Department of Environmental Conservation

D E C banner

NYS Governor's Awards for Pollution Prevention - ITT Automotive Electrical

ITT Automotive Electrical Systems, Inc., Rochester


ITT Automotive (formerly Delco Chassis Division of General Motors) in Rochester, has a payroll of 3,900 employees in a 1.57 million square foot manufacturing plant. One of the world's largest suppliers of automotive electrical systems, this facility supplies nearly 40 percent of the world's available automotive market for fractional horsepower automotive electric motors and motor-based systems in the three main product groups: windshield wiper systems, motor actuator systems and air management systems. In 1995, the plant produced an average of 5,701,000 units per month. Manufacturing operations include metal forming, machining, electroplating, injection molding, parts cleaning, phosphating and component assembly.

Methodologies and Procedures

Teams of ITT employees were successful in eliminating 1,1,1-trichloroethane degreasing and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) solvent painting, replacing them with processes that reduced annual air emissions from the Rochester facility from over 600 tons of ozone-depleting and environmentally hazardous materials to zero.

ITT Automotive eliminated 1,1,1-trichloroethane degreasing by replacing it with high temperature steam. The VOCs solvent painting was replaced with powdered paint.

Parts Degreasing

1,1,1-trichloroethane was eliminated from 14 parts-degreasing processes and replaced with alternatives that would not generate hazardous waste. Plant-wide, three different methods were used to eliminate solvent degreasing:
- pre-cleaned raw material was used, eliminating the need for further cleaning
- product was redesigned eliminating the need to clean altogether, and
- solvent cleaning was replaced with high temperature, high pressure steam.

Solvent Painting

The other major pollution prevention program, initiated in late 1991, was elimination of solvent painting of blower and air compressor motors. Use of powder painting of the compressor and blower motors required a multi-discipline involvement and incorporation of several product and assembly design changes to maintain product quality and reliability in both product lines.


Elimination of solvent degreasing and solvent painting from the processes resulted in raw material and waste disposal cost savings without compromising product quality.

By switching to powder paint, ITT eliminated 32 tons of hazardous waste that were annually shipped off-site for recycling along with the incineration of 1 ton of 1,1,1-trichloroethane-contaminated absorbents.

Substitution of powder for solvent paint eliminated significant quantities of both hazardous and non-hazardous paint wastes such as paint sludge, paint contaminated paper, and paint solvents totaling 21 tons at a disposal cost of $21,000.

Elimination of VOC and chlorinated solvents processes resulted in a capital equipment cost avoidance of $2,000,000 required to purchase and install the necessary equipment to comply with Federal and State regulations.

Besides the one-time capital equipment cost, recurring energy costs of $231,000 along with maintenance and operational costs of $150,000 per year were also avoided.

Elimination of these processes resulted in an annual waste disposal savings of $30,000 including $7,000 spent to dispose of a normally non-hazardous wash house sludge classified hazardous because of the mixture rule.

Any comments or questions?
Contact us at: 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233-1750;
518-402-9469 (phone); 518-402-9168 (fax)

This page was last modified March 8, 1999

  • Contact for this Page
    Division of Environmental Permits
    4th Floor
    625 Broadway
    Albany, NY 12233-1750

    Send us an email
  • This Page Covers
  • Page applies to all NYS regions