Chemical Plants Now Subject to EPA Regulations for Toxic Air Pollution

Environmental Protection Agency Takes Action to Reduce Cancer-Causing Gases

Living near industrial facilities has its consequences, as Nina Patton discovered shortly after moving into her Texas City home. Diagnosed with breast cancer only five months after settling in, Patton suspected that the pollution emanating from nearby plants played a role in her illness.

Protecting Low-Income and Minority Communities

The Environmental Protection Agency recently finalized a rule aimed at reducing cancer-causing gases and toxic air pollution from chemical operations. This update to national standards, the first in nearly two decades, specifically targets ethylene oxide and chloroprene. These chemicals, commonly used in medical device sterilization and rubber production, have been linked to an increased risk of various types of cancer.

Hope for Cleaner Air and Healthier Communities

Patton, along with many others in similar situations, hopes that the newly implemented rule will lead to improved air quality and reduced cancer cases in their communities. Living in close proximity to major refineries and chemical plants, residents like Patton are eager for change.

Implications Beyond Texas

According to EPA Administrator Michael Regan, the rule will have a significant impact on communities nationwide, especially in areas like Louisiana’s “Cancer Alley.” This region, plagued by multiple polluting facilities, will benefit greatly from the reduction in toxic air pollution.

Industry Response and Compliance

The American Chemistry Council, the primary trade group for the industry, expressed concerns about the new rule’s impact on essential product manufacturing. Chemical manufacturers will need to monitor and reduce ethylene oxide and chloroprene emissions to comply with the regulations.

Ensuring Accountability and Safeguarding Health

The final regulation aims to significantly cut down on toxic air pollution, reduce cancer risks, and promote cleaner air for communities across the country. It will apply to approximately 200 chemical plants, targeting synthetic organic chemicals, polymers, and resins.

Addressing Specific Cases

One facility under scrutiny is Denka Performance Elastomer in LaPlace, Louisiana, where chloroprene concentrations have exceeded safe levels. The Justice Department has taken legal action against the company to enforce emission reductions.

Read More of this Story at – 2024-04-09 17:34:43

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