"The chemical industry greased the regulatory skids in Pennsylvania for a controversial plastics recycling method. By challenging a permit decision, critics are saying “Slow down.”"
"A Philadelphia environmental group has filed an appeal to block a proposed $1.1 billion “advanced” plastics recycling plant in rural Pennsylvania after the administration of Gov. Tom Wolf, a Democrat, exempted the facility from having to obtain a solid waste permit.
The Clean Air Council believes its challenge may be the first after a 2020 law passed by Pennsylvania’s Republican legislature that classified “advanced recycling” as a manufacturing process, as opposed to waste management or waste incineration.
The state’s Department of Environmental Protection used the 2020 law this past summer to determine that the proposal from a Houston-based company, Encina, did not need a waste permit to gather huge volumes of plastic waste and, through a heating and chemical process, turn it into benzene, toluene and xylene. The fuels are used as solvents and feedstocks for the chemical industry, and, according to Encina’s plans, plastic production.
Pennsylvania is among 20 states that have adopted such laws, which seek to boost what the chemical and plastics industries call “advanced,” or “chemical” recycling."
James Bruggers reports for Inside Climate News November 8, 2022.