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EPA Official Calls TRSA’s Voluntary NPE Phase-Out ‘Remarkable Accomplishment’

Staff Writer |

WASHINGTON — EPA Deputy Administrator Bob Perciasepe expressed his satisfaction with the agency’s partnership with TRSA on environmental guidelines at the association’s recent Leadership and Legislative Conference here, TRSA reports.

“We have a couple of tasks in front of us,” Perciasepe says, “but my main purpose in coming here was to thank you for your work and show you how it fits into the larger context of what we are trying to do.”

Perciasepe referred to the voluntary phasing out of nonylphenol ethoxylates (NPEs) from detergent and to the handling of solvent-contaminated wipers as two examples of how the agency and the association are “developing a shared vision of where we need to go.” He called the voluntary NPE phase-out a “remarkable accomplishment.”

TRSA reports that 85% of its members are now using NPE-free formulas, and the remaining 15% are on schedule to make the change. Perciasepe, who first worked with TRSA in the ’90s when he was head of the agency’s Office of Water, recently guided the agency’s 2013 adoption of rules for enabling shop towels to avoid regulation as solid waste, a classification that TRSA says would have resulted in costly transportation and disposal requirements.

Perciasepe says such cooperation helps fulfill the agency’s goals of working with industry to improve the environment through alternative approaches to “command-and-control” regulation, according to TRSA. But Perciasepe stresses that the wiper rule and the NPE phase-out must be continuing efforts, and will be better enabled through nonmember voluntary compliance.

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