EPA calls for tougher PVC regulations

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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Monday proposed stronger standards that would require facilities that produce polyvinyl chloride - used to build some RIBs and other inflatable boats - to reduce emissions of harmful toxins, improving air quality and protecting people's health in communities where the facilities are located.

The standards would reduce emissions of air toxins, such as dioxin and vinyl chloride, while giving facilities the flexibility to choose the most practical and cost-effective control technology or technique to reduce their emissions. Facilities also would need to monitor emissions at certain points in the PVC production process to ensure that the standards are met.

Air toxins from the PVC production process affect nearby communities. There are 17 PVC production facilities in the United States. A majority of them are in Louisiana and Texas. The proposal would cover all existing and any new PVC production facilities.

The EPA will accept comment on the proposal for 60 days after it is published in the Federal Register. The agency also will hold two public hearings in the Houston and Baton Rouge, La., areas. More information about the hearings will be available soon.

Click here for information on the proposal.

In a separate action, the EPA is developing standards for the chemical industry that will address air toxins such as dioxins and vinyl chloride. The agency will issue a proposal for them later this year.

PVC production facilities make PVC resins that are used in a large number of commercial and industrial products, including latex paints, coatings, adhesives, clear plastics, rigid plastics and flooring.

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