Shale gas has fueled hundreds of chemicals-related projects in the US along with more than 700 projects related to plastic processing, said Martha Gilchrist Moore of the American Chemistry Council. Michigan alone has nearly 70 such projects.
The Environmental Protection Agency submitted a draft rule that would change how it uses science when crafting rules to the Office of Management and Budget for review.
Baltimore's ban on polystyrene foam in food packaging will raise costs without helping the city, according to the American Chemistry Council. "Baltimore would be well served with a renewed focus on recycling and composting initiatives and litter control," said Mike Levy of ACC's Plastics Foodservice Packaging Group.
US shale gas reserves have attracted billions of dollars' worth of ethane-related investments, making the country the world's new hub for chemical production, writes Katherine Blunt. New US chemical production capacity this year should be triple that of the Middle East, projects IHS Markit.
Dow Chemical has donated orange trash bags and given grants to cities such as Boise, Idaho, to help residents collect additional types of plastics rather than throwing them out. "This is an innovative solution that allows us to turn a bad situation into something quite positive," said Boise Mayor David Bieter.
Chemical companies BASF and SABIC are responding to demand for bio-based inputs by adding alternative feedstocks to existing crackers. The approach is called biomass balance and is available to customers for an additional fee.
The Environmental Protection Agency has not decided what it will do regarding Obama-era Mercury and Air Toxics Standards, said EPA air chief Bill Wehrum. "The reality is, the bell has been rung, and if you make the regulation go away, you can't make the cost that occurred go away at this point," he said.
A group challenging two of the Toxic Substances Control Act's framework rules has filed an opening brief, arguing that all of a chemical's "conditions of use" must be considered under the law. The Environmental Protection Agency must respond by July 5.
The US notified the World Trade Organization this week that it would participate in talks regarding its tariffs on steel and aluminum imports. Russia, the EU and India have also raised concerns with the WTO.
Norfolk Southern has recognized the safe rail-shipping practices of 52 chemical customers. The railroad is a voluntary participant in the Responsible Care Partnership Program.