MGC Advanced Polymers, Inc.

MGC Advanced Polymers, Inc.

Environmental Audit Ensures Compliance, Improves Sustainability

About

MGC Advanced Polymers, Inc. (MAP) produces MX Nylon, a polymer used in engineering plastics and food packaging. A subsidiary of Mitsubishi Gas Chemical Company, a Japanese chemical manufacturer, MAP constructed a proprietary state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Colonial Heights, Virginia in 2003. Today the plant has 35 employees.

The Challenge

MAP relies on GENEDGE, an NIST MEP affiliate, for assistance in evaluating its environmental regulatory compliance status according to ISO 14001:2004 quality management standards. Since 2007, the environmental compliance audits have been taking place every other year. Beyond ensuring compliance, MAP uses the regular environmental evaluations to identify potential areas for enhancement. MAP also works with GENEDGE on special projects for plant organization and quality improvements. General Manager Chris Greatwood noted how “the team took the time to understand our problems and issues and tailored a unique approach to solution development.”

MEP’s Role

During the most recent environmental compliance audit, Keith Litz of the Manufacturing Technology Center (MTC), in partnership with GENEDGE, stepped in to conduct the evaluation for MAP. MTC had funding through an EPA grant to provide environmental assistance to Virginia manufacturers, and Litz began his evaluation with a thorough review of the facility. MAP provided the relevant documentation, including environmental management plans, regulatory permit documents and mitigation plans, the current list of applicable environmental regulations, and a description of the manufacturing process. Litz conducted a thorough office review, interviewing company officials and inspecting training documents, waste reporting records, and computer management systems to determine compliance and potential liability status. During the facility walk-through, Litz paid special attention to waste and emission generation points, regulated units, environmental liabilities, and emergency response capabilities. He summarized his findings in a written report and made suggestions for improvement.

MAP used the report to implement effective control plans for air, water, and land environmental programs. Based on the findings, MAP has opportunities to reduce solid waste to landfill, decrease water use, and participate in special programs for energy savings. The company made numerous improvements, achieving platinum award status for industrial wastewater compliance.