In an early December report, the OEPA accused Lanxess of releasing such high rates of acrylonitrile and 1,3-butadiene that the fumes posed a health risk to people near the plant, with their likelihood of contracting lung cancer or leukemia increasing by 50 times.
Spokeswoman Angela Wheland in the supplier''s North American headquarters in Pittsburgh says Lanxess is evaluating the court order. In an e-mailed response to MPW questions, she wrote, "We have already committed significant capital and other resources to address issues raised by the order. We do not anticipate any curtailment of production or plant closure at this time."
The supplier says it has already taken a number of steps to reduce emissions, including plans for a $1 million flare system for chemical emission mitigation. In addition, a pilot study has been undertaken to further reduce odors and chemical emissions from the wastewater treatment plant.
Lanxess was spun-off from the Bayer Group in January 2005, taking with it most of Bayer''s chemical businesses and most of its plastics portfolio (minus polycarbonate and PUR).-Matt Defosse; [email protected]