Petition: Deny Eastman Chemical’s Permit Changes

Eastman Chemical Resins (“Eastman”) operates a plant in the borough of Jefferson Hills. The plant produces “hydrocarbon resins and dispersions” and is a major source of volatile organic compounds (“VOCs”). Due to the level of VOCs Eastman has the potential to emit, it is required under the Clean Air Act to have a Title V Operating Permit.

In Allegheny County, Title V Operating Permits are issued by the Allegheny County Health Department (“ACHD”). These permits include all of the federal, state, and local air pollution law requirements that apply to the source and are important tools for ensuring major sources comply with air pollution law requirements. ACHD received authority to issue Title V permits in 2001. However, ACHD has yet to issue a Title V Operating Permit to the plant.

In 2011, ACHD and the United States brought a complaint against Eastman, charging them with failing to maintain equipment that controlled certain emissions at the plant. The complaint was resolved with a Consent Order, which required Eastman to develop protocols for testing certain emissions, to do the emissions tests, and to report the test results to the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) for approval, and then submit permit applications to ACHD for those process units.

This process has been dragging on since then, and still is unfinished. Yet now, Eastman wants permission to modify installation permits so that it can increase its production rate and its allowable emissions of particulate matter.

It is well past time for Eastman, EPA, and ACHD to comply with the terms of the Consent Order that was approved in 2011.

ACHD’s air pollution regulations allow it to deny an application for an installation permit for a major source like Eastman if the operator does not have all required operating permits for its facilities in Pennsylvania. Please join us by signing this petition, urging ACHD to deny these permit modifications until Eastman has fulfilled the obligations of the 2011 Consent Order.