Polyurethane Plant Successfully Completes NPEP Goal for EPA

Rubicon LLC, a joint venture between Huntsman and Chemtura Corp. with a polyurethane-producing chemical plant on the Mississippi River in Geismar, La., is being recognized by EPA for completion of its National Partnership for Environmental Priorities (NPEP) goal and reducing the quantity of benzene and aniline incinerated at the facility by 1.2 million pounds. The company is the world's leading producer of aniline, a key ingredient in MDI manufacturing, with an annual aniline capacity of 880 million pounds.

NPEP is an EPA program that promotes the voluntary reduction of hazardous chemicals, preventing their ability to be released into the environment and threaten public health. Rubicon joined the program in 2005 and committed to reduce waste benzene and aniline used in its production of flexible and rigid specialty polyols and polyol system formulations.

"More and more top facilities are finding smart, simple ways to conduct business and care for the environment at the same time," said EPA Acting Regional Administrator Larry Starfield. "It is even more inspiring when industry members not only stick with their commitments to the environment, but expand on them."

Rubicon implemented a waste minimization program in 1995, and since 1997 has been able to reduce the amount of aniline incinerated at the facility by 48 percent. The project for NPEP enrollment involved system upgrades that resulted in 720,000 pounds of aniline reductions and 500,000 pounds of benzene reductions. The facility has been active in Louisiana's Environmental Leadership Program since 1998 and reports spending more than $40 million annually on environmental compliance and on improving environmental performance.

The facility was recognized during an achievement award presentation by representatives from EPA and the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality at the Geismar Community Center on Feb. 11. For more information on the NPEP program, visit www.epa.gov/npep.

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