Although water pollution control is the focus topic of the August issue, should ion exchange, filtration, electrowinning, reverse osmosis, countercurrent rinsing, spray rinses and other technologies be considered pollution prevention?
The effluent most finishers discharge is cleaner than the water that enters the plant. Just ask the finishers who "clean up" incoming water before using it in their finishing processes.
The government likes to use the term pollution prevention. And all of these technologies are aimed at keeping pollution out of the air, water and land. But do finishers really pollute? There are not many anymore. The government, EPA, industry and citizens' groups such as the Sierra Club and Greenpeace have seen to that.
Perhaps a better expression is resource conservation and recovery. When finishers lose metals to their waste treatment systems, they lose money. When they dump cleaners because they are overloaded with oils, they lose money. Therefore, most finishers have taken action to conserve these resources, recover as much as possible and reuse as much as possible.
Most finishers have implemented the Best Available Control Technologies in their facilities. Still, finishers are badgered and threatened with new legislation and limits. That is why it is critical to support the Government Relations Committee, a joint effort of the American Electroplaters and Surface Finishers' Society (AESF), the National Association of Metal Finishers (NAMF) and the Metal Finishing Suppliers' Association (MFSA).
Not only does this group require funds to operate, it needs information and statistics on the finishing industry to support its challenge of EPA and federal regulations that are oppressive and not founded on good scientific data.
The NAMF and MFSA and AESF have donated money to the program, along with many of the AESF branches. One notable AESF branch is the Milwaukee Branch. This group, with the notable efforts of Jaime and John Maliszewski of Reliable Plating, John Lindstedt of Artistic Plating, Branch President Eric Olander of EPI, Inc. and several others, raised $31,000 to support the government relations program.
To help obtain the data needed to support the committee's position and instill in legislators' minds the importance and viability of this industry, the three societies also established the Surface Finishing Market Research Board (SFMRB). The data collected can be used not only by the Government Relations Committee, but by industry, marketers and others with an interest in the surface finishing industry.
Soon, the SFMRB will be sending out a survey on pretreatment. Please take the time to fill it out and return it. The survey will also appear on several web sites, including GardnerWeb. It is a simple survey, but the information will help you and the finishing industry tremendously.