The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently proposed stronger standards that require facilities that produce polyvinyl chloride (PVC) to reduce emissions of harmful toxics, improving air quality and protecting people’s health in communities where these facilities are located.

The standards would reduce emissions of air toxics, such as dioxin and vinyl chloride, while giving facilities the flexibility to choose the most practical and cost-effective control technology or technique to reduce their emissions. Facilities would also need to monitor emissions at certain points in the PVC production process to ensure that the standards are met.

Currently, 17 PVC production facilities operate throughout the U.S.; most are located in Louisiana and Texas. All existing and any new PVC production facilities would be covered by this proposal. In a separate action, the EPA is developing standards for the chemical industry that will address air toxics such as dioxins and vinyl chloride. The agency will issue a proposal for these sources later this year.

PVC production facilities manufacture PVC resins that are used to make a large number of commercial and industrial products at other manufacturing facilities. These products include coatings, adhesives, clear plastics, rigid plastics and flooring.

The EPA will accept comment on this proposal for 60 days after publication in the Federal Register. The agency will also hold two public hearings in the Houston, Texas, and Baton Rouge, LA, areas. For more information,