MRO Magazine

Timken joins effort to reduce mercury emissions

Canton, Ohio -- Industrial bearing supplier The Timken Company has announced its participation in a program designe...


Environment

September 14, 2007
By MRO Magazine
MRO Magazine

Canton, Ohio — Industrial bearing supplier The Timken Company has announced its participation in a program designed to improve environmental quality by reducing levels of mercury emitted from automobile scrap used as raw material in the steelmaking process.

Timken has become a member of the National Vehicle Mercury Switch Recovery Program (NVMSRP), which exists to help lower the level of mercury emissions in the United States by approximately 75 tons over 15 years. The program is the result of a collaborative effort involving the United States Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA), members of the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI), automobile manufacturers and members of the vehicle scrap recycling industry.

“Timken and the other members of AISI share a deep commitment to responsible stewardship of our natural resources,” said Ward J. Timken, Jr., chairman of Timken’s board of directors and chairman of AISI. “Our joint leadership with the automotive industry in this initiative will help eliminate an important source of mercury emissions, as steelmakers recycle millions of tons of vehicle scrap each year.”

Mercury switches are found in automotive convenience lighting in hoods and trunks and some anti-lock braking systems manufactured prior to 2003. These switches can result in mercury being released into the air if they are not removed prior to vehicle demolition. Timken and other program participants are working directly with scrap suppliers and brokers to ensure that mercury switches are removed before scrap enters the steelmaking process. Timken alone recycled nearly 300,000 tons of scrap from automobiles in 2006.

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The automobile manufacturers and steelmakers that are part of the NVMSRP have created a $4 million implementation fund as a resource to help achieve the program’s objectives. U.S. EPA is acting as facilitator of the national program, which is intended to complement existing state mercury-reduction initiatives.