Global Air-Pollution Regulations: Variation is the Norm
By Jim Drago Garlock Sealing Technologies |
The chemical process industries (CPI) are, by their very nature, global in scope. While chemical process operators share many common aspects (in terms of the use of chemical engineering unit operations), the location of their operation brings about different requirements when it comes to managing gaseous and particulate pollutants, because different countries have different regulations with regard to air pollution and how to control it [ 1].
The global regulatory climate is characterized by extremes, ranging from strict controls and enforcement at one end of the spectrum to what essentially comes down to trust that companies will do the right thing in other areas. At one end of the spectrum is the strict control model — best exemplified in the U.S., with its complex, bureaucratic and some would say impossible regulatory requirements — that typically involves regular inspection of literally tens of thousands of individual components in a typical chemical process plant.
At the other end of the spectrum is a model that is guided by trust — trust that industrial operators will be guided by a sense of corporate or social responsibility, and pressure from the media and public opinion (rather than on strict governmental…