The news travels so fast nowadays, and it’s often tough to keep ahead of the trends. The same day you see mentions of a potential recession, you see reports that manufacturing productivity is on the rise. Add to this the political turmoil going on, and many people are rightfully asking where the economy is headed. Knowing this, no matter where the US is heading, it’s important to remember that an investment today in air pollution control equipment is a smart decision.
Air Pollution Control for the Good Times
According to an October report from the Federal Reserve, U.S. factory output increased much more than expected in August 2019, tripling analyst expectations for that month. The report found that factory output, expecting a 0.2 percent gain, actually rose 0.6 percent, and that manufacturing, the single largest component of that index rose by 0.5 per cent for the month, well above predictions of 0.2 per cent.
Pair this with a rebounding capacity utilization metric which rose to 77.9 percent in August and there is a picture of growth. This shows a positive trend, as manufacturing growth had seen a slight slowdown over the past year as a result of trade threats.
That said, if you’re among the manufacturers expecting growth, it’s important to ask yourself whether or not your current systems will be able to keep up. Over time, aging pollution control solutions become less effective and efficient, and paired with growth, these products may not keep up. However, even if times are good, it’s vital to keep up with potential regulations. Here’s a list of resources on keeping your air pollution initiatives effective and ready for growth.
- Staying EPA Compliant With Proper Abatement Equipment Maintenance
- The Current and Future Challenges Surrounding Air Pollution Abatement
- Is Your Current Emissions Control Operation Optimized for Best Results?
- How to Maintain a Regenerative Thermal Oxidizer (RTO) Effectively
- How to Make Pollution Control a Competitive Advantage
Air Pollution Control if Things Are Less Than Optimal
If you’ve ever read the story of the ant and the grasshopper, you know how important it is to prepare for winter. In it, the ant continues to forage while the grasshopper spends the summer frolicking. When winter comes, the ants were prepared while the grasshopper was left to starve.
No one likes to think of an economic downturn—especially manufacturers. However, corrections are inevitable, and sometime in the next decade, it’s likely we will see some kind of slowdown. Will it be as bad as a decade ago? Unlikely. Will it cause you to take a different approach? Yes.
Pollution Control is a Controllable Cost
US manufacturers spend over $24 billion per year in pollution abatement and continue to bear a significant burden in environmental regulatory costs for waste disposal, wastewater treatment, and air pollution abatement.
Knowing this, manufacturers in all industries will need to think about their costs. When the slowdown comes, the last thing you want to do is start chopping labor costs. What if there was a way to cut your operating costs in some other way? There is.
As mentioned above, pollution control solutions become less efficient over time. They also become more costly to run. Proper maintenance can help, but it’s also worth considering the innovations made since you last looked at your air pollution control solution. Knowing this, the decision to make a change has the potential to drastically reduce operating costs if and when the economy faces a downturn.
Don’t Ignore Looming Threats: Cutting the Cost of Pollution Control
Be like the ant—not the grasshopper. By making the move to implement a solution that is more efficient when times are good (as well as taking advantage of tax benefits, federal and state incentives, and Section 179 expensing), you can offset a variety of future costs by opting to upgrade your pollution control equipment today.
To address this, we’ve compiled a list of resources for driving down operating costs, no matter what economic state we are in:
- Fuel Costs in Air Pollution Control: Challenges and Opportunities
- How To Reduce the Cost Of Pollution Abatement In Manufacturing
- 3 Ways to Improve the Cost-Efficiency of VOC Abatement
- How to Select the Right VOC Abatement Equipment To Reduce Operating Cost
Air Pollution Control for Political Uncertainty
2021 is right around the corner, and if you’ve been remotely interested in the news, it’s likely you’ve seen a few policy statements, a couple protests, and a lot of pandering. While political reality will not find many of the stated positions feasible, the threat of a massive regulatory shift should at least make you think.
That said, with some politicians trying to get gas cars off the road in the next decade, if things do happen to change, the stated goal is that said changes will happen much faster than the somewhat-reasonable emissions reductions set by the Clean Air Act.
Whether this push happens or not, it pays to be prepared. There are a limited number of companies specializing in air pollution abatement technology, all of whom will be in high demand if the regulatory environment changes. Pair this with the potential for states (who now have a bigger role in enforcement) to take matters into their own hands and the rise of public nuisance complaints as a form of regulation, and it’s important that you have technology ready for any extreme measures taken.
- Learn More about Your State’s Pollution Control Requirements
- State Implementation Plans: How Plans are Developed and Enforced Part 1
- State Implementation Plans: How Plans are Developed and Enforced Part 2
- How can VOC Regulations Affect Your Manufacturing Processes?
The CMM Group: Your Partners in Pollution Abatement
The CMM Group has been in the business of pollution control for decades, engineering products that reduce costs, increase efficiency, and improve the effectiveness of VOC abatement. We build and implement pollution control products including regenerative thermal oxidizers, thermal recuperative oxidizers, and catalytic oxidizers for companies across the country and around the world. Learn more about us, download our VOC abatement guide, and contact us for a consultation.