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AHFA Contracts With Stratus For Plywood Research

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The American Home Furnishings Alliance has contracted with Stratus Environmental Solutions Inc. to provide industry-wide research and guidance related to new air regulations impacting manufacturers of plywood and composite wood products. Furniture manufacturers have been subject to a number of air pollution control requirements under the Maximum Achievable Control Technology (MACT) rules, which are mandated under the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments. The Plywood and Composite Wood Products MACT is the last remaining MACT rule that will apply to most traditional wood furniture manufacturing facilities. Previous MACT requirements have included the Wood Furniture Finishing MACT and the Boiler MACT. AHFA has been actively involved with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in negotiating Plywood MACT requirements on behalf of the home furnishings industry. With the assistance of engineers at the Blackburg, Va.-based Stratus Environmental and attorneys at Raleigh, N.C.-based Kilpatrick Stockton, AHFA obtained specific rulings on how the Plywood MACT applies to operations at furniture manufacturing facilities. Working with AHFA staff and industry representatives, Stratus developed a Plywood MACT toolkit that addresses common furniture operations such as dry kilns, hot and cold press operations, curved wood components, edge banding, panel flow machines and many other functions that the EPA determined may be affected by the new air regulations. In addition, part of the toolkit focuses on true composite wood manufacturing for companies with particleboard manufacturing facilities. A draft of the toolkit has been completed, and the final document will be available by the end of the year. The draft can be viewed by AHFA members from the environmental section of the AHFA website, www.ahfa.us. Related to the toolkit development, AHFA enlisted Stratus to develop toxic air pollutant emission factors from dry kiln operations. These factors will be especially important for kilns at facilities with particleboard manufacturing operations and for all kilns in North Carolina, where state air toxics rules apply. “The work on the dry kiln emission factors has just begun and will be our major focus in 2006,” states Dean Kaiser, president of Stratus Environmental Solutions. AHFA developed a similar “toolkit” to help manufacturers comply with the National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants for Industrial Boilers – known as Boiler MACT. The Boiler MACT toolkit also is available to AHFA members in the environmental section of the Alliance’s website. Stratus Environmental Solutions provides scientific, engineering, laboratory and regulatory resources to manufacturing companies throughout the Southeast and Midwest. The company is a member of AHFA’s Supplier Division. The American Home Furnishings Alliance – located in High Point, N.C. and Washington, D.C. – is the largest trade organization for home furnishings companies in the world and represents more than 250 leading furniture manufacturers and distributors, as well as 225 suppliers to the furniture industry worldwide.

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