EPA issues final greenhouse gas construction permits to Occidental Chemical, Mexichem to build ethylene cracker in Ingleside, Texas, which will produce approximately 1.2 billion lbs./year of ethylene

DALLAS , May 30, 2014 () – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued final greenhouse gas (GHG) Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) construction permits to Occidental Chemical Corporation (OxyChem) in Ingleside, TX. OxyChem's permit allows the company to build an ethylene cracker.

"OxyChem's new plant will make the most of the company's resources," said EPA Regional Administrator Ron Curry. "Reusing feedstock and waste heat shows that being as efficient as possible is good for business and the environment."

OxyChem's project is a 50/50 joint venture between OxyChem and Mexichem, S.A.B. de C.V. The cracker will produce approximately 1.2 billion pounds per year of ethylene using cracking furnaces equipped with selective catalytic reduction technology to control emissions of nitrogen oxides. Essentially all of ethylene produced will be used on-site in the manufacture of vinyl chloride monomer (VCM). The project is expected to create 1,700 construction jobs and add 150 permanent jobs once operations begin.

In June 2010, EPA finalized national GHG regulations, which specify that beginning on January 2, 2011, projects that increase GHG emissions substantially will require an air permit.

EPA believes states are best equipped to run GHG air permitting programs. Texas is working to replace a federal implementation plan with its own state program, which will eliminate the need for businesses to seek air permits from EPA. This action will increase efficiency and allow for industry to continue to grow in Texas.

EPA has finalized 40 GHG permits in Texas, proposed an additional 10 permits, and currently has over 22 additional GHG permit applications under review and permit development in Texas.

For all of the latest information on GHG permits in Texas please visit: http://yosemite.epa.gov/r6/Apermit.nsf/AirP

This month EPA is raising awareness and focusing efforts to improve the lives of children and families with asthma. Asthma is a serious, sometimes life-threatening chronic respiratory disease that affects the quality of life for millions of Americans, disproportionately in low income and minority families. More information on efforts to combat asthma disparities: http://www.epa.gov/childrenstaskforce/index.html

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