St. John Industrial Group Shares 2019 emission data, supports local restaurants
LAPLACE — St. John Industrial Group updated its plans for sharing emission data in 2020, primarily due to COVID-19 uncertainties.
For more than 20 years, the group hosted an environmental art contest for St. John Parish school students in third through sixth grades and announced the winners during a fall breakfast meeting attended by students, their families, teachers and principals, as well as invited guests including a broad cross-section of the community and elected officials. As the St. John Industrial Group shared emission data, this annual event became an opportunity for young students to become more aware of the environment, become interested in science and have the chance to express their ideas artistically.
With schools, students, teachers and families experiencing great challenges during COVID-19 restrictions, the group took a different tack for 2020. St. John Industrial Group will not host the art contest or the breakfast this year. Instead, the group will mail postcards to every household and
business in St. John the Baptist Parish, encouraging residents to visit the website where emission data is
shared on each company’s page.
The complete St. John Industrial Group newsletter will be available online at www.stjohnig.com. As an incentive to visit and review the information and to support local businesses, St. John Industrial Group is offering a chance to win one of three $50 gift certificates to local restaurants.
“We hope this will support our community small businesses and provide a fun opportunity
for those three lucky winners,” organizers said. “Please read the newsletter in its entirety and submit your name, e-mail and best phone number where you may be reached.”
More information on contest details can be found at www.stjohnig.com. Winners will be selected from email entries received in a drawing held on October 31, 2020. Three winners will be announced by November 6, 2020. Only one entry per e-mail will be used in the drawing.
The 2020 St. John Industrial Group members include Air Products – Garyville (SMR), Denka Performance Elastomer, DuPont – Pontchartrain Site, Evonik – Garyville, Evonik – Reserve and Nalco Water.
The theme of the 2020 newsletter is “Onward!” St. John Industrial Group released the following statement at the beginning of the newsletter: “Much like everyone in St. John the Baptist Parish, we persevere and seek every way possible to become stronger, better and safer. Our message remains steadfast, strong and hopeful. We want to assure everyone in the parish that each company continues to practice safe habits, properly monitor emissions and maintain our commitment to employees and residents.”
Employees, plant managers and their Environmental, Health and Safety teams have continued to reduce emissions while developing new practices to further minimize contact. According to 2020 reports, use of personal protective equipment has expanded, while temperature checks and increased sanitization has become part of an adjusted lifestyle.
Air Products Garyville SMR saw a small hike in air emissions rates in 2019 due to high production rates and performance issues with a heat exchanger that have since been resolved. This year, the facility made five years without a recordable injury and 11 years without a loss time incident.
The Garyville site employs 12 individuals and produces hydrogen and steam to sell to the Garyville Marathon Refinery. Air Products was also a 2019 sponsor of the St. John Local Emergency Planning Committee’s school outreach program on Cybersecurity.
Denka Performance Elastomer of LaPlace has 245 full-time employees and 80 resident contractors for an annual payroll of $40 million.
Annual emissions data indicates that Denka reduced chloroprene emissions by 85 percent from 2014 to 2019. This emission reduction was backed by Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality and satisfies the voluntary emissions reduction agreement entered into in 2017. Denka anticipates reporting further reductions for 2020 as a result of ongoing process optimization and emission reduction efforts.
Dupont supports 140 employees and 98 contractors who contribute to mentoring programs and other community events. While air emissions decreased, offsite emissions increased in 2019.
Evonik Corporation – Garyville manufactures super absorbent polymers used in agriculture and the production of diapers. Forty-four percent of Evonik’s 73 full time employees and 60 to 70 contract workers reside in the River Parishes. Air emissions slightly increased from 2018 to 2019. According to the newsletter, Evonik will continue to investigate and implement more efficient ways to operate order to reduce its environmental footprint.
Evonik Corporation – Reserve is a specialty chemical manufacturing site with 46 direct and 4 resident contract employees. The main product line includes liquid soaps and epoxy resins. Air and off-site emissions decreased from 2018 to 2019 at this site. Last year, the site donated more than 300 school supplies to Louisiana Federal Credit Union’s Pack the Pirogue initiative.
Nalco Water- an Ecolab company, is a leader in water management solutions with 218 employees. Manufactured pounds of finished products at Nalco’s Garyville facility decreased in 2019 when compared to 2018 production. Air, water and offsite emissions also decreased.
Please visit www.stjohnig.com for more information and be on the lookout for a postcard in the mail.