US EPA Finalizes Stronger Clean Air Standards for Chemical Plants

On April 9, 2024, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a final action to provide crucial health protections to communities near chemical plants. The action aims to reduce emissions of hazardous air pollutants, including chloroprene and ethylene oxide (EtO), while also decreasing pollution contributing to smog. This rule implements sections 111 and 112 of the Clean Air Act, strengthening regulations for various equipment and processes used in chemical plants, including those producing synthetic organic chemicals, polymers, and resins like neoprene. 

The final rule significantly reduces cancer risks associated with air toxics, particularly EtO and chloroprene, known to cause serious health effects. Upon full implementation, it will reduce over 6,200 tons yearly of 100+ air toxics, including EtO and chloroprene from chemical plants. Additionally, new emissions limits for dioxins and furans are issued, and the rule will cut over 23,000 tons annually of smog-forming volatile organic compounds (VOCs). 

Read more about the final rule.