Caroline MacGregor Published

Union Carbide, DEP Agreement To Lower Emissions In Institute 

To black and white colored smokestacks releasing steam into the sky.Wikimedia Commons

The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has signed an agreement with Union Carbide Corporation to further reduce ethylene oxide emissions at its facility in Institute, Kanawha County. 

Scott Mandirola, deputy cabinet secretary for the DEP said this agreement establishes new requirements above and beyond state and federal regulations.

“The new regulations are expected to identify and fix leaks 50 to 1,000 times lower than what was required by current regulation,” Mandirola said.

The agreement also requires a site-specific screening program for railcars containing ethylene oxide in its service. 

Mandirola said Union Carbide will continue to work with the DEP and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to develop improved monitoring for ethylene oxide emissions around the facility. 

“The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection conducted a short term ethylene oxide air monitoring project in 2022,” said Mandirola. “Which sampled seven sites in and around the chemical facility in Institute in South Charleston over four 24 hour periods.”

A public meeting on the final report will be held Thursday, March 2, from 6-8 p.m. at the Wilson Union Hall on campus at West Virginia State University. 

The agency’s final report on the project is now available on the DEP’s website.