About ToxicTrailers.com

ToxicTrailers.com was launched after Hurricane Katrina in 2005 when the government spent more than $2 billion on FEMA trailers with high levels of formaldehyde that sickened thousands of people. The FEMA trailer tragedy exposed what is a widespread problem in RVs, mobile homes, modular buildings and even conventional buildings that use pressed wood products. Unfortunately, as we approach the tenth anniversary of Katrina, formaldehyde regulations are not being enforced in the U.S., and people's health is at risk. If you are having burning eyes, congestion, sore throat, coughing, breathing difficulties, frequent sinus infections or rashes, and difficulties concentrating, you may have a formaldehyde problem. For questions or to share your story, write 4becky@cox.net.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

formaldehyde victory re plywood plants

Good news! A federal court has ruled that it is NOT okay for EPA to exempt plywood plants from toxic air pollution limits.

According to a press release from Sierra Club, on June 19 the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit dealt a major setback to a long-running campaign by industry lawyers and political appointees at the Environmental Protection Agency to gut the Clean Air Act’s toxics provisions. On behalf of plywood factory owners, EPA had crafted a wholesale exemption that would have allowed approximately two thirds of all plants to avoid controlling emissions of formaldehyde and other toxic pollution.

Natural Resources Defense Council, representing Environmental Integrity Project, and Earthjustice, representing Sierra Club challenged EPA’s rule as unlawful. The Court agreed, and vacated the exemption and other unlawful loopholes. The decision makes clear that plywood plants must start cleaning up their pollution this fall.

Plywood plants as a whole emit more than 18,000 tons of toxic air pollution each year, including formaldehyde, acetaldehyde, phenol and other pollutants that can cause cancer, liver and kidney damage, birth defects and adverse reproductive effects.

“Like an exterminator killing termites, the Court blocked EPA’s destructive attempt to carve out holes in the Clean Air Act’s protections against toxic pollution from plywood factories,” said John Walke, Clean Air Director for the Natural Resources Defense Council. “When the EPA sides with polluters over the public,
Americans should be grateful that we have the courts to protect us against government wrongdoing and harmful pollution.”