Materials Performance

OCT 2018

Materials Performance is the world's most widely circulated magazine dedicated to corrosion prevention and control. MP provides information about the latest corrosion control technologies and practical applications for every industry and environment.

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Page 119 of 138

OCTOBER 2018 MATERIALSPERFORMANCE: VOL. 57, NO. 10 31 T he future of the corrosion control industry will be influenced by a num- ber of trends, including changes in regulatory and environmental re- quirements, public expectations, and advancements in communications and electronics. Changes in the energy industry including the shale revolution in the United States will also have a large impact. It's easy to see the changes that have occurred in these areas over recent history, and while prediction is difficult, it's reasonable to expect a continuation of these trends in the future. REGUL AT ORY T RENDS Regulatory requirements for corrosion control related to public safety and protection of the environment are increasing. Society's expectations for safety are increasing, and that is a good thing for everyone. For example, seatbelts were invented in the late 19th century but were first offered as standard equipment in automobiles by Volvo in 1955. Seatbelts didn't become mandatory as part of new vehicles in the United States until 1964. Today, most would expect new vehicles to have safety features such as air bags, antilock brakes, child-safety seat anchors, traction/stability control, backup cameras, and collision avoidance systems. Environmental awareness and industrial health and safety standards are increasing, with spill prevention and remediation, carbon footprint, reduced volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and restrictions on materials including mercury, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), lead, asbestos, and other materials, all considerations in the corrosion control industry. Environmental approvals will be increasingly rigorous, taking longer and being more difficult to obtain, and increasing the costs of doing business. Greenhouse gas emissions will incentivize certain activities and disincentivize others. These rising expectations of safety are not a pendulum, but a ratchet, building on previous safety achievements, and are a mandate given to our politicians by society to incorporate into regula- tions. These regulations generate requirements for documenting and retain- ing records of compliance ("if it isn't written down, it never happened"), including decision-making processes, qualifications of personnel, and quali- fications of materials from cradle to grave. With the new regulations come increased inspections and assessments, and enforcement including civil and, in some cases, criminal penalties. P UBL IC E X PEC TAT IONS With instant access to information, the general public is much more informed about incidents and social media has created a variety of channels of communication between companies and the public. The public and share - holders/company owners expect industry to be responsible citizens, and the cost of civil litigation is high and increasing, both in financial terms and goodwill. This requires that industry respond differently to issues and inci- dents than in the past, both in the communication media and how much information is shared directly with the public. Public will put pressure on leg- islators to increase regulatory requirements, and corrosion control profes- sionals will need to do more to increase safety. Civil liability will dictate that operators cannot simply do the minimum to meet regulatory requirements.

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