industry associations, end users, consultants, environmental organizations, technology assistance providers and state and regional EPA offices. Included in this stakeholder group are representatives from the National Paint and Coatings Association, Powder Coating Institute, Association for Finishing Processes of the Society of Manufacturing Engineers, Chemical Coaters Association International, Federation of Societies for Coatings Technology, American Society for Testing Materials and American Automobile Manufacturers Association.

At this time, CTC is in the process of identifying potential coatings and coating equipment focus areas that will benefit from independent third-party testing through increased market penetration and end-user acceptance. To facilitate this process, feedback is especially needed from vendors who have commercially available coating materials and coating application equipment they are interested in submitting to the program. Feedback is also needed from end users who are interested in third-party verification data on a particular type of coating material or equipment. For further information contact Mr. Schweitzer at 814-269-2772.

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