Lynn L. Bergeson Quoted by Chemical Processing in Article “Chemical Plants Face Costs, Monitoring Challenges to Meet EPA’s Toxic Emissions Standards”
On April 11, 2023, Chemical Processing quoted Lynn L. Bergeson, Managing Partner, Bergeson & Campbell, P.C. (B&C®) regarding the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed rule to cut toxic emissions by 6,000 tons per year.
The EPA estimated that chemical producers would incur about $501 million in total capital costs and approximately $190 million in total annualized costs to comply with updates to National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants, which the EPA proposed on April 6.
But the costs could be higher than the EPA’s estimates, says Lynn Bergeson, managing director of Bergeson & Campbell, P.C., a Washington, D.C.-based law firm that specializes in chemical industry issues.
“Plainly, the most significant impact on chemical producers if the proposed rules are issued in final as proposed is increased operating cost and total capital costs,” says Bergeson. “EPA’s cost estimates are typically quite a bit lower that actual costs, and the Regulatory Impact Analysis for the proposed rules seems to be no exception.”
Bergeson adds that the industry will likely pass these costs on to customers.
The EPA says its proposal would dramatically reduce cancer risks related to air toxins for people who live near approximately 200 U.S. plants that make synthetic organic chemicals. The EPA’s proposal would update several regulations that apply to chemical plants, including plants that make synthetic organic chemicals, and regulations that apply to plants that make polymers such as neoprene.
But Bergeson echoed an American Chemistry Council (ACC) statement that the EPA’s risk valuations are inaccurate due to the agency’s overreliance on its Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS).
In the meantime, chemical producers should carefully review the prosed standard given its precedent-setting implications, Bergeson says.
“The environment justice and potential tort implications of the proposal are worth considering,” she says.