Four St. John plants report emission increases

Published 12:00 am Monday, December 19, 2005

Five others report drops in environmental releases or no change


Managing Editor

LAPLACE — Increases in toxic emissions from St. John Parish industrial sites were due to increases in production, new units and added products, as announced by the St. John Industrial Group at their annual breakfast meeting Wednesday.

Emission reports were provided by DuPont, Bayou Steel, Marathon Petroleum, Nalco, DuPont Performance Elastomers, Tomah Reserve, DPC Enterprises and degussa. Of these nine, only four reported increases, four reported decreases and one stayed at its low level.

DuPont in 2004 increased production by 10 percent over the previous year, which resulted in a 1 percent increase in air emissions and an 8 percent increase in land emissions. Meanwhile, the amount of material sent offsite for disposal decreased 59 percent. DuPont has 150 employees and 72 contractors. Altogether, total emissions dropped 1 percent.

Bayou Steel reported an increase in off-site emissions, which are transfers of &#8220shredded fluff,” including foam and fabric from automobile seats, dashboards and other plastic parts from autos. Most of the material transferred is in the form of zinc, which is properly landfilled. Bayou Steel employs 413 people, including 214 from the river region. Altogether, emissions increased 53 percent.

Marathon Petroleum reported increases in air emissions, from 249,132 pounds to 261,725 pounds, due to a change in the calculation method for air emissions from the waste water treatment plant. Releases to water were the same as 2003 and off-site transfers increased from 67,585 pounds to 87,012 pounds, but 92 percent of that was recycled or treated.

Marathon has finished construction of a gasoline desulfurization unit and started construction of a new distillate hydrotreating unit, which use will result in lowering the sulfur content in gasoline and diesel to meet EPA standards. Altogether, emissions increased 6 percent.

Nalco Company increased air emissions 90 percent, due to the manufacture of a purer monomer used in products to clarify drinking water. Additional monitoring equipment and procedures are in place to reduce those emissions for 2005.

Meanwhile, water releases decreased 50 percent and off-site transfers decreased 30 percent. Overall, Nalco’s emissions decreased 9 percent. Nalco has a workforce of 221 employees, including 63 contract.

DuPont Performance Elastomers, formerly DuPont Dow Elastomers, reported an increase in off-site emissions, from 29,600 pounds to 114,900 pounds, due to a tank cleaning operation which generated additional wastes, disposed of off-site.

Since 1987, total emissions have been reduced by 81 percent. DuPont Performance employs 220 people and 75 contractors. Altogether, emissions increased by 21 percent.

At degussa., no changes in air missions were reported, from 2003’s 5,000 pounds to the same this year.

The facility likewise had no reportable water or off-site emissions. The facility has 68 full-time employees and contractors ranging from 25 to 50 people.

Tomah Reserve reported a 22.4 production increase, which resulted in a 15.6 percent increase in air emissions, from 1,678 to 2,267 pounds, due to a slight change in the plant’s product slate. Altogether, emissions increased 35 percent. Tomah has 28 employees.

At DPC Enterprises, air emissions dropped by 51 percent, from 540 pounds to 265 pounds of chlorine and sulfur. And at Pinnacle Polymers, emissions decreased by 8 percent.

Since 1987, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has mandated industrial facilities to report their emissions to the environment to the public.

Also at the breakfast, held at the Quality Inn in LaPlace, 12 St. John students were recognized for their art contest entries, promoted through advertisements in L’Observateur and by school principals.

This year’s contest attracted 531 entries, the most ever.

Third grade winners were Gabrielle House of LaPlace Elementary, Latyrae Davis of Garyville/Mt. Airy Magnet, Kimberly Bates of LaPlace Elementary.

Fourth grade winners were Amber Williams of LaPlace Elementary, Jolianna Wagoner of Ascension of Our Lord and Seth Rome of Riverside Academy.

Fifth grade winners were Jesse Miller of LaPlace Elementary, Hailey Snyder of Ascension of Our Lord and Courtney Snyder of Ascension of Our Lord.

Sixth grade winners were Amy Zhou of Ascension of Our Lord, Riley Spillman of St. Joan of Arc and T.J. Allo of Ascension of Our Lord.