Proposal continues company’s commitment to District requirements under the STAR program
LOUISVILLE, Ky., May 17, 2017 — American Synthetic Rubber Company has submitted a revised request to modify certain STAR (Strategic Toxic Air Reduction) program goals currently pending with Louisville’s Air Pollution Control District.
Today’s request is consistent with the modifications under which ASRC has operated since the STAR program was first initiated. The revised request represents a commitment by ARSC to continued compliance with the STAR goals related to emissions of all toxic air contaminants from all ASRC processes. The STAR program allows modifications for plants that demonstrate use of the best available control technologies to reduce emissions. ASRC is meeting this standard by taking the following actions to reduce fugitive emissions of 1,3-butadiene:
- Proactively replacing certain components that are prone to leak;
- Identifying leaks at a lower threshold (e.g., 250ppm vs. 500ppm);
- Increasing monitoring of 1,3-butadiene components well beyond federal requirements;
- Sealing leaks immediately, instead of delaying repairs as federal law allows.
Using this approach, ASRC is operating well within the proposed modification targets for the plant.
“ASRC has been an important part of the Louisville manufacturing community for 75 years. We have 370 employees at this site, and about 50 of them live with their families in communities near the plant. Stewardship for air quality is a top priority for everyone at the plant, and we give it our full attention every day,” says Guillaume Coiraton, plant manager for ASRC in Louisville. “We have demonstrated this commitment by taking aggressive actions to reduce the plant’s emissions by 90 percent over the past 13 years. It is important to understand that today’s revised modification request simply represents a continuation of the work we’ve done over the past decade to reduce emissions from the plant. We will strive to improve every year.”
Michelin and ASRC have worked vigorously to reduce emissions of 1,3-butadiene and other contaminants at the plant, starting even before the District implemented the STAR program in 2005. In 2004, ASRC initiated plans to install a flare thermal oxidizer to capture and incinerate contaminants. When completed in 2006, the flare thermal oxidizer reduced the plant’s stack emissions by more than 90 percent. ASRC then focused its attention on further reducing fugitive emissions. ASRC successfully reduced fugitive emissions within the plant since 2013, and the plant now operates at a level below the District’s threshold for emissions of all toxic air contaminants from all of the facility’s processes. The Company is confident these reductions will continue to be achieved by implementing the actions described above.
“ASRC has worked very hard to establish an open and transparent dialogue with local officials and the residents of our community. We welcome the opportunity to talk about our efforts with anyone who’s willing to listen, especially those who live near the site,” Coiraton says. “We are operating today near the lowest level of reported emissions since 2013, and the plant now operates well within the targets of the current modification request. The plant’s actions to reduce emissions are among the strictest for a plant of this kind anywhere in the country and substantially exceed federal requirements in multiple categories.”
About American Synthetic Rubber Company
ASRC produces synthetic rubber, which delivers essential performance advantages when combined with natural rubber and other components in the production of tires for all types of vehicles. Built in 1942, Michelin began investing in American Synthetic Rubber Company (ASRC) in the 1980s and fully acquired the site in the 1990s. This year, ASRC will celebrate 75 years of operation in the Louisville, Ky., area. The plant’s mission is to produce synthetic elastomers to supply Michelin’s tire production factories, and industrialize new elastomers, resulting from research, which will help create the tires of tomorrow. ASRC produces more than 360 million pounds of synthetic rubber per year, or approximately 1 million pounds per day. Approximately 370 employees work at the site.