Victory for U.S. PCB Industry Officially Decreed

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Northbrook, Ill. — IPC — Association Connecting Electronics Industries announces that its triumph over the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) Metal Products and Machinery (MP&M) effluent guidelines became official on May 13, 2003, when the Federal Register (68 FR May 13, 2003 page 25685) declared, "EPA is not revising any limitations or standards for facilities that would have been subject to this [Printed Circuit Board] subcategory (page 25705)."

In January 2001, EPA first proposed the MP&M effluent limitation guidelines, which reportedly included considerably miscalculated costs and significantly understated projections regarding the impact on industry. More than 30 IPC members and staff then responded by testifying at various EPA public hearings across the countr, and IPC filed more than 300 pages of written comments in July 2001 requesting an overall reassessment of the rule.

In addition, Fern Abrams, IPC's director of environmental policy, testified before a U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Small Business, Subcommittee on Regulatory Reform and Oversight in November 2001 regarding EPA's failure to conduct adequate regulatory analysis.

EPA then issued a revised proposal in the form of a June 2002 Notice of Data Availability (NODA) with a few revisions. Consequently, IPC responded again in August 2002 with more written comments on EPA's NODA, both commending EPA for the corrections and calling for further changes to correct the rule's inflated environmental benefits. IPC's efforts culminated in EPA signing a final rule on MP&M effluent limit guidelines that did not include any new regulations for the PCB industry.

IPC is a trade association dedicated to the competitive excellence and financial success of its more than 2,300 member companies, which represent all facets of the electronic interconnection industry, including design, printed circuit board manufacturing and electronics assembly. For more information, visit



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