Is rock wool “toxic”?
Rockwool/Roxul, Inc. insists that its air emissions are “safe” because its processes, and predicted operational releases, fall within the EPA’s permissible limits for such emissions. Now it attempts to claim those emissions are not toxic. They are using chemicals and extreme heat to melt rock and turn it into a cotton candy like product. Using only the EPA’s regulatory data, the rock wool manufacturing process is – by regulatory definition:
toxic to humans, animals, and plants
The EPA regulates a variety of chemicals under the Toxic Substances Control Act, 15 USC §1601. It also must comply with a number of laws requiring classification and disclosure of its processes. 40 CFR Part 372. Within that law there is a section entitled the Toxic Chemical Release Reporting Community Right To Know. Part D requires the reporting of specific chemicals that the EPA considers toxic, to which the statute applies for each TRI-listed chemical it manufactures, processes or otherwise uses in quantities above the reporting threshold. §372.65
These chemicals are tracked using a specific designated Chemical Abstract Service Register number (CAS). Included among those chemicals are Ammonia (CAS No.7664-41-7), Formaldehyde (CAS No. 50-00-0), Methanol (CAS No.67-56-1), and Phenol (CAS No.108-95-2). Companies using toxic chemicals are required to file a Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) report on a regular basis. Although the Rockwool facility in Jefferson County is not even built yet, its “sister” facility in Byhalia, Mississippi is in operation. A review of its publicly available TRI reports from the Mississippi facility, shows that it must report and has reported the use of each of the above listed toxic chemicals in its operation and manufacture process for rockwool.
In other words, rock wool is produced via a toxic chemical process, i.e., ToxicRockwool.
Air Quality Concerns for Jefferson County: TRI Data Review Summary Emma Huvos – Citizen Researcher Link to Summary Document Jefferson County, WV – EPA Resources Byhalia, MS – EPA Resources (where Rockwool opened their only other US plant in 2014) Note from E. Huvos: When I presented this data directly to Rockwool’s leadership, they tried to discredit what I was saying based on the fact that I used 2016 vs 2017 data (to be clear the EPA plans to publish the complete, quality-checked 2017 dataset in October 2018, followed by the 2017 TRI National Analysis in January 2019, so I was going off best available data). In fairness, based on the initial 2017 data, Rockwool HAS reduced their formaldehyde emissions significantly, due to reformulating the binder they use. However another TRI criteria pollutant, ammonia, went up significantly from 2016 to 2017. The total 2017 TRI air releases for Roxul Byhalia, based on preliminary data, were 423,816.73 pounds. What is in the wind and where is it going? “The maximum significant impact area (SIA, i.e., the distance defined by furthest receptor from the Project with a modeled concentration due to the Project in excess of an applicable SIL) was within 56 km…
Proximity to School and Care Facilities Rockwool (or Roxul USA, Inc) is a Denmark based manufacturer of home and industrial insulation produced from slag and basalt. Ground has been broken for a 463,000 square foot industrial facility on 130 acres in Jefferson County, WV and is scheduled to begin 24 hour day operations in 2020. The location of the factory is within 2 miles of 4 public schools and 2 daycare centers, housing 30% of Jefferson County’s student population. No evaluation of the impacts of air toxic emissions on the nearby schools has been conducted. The land use assessment of the surrounding area was based on 1992 data. Last September, this board voted to approve a PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes) based on a limited presentation that focused on the financial implications surrounding the Rockwool plant. Now, after listening to the concerns of this community and reviewing all available information, we believe more data is necessary as we assess the long-term impact of the Rockwool facility on the surrounding area. The JCS BoE is therefore asking Rockwool to bring on an independent third party to conduct a Human Health Risk Assessment.* JCS BoE Information Center on Rockwool – Click Here…
Our Groundwater and Water Supplies Below, is a review some information about two important sources of water contamination. The first, surface waters, include rivers, streams, and wetlands. Sources are often grouped together inside the boundary of a ‘watershed’, the total land area upslope of a point, such as a lake or river, into which all water will eventually flow. It’s helpful to think of a bathtub. Every location in the world is within a watershed. If you want to visualize your own watershed, please visit the USGS Here. The second source of contamination is groundwater. Groundwater is connected to surface water, but is also connected to other groundwater sources by fractures and faults, and other features. Water wells and municipal water sources are supplied by both surface and groundwater areas. Each source is important. For any industrial development at Jefferson Orchards, there are some contamination sources, including: runoff of contaminated orchard soil, accidental spills and leaks of hazardous chemicals, containment ponds whose liners fail (though to our knowledge Rockwool’s plans only include runoff and stormwater ponds), and leaks from above ground storage tanks. According to Rockwool’s published timeline, they expect to submit a Spill Prevention Response Plan and a Spill Prevention,…
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