US issues final rule reducing emissions by PVC plants

14 February 2012 19:59  [Source: ICIS news]

WASHINGTON (ICIS)--The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Tuesday issued a final rule reducing the allowable emissions of vinyl chloride and other pollutants at 17 US production sites for polyvinyl chloride (PVC).

The agency said that the new environmental standards for PVC producers in the US would reduce annual emissions of vinyl chloride and two related toxins by about 250 tonnes and will cost producers $18m (€13.7m) in up-front costs and $4m annually thereafter.

When the PVC production facility emissions reductions were first proposed by EPA in April 2011, the agency estimated that the amount of toxins would be reduced by 1,500 tonnes.

In addition to new limits on emissions of vinyl chloride, the final rule also covers chlorinated di-benzo dioxins and furans (CDDF) and hydrogen chloride.

The agency said that 15 major PVC production facilities in the US are affected by the new emissions limits. Two smaller facilities, referred to as “area sources”, also are covered by the rule.

EPA defines a major PVC production facility as one that emits more than 10 tonnes annually of any single toxin covered by the rule or 25 tonnes/year of any combination of the specified toxins. An “area source” is one that has emissions below those threshold amounts.

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

($1 = €0.76)

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By: Joe Kamalick
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