WASHINGTON (CN) – Emissions of carbonyl sulfide and polycyclic organic matter like benzo[a]pyrene from aluminum reduction plants would be regulated for the first time under new rules proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency.
Carbonyl sulfide is the smelly stuff in some cheeses and cooked cabbages, and is the most abundant naturally occurring sulfur compound. In extremely high concentrations it can cause convulsions and paralyze the lungs. Benzo[a]pyrene is highly carcinogenic and is most often encountered in tobacco smoke.
Under the new rules, facilities will have to use the best available technology to limit emissions of the two substances, typically using dry scrubbers to filter out emissions from the plant.
In addition, the agency proposes changes to the start-up, shut-down and restart routines of the facilities to reduce the emissions of the toxins.
The public has until Jan. 20 to comment on the proposed rules.