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Follansbee, W.Va., Company Joins EPA Voluntary Program to Reduce Chemicals

Release Date: 11/25/2008
Contact Information: Donna Heron 215-814-5113 / donna.heron@epa.gov

PHILADELPHIA (November 25, 2008) -- Koppers Inc., located in Follansbee, W.Va., joined the growing ranks of companies enrolling in EPA’s National Partnership for Environmental Priorities (NPEP). The program encourages public and private organizations to form partnerships with EPA and to commit to reduce the use or release of any of 31 priority chemicals.

As a new NPEP partner, Koppers Inc. has committed to reduce waste at its Follansbee, W.Va. plant and has voluntarily committed to a source reduction goal of 50,154 pounds of Polycyclic Aromatic Compounds (PACs) and 8,680 pounds of Benzo(ghi)perylene by December 2009. In addition they have committed to a recycling and recovery goal of 13,049 pounds of PACs and 1,000 pounds of Benzo(ghi)perylene by December 2009. The Follansbee plant manufactures carbon pitch, refined tars, specialty and soft pitch (roofing pitch) using crude coke oven tar as the raw material.

PACs are a group of chemicals that are formed during the incomplete burning of coal, oil, gas, crude oil, coal, coal tar pitch, creosote, and roofing tar. Benzo(g,h,i)perylene is one of a group of chemicals called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and like PACs, Benzo(g,h,i)perylene is also created when products like coal, oil, gas, and garbage are burned but the burning process is not complete.

“Koppers has demonstrated its environmental leadership by enrolling in EPA’s National Partnership for Enviromental Priorities,” said Abraham Ferdas, director of the Land and Chemical Management Division in EPA’s mid-Atlantic region. “By enrolling in this voluntary national program, Koppers becomes a true industry leader by addressing chemical risks at its Follansbee,, facility.”

EPA, working in conjunction with the public and various industries, has set a goal to reduce the use or release of four million pounds of priority chemicals by 2011. These priority chemicals have been targeted because they can accumulate in living organisms or have high toxicity levels.

Koppers, headquartered in Pittsburgh, is a leading distiller of coal tar, a by-product of the transformation of coal into coke. Koppers distills coal tar to produce carbon pitch, refined tar, roofing pitch, creosote, carbon black feedstock and chemical oils. The chemical oils resulting from distillation are used to produce naphthalene and phthalic anhydride (PAA).

Koppers carbon materials and chemicals are essential to the production of aluminum, steel, plastics, resins, treated wood and rubber products. They also increase the durability of many products including railroad ties, utility and transmission poles and marine pilings."

For more information on the NPEP program: www.epa.gov/epaoswer/hazwaste/minimize/npep/

Attn. Editor: jpg photo is available via email.