The EPA limits pollution from chemical plants

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More than 200 chemical plants across the country will be required to curb the toxic pollutants they release into the air under a regulation announced by the Biden administration on Tuesday.
The regulation is aimed at reducing the risk of cancer for people living near industrial sites.
This is the first time in nearly two decades that the government has tightened limits on pollution from chemical plants.
The new rule, from the Environmental Protection Agency, specifically targets ethylene oxide, which is used to sterilize medical devices, and chloroprene, which is used to make rubber in footwear.
They are considered a top health concern in an area of Louisiana so dense with petrochemical and refinery plants that it is known as Cancer Alley.
Communities in proximity to the plants are often disproportionately Black or Latino and have elevated rates of cancer, respiratory problems and premature deaths.
Michael S. Regan, the administrator of the E.P.A., traveled last year to St. John the Baptist Parish in Louisiana, the heart of Cancer Alley, to announce his agency’s intention to limit pollution from the plants.
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The Biden administration on Tuesday announced a rule requiring more than 200 chemical plants nationwide to reduce the amount of harmful pollutants they emit into the atmosphere.

The purpose of the regulation is to lower the cancer risk for residents who live close to industrial sites. The government has tightened restrictions on pollution from chemical plants for the first time in almost 20 years.

Targeting ethylene oxide, which is used to sterilize medical equipment, and chloroprene, which is used to make rubber for footwear, is the new rule issued by the Environmental Protection Agency.

The E. P. A. has determined that both chemicals are probably carcinogens. In an area of Louisiana known as “Cancer Alley” due to its high concentration of refineries and petrochemical plants, they are regarded as a major health concern.

The majority of the facilities impacted by the rule are located in West Virginia, the Ohio River Valley, Texas, and other Gulf Coast states. Nearby communities are more likely to be Black or Latino, and they also have higher rates of cancer, respiratory issues, and early mortality.

The E’s administrator, Michael S. Regan. H. P. A. visited St. Louis the previous year. John the Baptist Parish, located in the center of Cancer Alley, Louisiana, to declare his organization’s goal to reduce pollution from the plants.

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