Olin, a chlor-alkali company that still emits mercury from its processes, is based out of my home-state, Missouri. I figured it would be fitting to write a peice highlighting what they should do with all that money they had been making in the second quarter.
Recently I moved from Missouri to Washington but I am still proud to hear of good news from back home.
The other day, I heard the Olin Corp.’s good news when it saw a boost in revenue due to its smart business planning (“Olin’s strong sales increase provides little profit,” July 29). While I’m proud to hear of this success, it’s time for Olin to get its business plans out of the past. Olin is one of six chlor-alkali companies that still use mercury in its chlorine plants. Mercury, a neurotoxin emitted from these plants, enters the environment, which can then end up in the fish we eat.
Olin operates one mercury-based chlorine plant in Charleston, Tenn., and another in Augusta, Ga. In 2004, these plants emitted more than 1,800 pounds of mercury into the air combined. If these plants were located in Missouri, they’d be the worst and third-worst mercury emitters in the state, respectively.
Other chlor-alkali companies, such as Occidental, PPG and ERCO, have either pledged to stop or are at least considering switching to mercury-free technology. Already, 90 percent of the chlor-alkali industry uses mercury-free technology.
By planning for a future without mercury, Olin can continue to Show-Me the Profits in a way that’s healthier for residents near their facilities.