New audit challenges Eastman to reduce sulfur dioxide emissions
Author: Allison Winters
A recent audit released by the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation showed Eastman Chemical Co. is still working to lower its sulfur dioxide levels to meet national air quality standards. In 2010, the standards were revised by the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to standardize those levels to “provide protection of public health with an adequate margin of safety, especially for children, the elderly and those with asthma.” Eastman has three powerhouses that use boilers for power production. Many of the boilers still burn coal, releasing sulfur dioxide into the air. As part of a process to reduce those emissions, in 2014 Eastman conved five boilers to burn natural gas, reducing sulfur dioxide output by nearly 70%, according to Eastman spokeswoman Amanda Allman. She also noted that Eastman has installed additional sulfur dioxide emission controls on the two largest coal-fired boilers as a $10 million investment, and the company is also in the process of replacing three more coal-fired boilers with natural gas-powered boilers as a $54 million investment.