The Jersey Journal (Jersey City, NJ)
August 31, 2005
Firm seeks new pollution permit
By RONALD LEIR
JOURNAL STAFF WRITER
The state Department of Environmental Protection will hold a
public hearing in Bayonne Tuesday on an application by a Japanese-owned
chemical plant for an air pollution control operating permit.
The DEP says the company - AGC Chemicals Americas, Inc., also
known as Asahi Glass, on East 22nd Street off Route 440 - is required
to obtain the permit under federal Clear Air Act regulations because
it operates a "hazardous waste incinerator."
DEP spokeswoman Karen Hershey said the new permit is a consolidation
of the company's existing air pollution control permits. The company
says it is in compliance with existing regulations and the DEP
The hearing is scheduled from 7 to 8 p.m. in the City Council
chambers at Bayonne City Hall, but the session will be extended
if more time is needed to hear additional comments. Those who
can't attend the hearing can submit written comments for two days
The permit wouldn't allow AGC to add new equipment to the plant
and wouldn't allow for increased emissions, DEP says.
If the permit is granted, AGC's incinerator would be allowed
to discharge into the air up to 1.68 pounds per year of arsenic
compound, up to 13,140 pounds per year of chlorine and up to 1,752
pounds per year of hydrogen fluoride, the DEP says.
DEP says the AGC incinerator "operates with at least 99.99
percent destruction and removal efficiency of the principal organic
One chemical the plant reportedly uses
in the manufacturing of a non-stick product, PFOA, has been identified
by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as a likely carcinogen,
but no federal or state environmental standards have yet been
issued governing its discharge from chemical plants.
DEP previously solicited the public's response to the proposed
permit and that public comment period ended July 14.
Asked why the agency was going beyond that, Hershey said: "When
we believe there is sufficient public interest, we hold a public
hearing." Hershey said that interest level is measured "by
the volume of comments we receive."
Asked to share the results of the previously received commentary,
Hershey said she couldn't because "it's too preliminary to
In a lawsuit it filed against the city earlier this year to contest
part of its land being included in a redevelopment area, AGC mentioned
plans to expand its Bayonne facility, but the company has never
specified when that proposed expansion would happen.
The EPA will have 45 days to review the permit and, after that,
if the agency raises no objections, the public will still have
60 days to file protests.