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MCIC Acceptable Ambient Level Hydrogen Sulfide Acceptable Ambient Level Hydrogen Sulfide EMC Air Quality Committee EMC Air Quality Committee 12 February.

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Presentation on theme: "MCIC Acceptable Ambient Level Hydrogen Sulfide Acceptable Ambient Level Hydrogen Sulfide EMC Air Quality Committee EMC Air Quality Committee 12 February."— Presentation transcript:

1 MCIC Acceptable Ambient Level Hydrogen Sulfide Acceptable Ambient Level Hydrogen Sulfide EMC Air Quality Committee EMC Air Quality Committee 12 February February 2003 by by Preston Howard, President Preston Howard, President Manufacturers & Chemical Industry Manufacturers & Chemical Industry Council of North Carolina Council of North Carolina MCIC MCIC

2 MCIC 6 Affected MCIC Members Sites - All in Economically Depressed Regions b Blue Ridge Paper - Canton b International Paper RiegelwoodRiegelwood Roanoke RapidsRoanoke Rapids b PCS Phosphate - Aurora b Weyerhaeuser New BernNew Bern PlymouthPlymouth

3 MCIC All are Major Economic Hubs b Directly employ from 500 to 1200 on-site b Statewide 9000 total jobs b Thousands of spin-off jobs b Annual payroll $494 Millon b $750 Million in purchases from NC vendors

4 MCIC Responsibilities b SAB - Risk Assessment No considerations other than scienceNo considerations other than science b EMC - Risk Management Practical considerationsPractical considerations Technical feasibilityTechnical feasibility Economic impactEconomic impact

5 MCIC Regulated Sources b Six sites owned by MCIC member companies = 14% of all H 2 S emissions in NC b 86% of H 2 S emissions would not be subject to the new AAL b Is it prudent to spend $500 Million to control 14% of the emissions?

6 MCIC H 2 S Emissions in North Carolina

7 MCIC Jappinen et al b to assess the possible effects of low concentrations of H 2 S on respiratory function b Exposed 10 asthmatics to 2 ppm for 30 min. b 2 ppm = 2700 ug/m3 b current AAL is 2100 ug/m3

8 MCIC Conflicting interpretations of Jappinens results b SAB b Concluded that the bronchial obstruction experienced by 2 of the 10 asthmatics constituted an asthmatic response b Jappinen b noted that the increase [in bronchial obstruction] was not statistically significant and did not result in clinical symptoms

9 MCIC Bruce Dalton, MD, FACOEM b Jappinen study findings are consistent with population studies of residents living near industrial sources of hydrogen sulfide b the SABs recommendations are based on interpretations of the Jappinen study that are inconsistent with the data as published

10 MCIC Vickie L. Tatum, Ph.D. b The SAB implies...that exposure to low levels of hydrogen sulfide trigger asthma attacks. Such conclusions are not supported by the scientific and medical literature, nor are they shared by other bodies. b Michigan Environmental Science Board interpreted Jappinen - asthmatic subjects [are] not more susceptible to [the] effects of H 2 S

11 MCIC Others b 1997 American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists - studies on respiratory function of pulp mill workers and asthmatics at 2 ppm hydrogen sulfide failed to find a statistically significant change produced by the hydrogen sulfide

12 MCIC Real world studies… b 11 different studies on respiratory health of residents near pulp mills and refineries b 10 studies found no evidence of significantly increased incidence of asthma or asthma-like symptoms b 1 study found increased incidence of asthma, but authors noted that other factors, such as mold in homes and pollen, appeared to play a role

13 MCIC The 1 hr AAL derived from Jappinen should be discounted b Is not supported by Jappinen (the author) b Is not supported by scientific and medical literature b Is not supported by interpretations by other government agencies (Michigan ESB) b Is not supported by American Conference of Government Industrial Hygienists b Is not supported by population studies of residents living near industrial sources of H 2 S

14 MCIC Vanhoorne et al b Basis for SABs 24 hr AAL of 33 ug/m3 b Study of eye irritation complaints among workers at a viscose rayon plant b Workers were exposed to both hydrogen sulfide and carbon disulfide

15 MCIC Quotes from Vanhoorne... b the prevalence of eye complaints… is clearly associated with exposure. However, deciding which of the two suspected agents, H 2 S or CS 2, was responsible proved impossible in this study. b Last year EPA judged studies like Vanhoorne to be unsuitable due to the co-exposure to other chemicals like CS 2 b Last year EPA judged studies like Vanhoorne to be unsuitable due to the co-exposure to other chemicals like CS 2

16 MCIC Vanhoorne... b Since Vanhoorne involved the co-exposure of H 2 S and CS 2, and since EPA has indicated that the use of studies involving such co- exposure is inappropriate, MCIC believes that the EMC should disregard the Vanhoorne study and the proposed AAL of 33 ug/m3 that was derived from it

17 MCIC MCIC Position b The SAB offered a 24 hr AAL of 120 ug/m3, based on Brenneman study b MCICs experts have reviewed this derivation b Scientific disagreement over the Brenneman study is not extensive b MCIC believes that compliance with this 24 hour AAL is achievable at reasonable cost, if accompanied by an exemption for WWTP b MCIC has no objection to adoption of 120 ug/m3 (24 hr), with WWTP exemption and compliance 5 years following permit renewal

18 MCIC What should the EMC do? b We know from staff about the severe economic hardship associated with 56 ug/m3 (1 hr) b We know there is considerable disagreement in the scientific and medical communities b Scientific complexity/disagreement causes confusion b Confusion breeds a tendency to defer the decision to the science experts - the risk assessors b Urge you not to shirk your risk MANAGEMENT responsibility by deferring a management decision to risk ASSESSORS b This decision is rightfully made by the EMC - you are the risk MANAGERS - you should decide the appropriate AAL

19 MCIC High regard for SAB b DR. Lucier and his colleagues on the SAB are well respected b Our purpose here today is not to criticize the SAB b To the contrary, our purpose is to note for you that knowledgeable scientists and medical professionals disagree on the health effects of low level H 2 S exposure

20 MCIC EMCs Role as RISK MANAGER b Weigh the merits of the scientific arguments and assess the scientific uncertainty and disagreement b Consider the significant economic implications for the 4 companies as well as for entire regions of North Carolina b Assign an AAL that affords adequate protection for the public health without unnecessarily jeopardizing the jobs of working families


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