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Washington conference emphasizes foundry industry involvement.

Foudaries must join other industries in curbing federal legislation that would create more stringent environmental regulations, two U.S. senators warned attendees of the recent Foundry industry Government Affairs Conference.

Speaking to the more than 100 conferees at the March gathering in Washington, D.C., Sens. Orrin G. Hatch RUT) and John H. Chafee (R-RI) reviewed pending legislation in Congress.

Already, Hatch said, hearings are being held on two bills that would create additional workplace criminal offenses and increase overall penalties for Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) violations. The bills would drastically expand the circumstances in which corporate officers could be exposed to criminal prosecution.

Although adequate criminal sanctions exist for OSHA violations, expanding themt would widen the regulatory gap between business and government, eventually eroding workplace safety and hazard abatement, Hatch said.

Conference attendees also were presented with a list of 57 environmental, health and safety legislative actions that will be considered or concluded by Congress in this session. Most will affect foundry operations, and many could prove unnecessary and costly for foundries.

In addition, the Senate is considering 10 amendments that would change the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), according to the AFS D.C. office's list of pending legislation in the 102nd Congress.

Chafee, who also related his own foundry experience, told of the pressures on Congress to push environmental issues. Since environmental issues are popular "back home," lawmakers are aware that conservation legislation can win votes, he said.

Industry should be more visible as conservators of the nation's natural resources, Chafee said. He Galled for an environmental ethic' that would mobilize industry in such a fashion that d would strengthen U.S. companies competing in the global marketplace.

Chafee, commended the foundry industry for sponsoring research on ways to control and recycle waste products. The industry should continue this initiative and also keep Congress informed of its conservation efforts, he added. AFS Foundry Waste Survey

Gary Mosher, AFS director of environmental affairs, reported that a recently completed foundry industry waste survey showed that less than 3% of all foundry solid wastes are hazardous and that to bulk can be or is being recycled.

Research has found that more than 80% of high-volume foundry byproducts (such as sand) can be recycled successfully as a material for road beds, construction grading, berms and cover for landfills, he said.

Noting that the foundry industry already reuses enormous amounts of sand in its own operations, Mosher said the annual 7 million tons of disposable sand could be a low-cost resource for construction material. The high annual cost to foundries to haul and dispose of wastes makes sand reclamation one of the most pressing foundry management concerns, he added. Other Issues

Katherine Kaufman, policy analyst for the U.S. EPA, oulined the procedures for writing regulations such as those proposed for inclusion in the revised Clean Air Act.

initially, a list of toxic pollutants is drawn up (the Clean Air Act identifies 189). The pollutants are categorized according to their sources. Risk factors to populations located near emission sources are then evaluated. Emission reduction goals are established after the industries involved are given an opportunity to respond.

The foundry industry is on the list of some 400 emission sources from which the EPA seeks voluntary emission reduction as the first effort in controlling toxic emissions, Kaufman said.

William Becker, executive director of the Association of Local Air Pollution Control, said state and territorial agencies are responsible for implementing federal clean air regulations after the EPA develops standards to control emissions. The states implement these regulations and establish permit programs that will take another five years to complete. Details such as permit cost and duration are yet to be established.

A Foundry Industry Task Force has been formed at AFS to work with the EPA to determine how emission information is to be evaluated and used.
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Title Annotation:Foundry Industry Government Affairs Conference; Washington, D.C.
Author:Bex, Tom
Publication:Modern Casting
Date:May 1, 1991
Previous Article:Environmental concerns dominate 40th annual meeting.
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