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DEQ addresses public’s concerns about Indorama plant

Published: Dec. 16, 2021 at 9:36 PM CST
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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - The Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality held a public hearing Thursday night, as there are many concerns about excessive rumbling and flaring from a plant in Westlake.

“I live six and a half miles away, and I can hear the flare and see the light from the flare,”a resident said. “That is just unbelievable.”

Sleepless nights as a result of constant rumbling and huge plumes of black smoke are concerns facing surrounding residents near Westlake’s Indorama ethylene plant.

“Indorama has not been a good neighbor to the community, the residents or even the local legislatures,” Charlie Atherton said.

The plant is requesting an air operating permit renewal modification, as well as a prevention of significant deterioration permit modification. As the second largest producer of ethylene-oxide, a spokesperson for the company said the company values reducing their carbon footprint.

“We’re placing a large focus on sustainability and reducing our footprint on the environment throughout our corporation,” the spokesperson said.

“How concerned Indorama is about carbon and sustainability, yet this permit will allow increases in CO2,” another resident said.

But, others worry these permits will do just the opposite.

“This permit needs to be delayed or completely abandoned until they can reconfigure this flare, number one,” a resident said. “Until this thing is acceptable for the community.”

“We’re concerned that this permit is going to allow them to have increased emissions, which further impacts the health and public safety of the community,” Atherton said.

The deadline for comment or requests for public hearings is Dec. 20. Emails can be submitted to deq.publicnotices@la.gov.

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