U.S. Code of Federal Regulations
Regulations most recently checked for updates: Sep 27, 2022
(a) This part applies to any plastics molding and forming process that discharges or may discharge pollutants to waters of the United States or that introduces pollutants into a publicly owned treatment works. Plastics molding and forming processes include processes that blend, mold, form, or otherwise process plastic materials into intermediate or final plastic products. They include commonly recognized processes such as extrusion, molding, coating and laminating, thermoforming, calendering, casting, foaming, cleaning, and finishing.
(b) Plastics molding and forming processes (e.g., extrusion and pelletizing) used by plastics resin manufacturers to process crude intermediate plastic material for shipment off-site are excluded from this regulation and regulated under the organic chemicals, plastics, and synthetic fibers category. Plastics molding and forming processes used by plastic resin manufacturers to process crude intermediate plastic materials, which are further processed on-site into intermediate or final plastics products in molding and forming processes, are controlled by the effluent limitations guidelines and standards for the plastics molding and forming category in this part.
(c) Processes that coat a plastic material onto a substrate may fall within the definition of electroplating and metal finishing as defined in 40 CFR parts 413 and 433. These coating processes are excluded from the effluent limitations guidelines and standards for the electroplating and metal finishing point source categories and are subject to the plastics molding and forming regulation in this part.
(d) Coating of plastic material onto a formed metal substrate is also covered by the plastics molding and forming effluent limitations guidelines and standards and is not covered by the specific metal forming guidelines such as aluminum forming (40 CFR part 467), copper forming (40 CFR part 468), and nonferrous metals forming (40 CFR part 471). However, the plastics molding and forming effluent limitations guidelines and standards in this part apply only to the coating process; the metal forming operations are subject to the specific metal forming regulation.
(e) Research and development laboratories that produce plastic products using a plastics molding and forming process are subject to the effluent limitations guidelines and standards in this part if the plastics molding and forming process discharges process water. The mass of plastic product produced in the plastics molding and forming process is not considered when determining the applicability of the plastics molding and forming regulation in this part to plastics molding and forming processes at research and development laboratories.
(f) Chemical and thermal reticulation processes for polyurethane foam are not subject to the effluent limitations guidelines and standards in this part. Water used in those processes is not considered to be process water as defined in this regulation. Processes used to further mold or form the reticulated foam are subject, however, to this regulation if they discharge process water.
(g) Processes used to regenerate cellulose and to produce a product (e.g., rayon) from the regenerated cellulose are not subject to the effluent limitations guidelines and standards in this part. Processes that mold or form cellulose derivatives (e.g., cellulose acetate) are subject to the effluent limitations guidelines and standards in this part if they discharge process water.
In addition to the definitions set forth in 40 CFR part 401, the following definitions apply to this part:
(a) “Plastics molding and forming” is a manufacturing process in which plastic materials are blended, molded, formed, or otherwise processed into intermediate or final products.
(b) “Process water” is any raw, service, recycled, or reused water that contacts the plastic product or contacts shaping equipment surfaces such as molds and mandrels that are, or have been, in contact with the plastic product.
(c) “Contact cooling and heating water” is process water that contacts the raw materials or plastic product for the purpose of heat transfer during the plastics molding and forming process.
(d) “Cleaning water” is process water used to clean the surface of an intermediate or final plastic product or to clean the surfaces of equipment used in plastics molding and forming that contact an intermediate or final plastic product. It includes water used in both the detergent wash and rinse cycles of a cleaning process.
(e) “Finishing” water is processed water used to remove waste plastic material generated during a finishing process or to lubricate a plastic product during a finishing process. It includes water used to machine or to assemble intermediate or final plastic products.
(f) “Plastic material” is a synthetic organic polymer (i.e., a thermoset polymer, a thermoplastic polymer, or a combination of a natural polymer and a thermoset or thermoplastic polymer) that is solid in its final form and that was shaped by flow. The material can be either a homogeneous polymer or a polymer combined with fillers, plasticizers, pigments, stabilizers, or other additives.
(g) “Crude intermediate plastic material” is plastic material formulated in an on-site polymerization process.
(h) “Mass of pollutant that can be discharged” is the pollutant mass calculated by multiplying the pollutant concentration times the average process water usage flow rate.
The “monthly average” regulatory values shall be the basis for the monthly average effluent limitations guidelines and standards in direct discharge permits. Compliance with the monthly average effluent limitations guidelines and standards is required regardless of the number of samples analyzed and averaged.