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My name is Dean Cornstubble and I work at Research Triangle Institute
(RTI) in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina.  I work in the
Pollution Prevention Program at RTI on projects to develop products that
assist in reducing emissions from industrial processes, mainly the paint
and coatings industry.

This e-mail message was sent previously asking if anyone knew of a state
government forum on the Internet for discussing established and upcoming
Federal and/or state emissions regulations.  If this type of web site
does not exist, it would be nice to develop one or develop a
conferencing option on the home web page for the National Pollution
Prevention Roundtable.

My purpose in asking about an established state government conferencing
forum is based on an article published in the Environmental Policy
Alert, dated July 3, 1996.  The article is titled, "House Lawmakers
Question Timing of Clean Air Paint Regulations."  This article refers to
the proposed Federal rule for controlling VOC emissions from
architectural and industrial maintenance (AIM) coatings.  What caught my
attention in this article was the statement, "...while we understand
that EPA views this rule as having limited small business impact, over
100 small paint manufacturers feel differently.  In fact, many of these
manufacturers claim their livelihood will be seriously harmed by this
rule..."  Also, in the January 1997 issue of Paint & Coatings Industry,
Robert Wendoll of the Environmental Legislative and Regulatory Advocacy
Program in southern California said, in response to the South Coast Air
Quality Management District's (SCAQMD's) recently issued revisions of
its Rule 1113 on VOCs in architectural coatings, that the district has,
in effect, "told consumers they don't have the right to use paint that
works; they have to use crap."

These statements made me realize that small businesses need technical
assistance and independent research to help them find solutions in
meeting tough Federal and state regulations (such as the proposed AIM
rule and the revisions to SCAQMD's Rule 1113).  Instituting a state
government conferencing forum would energize the States to discuss the
problems their industries are having in meeting regulations and to share
information concerning innovative solutions to solving those problems.

If an Internet conferencing web site, or similar medium, does not exist,
RTI's web page development specialists could create such a site.  RTI
has several state-of-the-art web site development technologies that
could establish, manage, and maintain all conferencing exchanges
(implementing security and confidentiality measures, of course).  In
addition, if states are looking for independent research to aid in their
search for solutions to their common problems, RTI and RTI's Pollution
Prevention Program is available to meet this need by providing a rich
and solid network of research and development resources with the aim of
identifying and demonstrating innovative pollution prevention
technologies that reduce and/or eliminate VOC emissions.  (Please refer
to http://www.rti.org).

One project I have been working on for small coatings users and state
technical assistance programs is the development of an expert system and
information base called the Coating Alternatives Guide (CAGE).  Funded
by the EPA's National Risk Management Research Laboratory, Air Pollution
Prevention and Control Division, in Research Triangle Park, the guide
evaluates the coating user's current coating process and recommends
alternative low-emitting coating technologies that closely fit the
user's process.  In addition, it gives summarized information on various
low-emitting alternatives extracted from several up-to-date
industry-related literature references.  CAGE is available in both
MS-DOS and Internet versions.  The MS-DOS version of CAGE (for metal
parts) can be downloaded from the Internet Web site at:
http://clean.rti.org/cage/download.  CAGE is a simple yet effective tool
for meeting the needs of small coatings users who are struggling to find
solutions to meeting emissions regulations but neither have the time nor
economic resources to invest in research endeavors.  Products such as
CAGE, would be extremely valuable to small businesses in many industries
and would prove to be valuable to state government programs looking to
solidify relations with small businesses.

Once again, if you are aware of any conferencing Internet Web sites for
state programs, please let me know.

Thank you for your assistance.
Dean R. Cornstubble, Research Chemical Engineer
"Research Triangle Institute - Research that meets needs"
(919) 541-6813; Fax x-7155 (http://www.rti.org)
Visit the Coating Alternatives Guide at http://clean.rti.org/cage.