WASHINGTON - The U.S. EPA has approved an action removing the solvent ethylene glycol mono-butyl ether (EGBE) from the Clean Air Act's list of hazardous air pollutants, also known as air toxics. EGBE remains on the EPA's list of VOCs that must be reported under the Toxic Release Inventory (TRI). The delisting move, which concludes a lengthy review following a 1997 petition filed by the American Chemistry Council, is being hailed by The Dow Chemical Co., a major EGBE producer.

"This is excellent news for our customers," said Mark Bassett, senior Business Commercial leader, Dow Oxygenated Solvents. He said the action will allow wider use of Dow's Butyl CELLOSOLVE solvent, described as the company's "most cost-effective coupling solvent."

In announcing the delisting, the EPA said that "after extensively reviewing the levels of EGBE in the air, and the health and environmental impacts associated with those levels, EPA has concluded that potential outdoor exposures to EGBE may not reasonably be anticipated to cause human health or environmental problems." The agency said EGBE's uses include water-based coatings for various applications, varnishes, vinyl and acrylic paints, enamels, and spray lacquers.

More information on the delisting, including the final rule and the Federal Register notice when published, is available on the EPA website located at www.epa.gov/airlinks/airlinks1.html.