EPA Agrees To Regulate Toxins From PVC Plants

Earthjustice settlement is healthy news for Gulf Coast residents

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Folks living in the Gulf Coast—and near stinky PVC plants—rejoice! Earthjustice has reached a settlement agreement to have the EPA begin regulating toxins coming from these plants, which are responsible for pumping approximately 500,000 pounds of vinyl chloride—a known human carcinogen—and other toxins into the air. In spite of the documented effects of these cancer-causing chemicals, the PVC industry’s air emissions have remained largely unregulated for decades.

Most of the nation’s 24 plants are in Louisiana and Texas—states with the dubious distinction of being home to six plants apiece. The remaining plants are in New Jersey, Delaware, Illinois, Kentucky, Mississippi, Alabama, Michigan and Oklahoma.

Edgar Mouton, Jr. 74, a lifelong resident of Mossville, LA, has lived for decades near a PVC plant. He is a member of Mossville Environmental Action Now, one of several client groups Earthjustice represented in a lawsuit.

Mr. Mouton says his father and mother both died of cancer and several residents have been sickened with lung disease, diabetes and asthma. He believes there is a direct link between the prominence of these diseases and the PVC plant nearby.

“All of these chemicals that are being released are supposed to be just enough for the plant to operate on, if that’s the case, that’s an excuse,” Mr. Mouton said. “It all comes into the neighborhood as dioxin. I worked in chemical plants, I retired from chemical plants, I know what goes on at PVC plants.”

Well, Mr. Mouton, we believe this is a strong step in the right direction—protecting families and communities from breathing dirty, polluted air

Raviya was a press secretary at Earthjustice in the Washington, D.C. office from 2008 to 2014, working on issues including federal rulemakings, energy efficiency laws and coal ash pollution.

Earthjustice’s Washington, D.C., office works at the federal level to prevent air and water pollution, combat climate change, and protect natural areas. We also work with communities in the Mid-Atlantic region and elsewhere to address severe local environmental health problems, including exposures to dangerous air contaminants in toxic hot spots, sewage backups and overflows, chemical disasters, and contamination of drinking water. The D.C. office has been in operation since 1978.