Corrected: US EPA to require new emissions cuts at 16 PVC plants

18 April 2011 20:01  [Source: ICIS news]

Correction: In the ICIS story headlined “US EPA to require new emissions cuts at 16 PVC plants” please read in the ninth paragraph … Michigan … instead of … Missouri …. An Environmental Protection Agency fact sheet contained the error. A corrected story follows.

WASHINGTON (ICIS)--The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Monday said it will put new restrictions on US producers of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) to cut emissions of hazardous pollutants by some 1,500 tonnes from 16 plants at an annual cost of $20m (€14m).

The agency issued a proposed new rule governing emissions of dioxins and vinyl chloride at the 16 US PVC production sites operated by eight different companies in eight states, chiefly in Texas and Louisiana.

The new requirements, said an EPA summary, “would reduce emissions of air toxics, such as dioxin and vinyl chloride, while giving facilities the flexibility to choose the most practical and cost-effective control technology or technique to reduce their emissions”.

The rule would propose maximum achievable control technology (MACT) standards for emissions along various points of PVC production, including process vents, resin processing, equipment leaks, wastewater, heat exchangers and storage vessels.

“The proposed rule would set emission limits and work practice standards for total organic air toxics, and also for three specific air toxics,” the agency said, citing vinyl chloride, chlorinated di-benzo dioxins and furans (CDDF) and hydrogen chloride.

When implemented, the new rule would cut annual emissions of the 16 plants by 1,570 tonnes of total hazardous air pollutants (HAP), including 135 tonnes of vinyl chloride, 33 tonnes of hydrogen chloride and a miniscule amount of CDDFs, less than a gram.

The EPA said it estimated that complying with the new rule would require an overall total capital investment of $16m and “an associated total annualised cost of $20m”.

The new rule proposal was open to public comment until mid-June, and the EPA said it would hold two hearings on the rulemaking late this year, one each in Texas and Louisiana.

Other states where PVC production facilities are located include Delaware, Illinois, Michigan, Kentucky and Mississippi, each with one plant.

In addition to the six PVC plants in Louisiana and four in Texas, there are two in New Jersey.

PVC is widely used in paints and coatings, adhesives, clear plastics, rigid plastics such as PVC plumbing pipe, and flooring.

($1 = €0.69)

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By: Joe Kamalick
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