In May 2011, BCAAT engaged a noted environmental attorney (the same person who successfully negotiated the 2005 Tate and Lyle settlement) and filed a formal appeal of the Viskase permit.
This litigation is still in progress, and it is expected to go to hearing before an Administrative Law Judge on September 10, 2014. Here why.
In March 2011 the state of Tennessee granted a permit to allow Viskase to expand their Loudon plant and greatly increase noxious air pollutants into the air we breathe. This was done despite strong objections from residents concerned about their health, quality of life, and property values. This permit will allow Viskase to dump an additional 440 tons of pollutants into Loudon air, over and above actual current levels. These pollutants include air toxics, ozone forming chemicals, and strong odor producing substances.
Carbon disulfide (CS2), a neurological toxin, will increase by 220 tons per year. In addition to its neurological toxicity, it is a volatile organic compound (VOC) which causes increased ozone levels. High ozone levels cause breathing problems and are an ongoing concern for the whole Knoxville metropolitan area. Furthermore, this chemical has a very offensive odor.
Hydrogen sulfide (H2S), will increase by 144 tons per year. This strongly odoriferous substance will certainly add to the odor problems experienced by Loudon residents and surrounding areas.
Power Plant emissions of nitrous oxides (NOx) and sulfur dioxide (SO2) will each increase by nearly 40 tons per year. Nitrous oxides cause an increase in ozone pollution, and sulfur dioxide is a lung irritant, which causes acid rain.
These pollutants contribute to breathing and cardiovascular difficulties of Loudon County residents. Further, odor from this pollution clearly detracts from quality of life in our communities. As such, this increase in pollution will negatively impact both economic growth and the property values of our homes and businesses.