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Oceana Applauds PPG's Decision to Eliminate Mercury from Louisiana Chlorine Plant

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Praise Tempered By Company’s Continued Use of Mercury Cell Technology at New Martinsville, West Virginia


August 5, 2005
Washington
Contact:
Dustin Cranor ( dcranor@oceana.org | 954-348-1314, 954-348-1314 (cell))




-- Jackie Savitz, Pollution Campaign Director for the international ocean conservation group Oceana, which has been running a campaign to get the United States’ nine remaining mercury-based plants to shift to mercury-free technology, today released the following statement on PPG Industries’ commitment to upgrade from mercury cell to membrane cell technology for the production of chlorine at its Lake Charles, La., chemicals plant:

“PPG’s commitment to eliminate the use of mercury at its Lake Charles chlorine facility is great news for the citizens of Louisiana, especially given the plant’s status as the State’s top source of mercury air pollution. We hope this step will soon be duplicated by the eight other plants that continue to use 19th century, mercury-polluting technology to produce chlorine, including PPG’s New Martinsville, West Virginia chlorine facility.”

“The industry is currently doing well economically, which makes this a perfect time for these companies to invest in mercury-free technology. PPG recently announced strong second quarter results largely attributed to chlor-alkali growth. As PPG has noted, this shift is a sound business decision. It will result in considerable savings in energy and waste management expenses.”

“In addition to issuing a report identifying this problem, Oceana wrote directly to PPG and the other five companies still using mercury-polluting technology, asking them to make this shift. Ninety percent of the industry has already moved away from mercury technology, demonstrating that using mercury to make chlorine is totally unnecessary. Our campaign to get mercury out of chlorine production will continue to shine light on this unnecessary pollution until the remaining eight plants still using and releasing mercury follow suit.”