News Brief

EPA Orders PVC Plants to Cut Emissions

This Shintech PVC production plant in Convent, Louisiana, will face new air quality regulations in 2012 along with 16 other U.S. plants.

Photo: Times-Picayune

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has published a higher emissions standard for producers of PVC (polyvinyl chloride), the type of vinyl commonly used to make pipes, windows, siding, and other building products. The proposed new rule is designed to protect public health in communities near the plants.

PVC plants emit a variety of toxic air pollutants, including vinyl chloride, a known carcinogen that particularly affects children. (For more information on PVC production, see “Should We Phase Out PVC?” EBN Jan. 1994.) The proposed new standards would set higher limits on emissions of vinyl chloride, hydrogen chloride, and chlorinated di-benzo dioxins and furans (CDDF), resulting in an estimated annual reduction in hazardous air pollutants of 1,570 tons. According to EPA, there are 17 PVC production facilities in the U.S., ten of them located in Texas and Louisiana.

EPA will accept comment for 60 days after the proposed rule is published on the federal register, and will publish the final rule on January 13, 2012.

For more information

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

www.epa.gov

 

Published April 18, 2011

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