Swings and roundabouts in the solvent reduction game

The Department of the Environment (DoE) has adopted a significantly more flexible approach towards controls on emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in 17 new draft guidance notes for processes using coatings and solvents.1 In some sectors, smaller firms have been given an extra ten years to upgrade fully to new plant standards, and for others a new approach based on reductions in mass emissions rather than concentration limits is on offer. But for most sectors the DoE has resisted further slippage in upgrading deadlines - amid signs that low-VOC "compliant coatings" may be slowly gaining acceptance.

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