"EPA has reached a tentative deal with environmental groups in a lawsuit brought over toxic pollution in the swath of Louisiana known as “Cancer Alley.”
Under a proposed consent decree that still needs a federal judge’s approval, the agency would undertake overdue reviews of its hazardous air pollutant standards for plants that make a variety of products used in plastics and rubber manufacturing. A proposed rule incorporating any changes would come next March followed by a final version in March 2024.
Concerned Citizens of St. John, a Louisiana advocacy group, and two other environmental organizations filed the suit last fall (E&E News PM, Nov. 22, 2021). The group is based in St. John the Baptist Parish, which lies in the heavily industrialized corridor along the
Mississippi River between New Orleans and Baton Rouge that carries the “Cancer Alley” label. Of particular concern is a Denka Performance Elastomer plant that emits chloroprene, which is used in making auto parts and deemed a likely carcinogen by EPA.
As of September, chloroprene air concentrations in the parish remained up to almost 12,000 times the ambient concentration cancer risk value, according to EPA monitoring data cited in the suit."