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Louisville’s Chemical Plant Emits Two Potent Greenhouse Gas

The Louisville’s Chemical plant emits a chemical feedstock and a separate gas byproduct that do more damage to the climate than 750,000 passenger vehicles that the Environmental Protection Agency’s main industrial greenhouse gas inventory indicates.

Chemours’ most harmful climate super-pollutant is the byproduct, hydrofluorocarbon-23 a potent greenhouse gas that produces 12,400 times more warming than carbon dioxide, the main chemical compound responsible for climate change.  The plant emits hundred tons of hydrochlorofluorocarbon-22. It is a chemical ingredient that is used in everything from Teflon to lubricants used on the International Space Station.

It acts as a climate super-pollutant 1,760 times more effective at warming the atmosphere than carbon dioxide, HCFC-22 also destroys atmospheric ozone that helps protect the Earth from harmful ultraviolet rays. Its production was banned in the United States and other developed countries on January 1, 2020, under an international agreement known as the Montreal Protocol.Chemours is exempt from that prohibition because the HCFC-22 produced in Louisville’s is used as a feedstock to make other products that do not damage the Earth’s protective ozone layer.

President David James, a Democrat, and Louisville metro council said that he was shocked. He also added that he was more concerned to hear of the additional HCFC-22 emissions, and he was looking into what city officials might be able to do.

Thom Sueta, a spokesperson for Chemours, said the company has plans to reduce emissions of both chemicals as part of its corporate responsibility program. The chemical plant takes our obligation seriously to manufacture our products.Since 2018 the global chemical company has been working toward company-wide goals to reduce its rate of greenhouse gas emissions by 60% and cut its release of fluorinated organic compounds, like those emitted from the Louisville plant, by 99%.

A Louisville’s chemical planters operated by the company Chemours emits two super-pollutants equivalent to the greenhouse gas emissions from more than 750,000 passenger vehicles a year. Those emissions cause climate warming which impacts 671,000 automobiles. Emissions of HCFC-22 are found in the EPA’s Toxics Release Inventory. They add the equivalent yearly climate impact of another 113,000 passenger cars.

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