October 2023

October 2023

Inside the Newsletter:

TCE & Safer Alternatives | PFAS | Water Efficiency

EPA Proposed TCE Ban and Safer Alternatives

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced a proposal to ban all uses of trichloroethylene (TCE). TCE is a hazardous air pollutant (HAP) and known human carcinogen that can contaminate soil, air, and water. If finalized, the rule would prohibit most uses of TCE within one year, including TCE manufacture and processing for most commercial and all consumer products. In 2022, Minnesota implemented the first-in-the-nation ban on TCE use for all businesses requiring an air permit. However, some Minnesota businesses that are not covered by the ban are still using TCE.

Safer alternatives to TCE are readily available for many uses. MnTAP recently completed a TCE Alternatives project which provided 9 Minnesota businesses with help to transition away from TCE and work to avoid regrettable substitutions such as n-propyl bromide (nPB) and trans-1,2-dichloroethylene (tDCE).

For industrial cleaning, the most common use of TCE, MnTAP’s recommendation and the safest option is aqueous cleaning. We created the Aqueous Cleaning Toolkit to educate our business community about the risks associated with cleaning solvents and degreasers, and to provide clear information about safer alternatives. It provides a guide to the risks associated with TCE and similar solvents and degreasers, the benefits of aqueous cleaning, and how to make the switch.

Explore the toolkit, or contact MnTAP to learn more and keep your company ahead of the curve!

The EPA will accept public comments on the proposed rule for TCE for 45 days following publication in the Federal Register via docket EPA-HQ-OPPT-2020-0642 at www.regulations.gov. EPA will also be hosting a public webinar on November 14, 2023 at 12:00 p.m. CST. Register here.

MnTAP PFAS Industry Survey

MnTAP is executing a grant project funded by EPA to address PFAS source identification and reduction through 2025. As part of our work, we would like input from Minnesota businesses to understand how much is known about PFAS at the business level and how MnTAP can best assist. The survey results will be used to provide targeted PFAS source reduction assistance to Minnesota businesses.

The survey includes the option to be submitted anonymously and any company information collected in the survey will be kept completely confidential.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Kelsey Klucas.


Water Efficiency for MN Businesses – December 5, 2023

The non-metro water efficiency team would like to formally invite you to register for an upcoming MnTAP+MRWA webinar. As you are likely aware, we are wrapping up a two year LCCMR funded project that focused on providing no cost water efficiency assistance to Minnesota businesses outside of the Twin Cities metro area. We will be presenting a 1-hour webinar highlighting our commonly implemented water use reduction strategies in this project on December 5 at 1 pm. I have attached an advertisement and included a sign-up link below. We would love to have you join us!

This webinar will feature examples and case studies of water efficiency practices implemented at Minnesota businesses that significantly reduced water use AND costs at these sites. Come see how these strategies may apply to your site!

Practices covered will be:

  • Replacing nozzles
  • Improved cleaning practices
  • Cooling tower optimization
  • Single pass cooling elimination
  • General domestic water use improvements