US EPS maker Polyfoam fined on environmental allegations

19 July 2011 21:50  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--US expandable polystyrene (EPS) manufacturer Polyfoam will pay a $127,500 fine and install a new air pollution control system at its Northbridge, Massachusetts, facility as part of an agreement to settle claims by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that it violated federal clean-air standards, the EPA said on Tuesday.

Polyfoam uses EPS beads, which emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs), to manufacture shape-moulded foam products, such as food-shipping containers and protective foam packaging for appliances.

The EPA sayid Polyfoam miscalculated and underreported its VOC emissions from at least 2002. The EPA found that the company's actual VOC emissions had exceeded 50 tonnes/year every year since 2002, in violation of the company's state air permits.

The company also triggered Clean Air Act requirements for state-of-the-art pollution limits it failed to meet, the EPA said.

Under the settlement, filed in US district court last week, Polyfoam will meet a strict new VOC emission limit by installing a system that will incinerate VOC emissions with a regenerative thermal oxidizer. The system will reduce VOC emissions at the plant by about 85%, the EPA said.

After court approval of the settlement, Polyfoam will be required to submit quarterly progress reports to the EPA on efforts to install the new pollution control system, Paula Ballentine, an EPA spokeswoman told ICIS.

The new system is expected to be up and running by 2014, Ballentine said.

Polyfoam did not reply to telephone queries by ICIS.

For more on expandable polystyrene visit ICIS chemical intelligence


By: Michelle Klump
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