How you can help protect yourself and your community from toxic chemical plant pollution

The EPA has proposed new, stronger limits on toxic emissions from chemical plants. Your voice will help ensure the agency finalizes the strongest possible protections.

Dow Chemical facility in Freeport, TX

Take Action

Matt Casale

Former Director, Environment Campaigns, PIRG

Once it’s released, toxic air pollution from chemical plants doesn’t respect property lines.

This pollution increases cancer risk for individuals and communities living nearby. And we have a chance right now to significantly reduce Americans’ exposure to toxic chemical plant emissions.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is considering updating its emissions standards for these polluting facilities, and we’re advocating to make sure the new rules are as strong as possible. Will you join this effort by submitting your public comment today?

New proposed rules would protect communities from toxic pollution

The EPA’s proposal would require chemical plants to report when and how much certain toxic substances they release end up crossing beyond their property lines.

And if a plant fails to keep its pollution below the established limit? It must fix the problem or risk legal action. In particular, affected citizens would be able to sue to reduce the threat.

That could be a game-changer for communities such as one in Louisiana where an elementary school sits a half-mile from a plant that emits chloroprene, which the EPA considers a likely carcinogen.

No one should have to worry that the air they breathe is polluted with cancer-causing chemicals

In total, the proposal would cover around 200 chemical plants and eliminate an estimated 6,000 pounds of toxic air pollution annually. That includes reducing pollution from another chemical called ethylene oxide, commonly used in medical sterilization plants, by as much as two-thirds below 2020 levels. Long-term exposure to ethylene oxide can increase the risk of lymphoma and breast cancer.

We can’t miss this opportunity to address these serious health threats. But industry groups such as the American Chemistry Council are already trying to weaken the EPA’s proposal — which is why advocates like PIRG and concerned citizens like you need to step up.

The more of us that raise our voices and urge the EPA to do the right thing, the better the chances are that the final standards will be as strong as possible. Submit your comment before the EPA’s June 26 deadline.


Matt Casale

Former Director, Environment Campaigns, PIRG

Danielle Melgar

Food & Agriculture, Advocate, PIRG

Danielle works to ensure our food system produces enough nutritious food to feed everyone, without threatening our health, the planet, or the ability of future generations to grow food. Danielle lives in Chicago, where she enjoys staying active in the outdoors, trying out new recipes, and writing short stories.

Find Out More