Eastside industries apply for state pollution permits

Deidre Cruse

Two St. Gabriel industries have applied to the state Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) for operating permits that would allow them to increase air pollution by nearly 30 tons.

Olin Chlor-Alkali Products (Olin) at 4205 La. 75 plans to build a new unit to replace an older one that uses mercury cell technology, while Quala Systems Inc. (QSI) wants to increase business at its tank truck cleaning facility at 4150 La. 30.

According to the permit application, Olin uses mercury cell technology to produce chlorine, sodium hydroxide and hydrogen; it plans a New Membrane Chlor-Alkali Unit as a more environmentally friendly operation.

The company has applied for an expedited permit that would allow it to increase pollution from 111 tons a year to 125 tons a year.

While there would be decreases in some pollutants, the proposed permit would allow Olin to emit 39 additional tons of carbon monoxide a year. Other pollutants involved include sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide gasses, volatile organic compounds, mercury and mercury compounds, and PM10, particulate matter that can include smoke, soot, salt, acids and metal.

Quala Services, which cleans the interiors of empty transport containers that previously held any of a variety of products, is seeking an increase from 1.85 tons to 15 tons a year.

The chemicals include the same ones listed in the Olin application, plus toxic air pollutants known as “TAPs.

Copies of the permit applications are available at the East Iberville Branch of the Iberville Parish Library in St. Gabriel; at he DEQ Public Records Center at 602, North 5th Street, Baton Rouge and online at www.deq.louisiana.gov.

The public can sent written comments, written requests for a public hearing or written requests for notification of the final decisions on the permits.

The deadline for submissions on the Olin permit is November 17, and the deadline for the Quala Services permit is November 20.