EPA finalizes crackdown on toxic air pollutants from chemical plants

The Environmental Protection Agency published a final rule Tuesday cracking down on toxic air pollution from chemical and plastics plants, seeking to reduce exposure to two cancer-linked chemical compounds, ethylene oxide and chloroprene, while also giving plant owners slightly more time to comply.

Once implemented, EPA officials said, the final rule will achieve a nearly 80% reduction in emissions from ethylene oxide and chloroprene, two toxic compounds linked to certain types of cancers, including lymphoma, leukemia, breast cancer, and liver cancer. 

In total, officials said, the rule will slash 6,200 tons of toxic air pollution annually from U.S. chemical and plastics plants, reducing the number of people at elevated cancer risk from the air toxics by roughly 96%.

The EPA’s rule also extends certain reporting requirements for facilities that produce, store, or emit the toxins benzene, 1,3-butadiene, ethylene
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