Ontario plastics plant facing government orders to reduce toxic emissions will shut down permanently

Ontario plastics plant facing government orders to reduce toxic emissions will shut down permanently
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A plastics plant in southwestern Ontario that was ordered by the province and federal government to reduce emissions of the cancer-causing chemical benzene now says it will permanently close by June 2026. 

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The Sarnia facility, which employs about 80 people directly, has been shut down since late April, after members of nearby Aamjiwnaang First Nation said they went to hospital and were treated for illnesses related to benzene exposure.

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Orders from the provincial government drastically reduced the target for benzene emissions in May. 

In a statement issued on Tuesday, the company said its decision was “irrespective of the current situation.”

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“This difficult business decision to permanently close our Sarnia site was made following a lengthy evaluation process and is based on the economics of the facility within a wider industry context,” said CEO Steve Harrington.

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“The long-term prospects for the Sarnia site have worsened to the point that it is no longer an economically viable operating asset.

“The production site in Sarnia is currently shut down due to recent orders from regulatory authorities that forced us to declare force majeure. We are currently assessing what is required to restart the site — a process that could take approximately six months.”



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