EPA settlement forces chemical plant in St. John Parish to cut tons of cancer-causing air pollutants

EPA settlement forces chemical plant in St. John Parish to cut tons of cancer-causing air pollutants
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A German company has agreed to substantially reduce air pollutants from a chemical plant near LaPlace, according to a settlement reached this week with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The Evonik Corporation, which operates an alkoxylated alcohols production facility in the St. John the Baptist Parish community of Reserve, will reduce emissions of ethylene oxide and other pollutants by 5.6 tons per year. Air monitoring and enforcement efforts by the EPA and the state Department of Environmental Quality (LDEQ) last April indicated that Evonik repeatedly violated air pollution rules.

An airplane and mobile monitoring vehicle collected emissions data in Reserve’s neighborhoods and unannounced inspections at the plant confirmed elevated emissions of ethylene oxide, a chemical the EPA says is a proven carcinogen to humans.

Evonik Materials Corp. in Reserve, La. on Friday, October 5, 2018.

“Even though Evonik is technically classified as a minor source of emissions, the facility’s impact on people living nearby can be significant,” EPA Regional Administrator Earthea Nance said. “Through an innovative enforcement approach, EPA’s team was able to secure a meaningful reduction of air toxics for the people of St. John the Baptist.”

Evonik did not immediately respond to a request for comment. 

The company produces the components of emulsifiers, detergents and wetting agents by combining ethylene oxide, alcohols and propylene oxide at the Reserve plant, according to an EPA inspection report.

The EPA says the company has already replaced some equipment that the agency expects will substantially reduce harmful emissions. Evonik will also need to install and operate a thermal oxidizer that will remove even more air pollution, and implement a new leak detection and repair program, the agreement says. 


About Mary Weyand 11096 Articles
Mary founded Scoop Tour with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research. With ample knowledge about the Automobile industry, she also contributes her knowledge for the Automobile section of the website.

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