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Effluent Guidelines

Chlorine and Chlorinated Hydrocarbon Manufacturing Industry

EPA began a new rulemaking in 2005 to address wastewater discharges from facilities that manufacture chlorine and certain chlorinated hydrocarbons (CCH). The Agency considered chlorinated hydrocarbon manufacturers in this rulemaking based in part on the type of manufacturing process involved. We collected additional information on CCH manufacturing operations in order to:
  • develop a profile of this industrial sector
  • verify and evaluate pollutant discharges that were identified in the 2004 Effluent Guidelines Program Plan
  • explore opportunities for additional pollutant reductions
After considering the data it collected on the CCH industry, EPA delisted the industry from the 2012 Effluent Guidelines Program Plan and discontinued the rulemaking.
On this page:

What Are Chlorinated Hydrocarbons?

Chlorinated hydrocarbons are chemical compounds of chlorine, hydrogen, and carbon atoms only. Many of them form the building blocks of other chemical products such as pharmaceuticals, plastics, and solvents.


EPA conducts an annual review of existing Effluent Guidelines to identify possible revisions to the regulations. During the 2003 annual review, EPA selected the Organic Chemicals, Plastics and Synthetic Fibers (OCPSF) category (40 CFR Part 414) for a more detailed review. This category ranked highest in reported pollutant discharges among all industrial point source categories. Dioxins were among the primary pollutants responsible for the high pollutant discharge levels.
EPA identified the manufacture of the following chlorinated hydrocarbons: ethylene dichloride (EDC), vinyl chloride monomer (VCM), and polyvinyl chloride (PVC), as possible sources of dioxins and conducted a detailed study of these manufacturing processes as part of the 2004 Effluent Guidelines Program Plan.
EPA also selected the Chlor-Alkali Subcategory of the Inorganic Chemicals Manufacturing Category (40 CFR Part 415, Subpart F) for possible revision. EPA added this category because many chlor-alkali operations are co-located with EDC, VCM, and PVC manufacturing.

Which Effluent Guidelines Cover Chlorinated Hydrocarbon Manufacturing Discharges?

  1. Organic Chemicals, Plastics, and Synthetic Fibers Category (40 CFR Part 414)
  2. Pesticide Chemicals Category (40 CFR Part 455)
  3. Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Category (40 CFR Part 439)

Which Effluent Guidelines Cover Chlorine Manufacturing Discharges?

  1. The Inorganic Chemicals Manufacturing Category (40 CFR Part 415) covers the manufacture of chlorine via the chlor-alkali manufacturing process.
  2. Chlorine production as a by-product of other manufacturing processes, such as magnesium production, were also considered in the CCH rulemaking, although they are not included in Part 415.

Additional Information

For additional information regarding the CCH industry, please contact Samantha Lewis ( or 202-566-1058.

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