Louisville's largest single source of greenhouse gases.
It's a little complicated, but we practice what we preach about transparency.
Chemours Louisville Works, formerly DuPont, in heavily industrialized "Rubbertown," makes a super-potent greenhouse gas (GHG), called HCFC-22. It's shipped to a Chemours plant in West Virginia and made into other industrial chemicals, so it's exempt from an international treaty that otherwise would ban it.
Making HCFC-22 yields a by-product, super-potent GHG with no market value, called HFC-23, that's 12,400 times worse, pound for pound, than carbon dioxide. Much of it is captured and sent to WV for incineration, but nearly half of that HFC-23 is vented to our atmosphere. The vented portion warms our planet more than all the trucks and autos registered in Jefferson County, KY!
In 2015, DuPont promised the Obama Administration that it'd capture and destroy all of its HFC-23 GHG emissions by 2018, then didn't do it. (After the movie, Dark Waters, came out, DuPont created Chemours and assigned those operations to it.) Now, the USEPA is requiring Chemours to eliminate it all this year. LCAN looks forward to this reduction. Learn more here. Here's APCD's public notice.
Because compliance entails modifications to equipment that processes pollutants harmful to human health, our local Air Pollution Control District (APCD) must issue a permit to Chemours. To ensure that Louisville wouldn't trade health protections for climate protection or our GHG problem for a WV air-quality problem, LCAN hired an expert to help us with reviewing Chemours permit application and APCD's draft permit. What he found was unacceptable:
Lack of Transparency: Numerous assertions in Chemours’ application couldn't be checked, due to undefined, unattributed and/or unreliable assumptions used in its calculations and models.
Lack of Verification: The draft permit doesn't require testing to verify whether the project yields the intended results, including reduced health risks. Or testing to show whether Chemours' request to report less on those pollutants is justified.
(APCD lacks jurisdiction over the WV incinerator, so LCAN is trying to determine its track records via WV officials.)
Read LCAN's cover letter to Dr. Sahu's report, submitted into the official comments. APCD will respond to his and our comments soon. We'll post them here, assuming they're formatted to allow us to do so.