While some manufacturers are voluntarily working to reduce volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions as part of their environmental initiatives, others are being forced due to environmental violations.
As an example, Canadian-based Arclin, a manufacturer of bonding, surfacing and related products, was able to reduce its annual VOC emissions by 70 percent (or 250 tons) at its Portland, Ore., plant as a result of ongoing improvements and technology upgrades.
Although the Portland location was permitted at 90-percent process air cleaning efficiency, Arclin’s continuous improvement program challenged the company to make additional improvements. As a result, the location has been re-permitted for a Title V Air Operating Permit at 97-percent air cleaning efficiency.
On the flip side, two chemical companies based in Ohio — LANXESS Corp. and INEOS ABS USA Corp. — have reached settlements with the U.S. Justice Department and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to resolve their environmental violations, according to the Justice Department.
LANXESS Corp. and INEOS ABS USA Corp. have agreed to pay a $3.1 million civil penalty and INEOS will spend up to $2 million to install environmental controls and modify operating procedures to resolve violations of multiple environmental laws including the Clean Air Act, the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act and the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act.
The environmental control upgrades at the INEOS Addyston facility include operating its flare in accordance with specific new parameters to control VOC emissions, installing a new biofilter system in the wastewater treatment system to reduce acrylonitrile emissions, conducting a review of compliance with emergency release reporting regulations, and implementing a comprehensive set of leak detection and repair (LDAR) practices that extend beyond regulatory requirements.
EPA estimates that the settlement will significantly reduce harmful emissions from the facility’s operations including 360 tons of butadiene emissions annually from the flare controls, one ton of acrylonitrile emissions per year from the biofilter project, and 60 tons per year in hazardous air pollutants from the enhanced LDAR program.