On Tuesday, Continental Carbon Company issued a letter to customers, employees, and partners announcing the closure of the company’s carbon black plant in Phenix City, Alabama as of December 31, 2022. As previously reported, the plant is subject to a Consent Decree with the US EPA that sets December 31 as the deadline for the installation of equipment to reduce emissions of SOx/NOx. Continental has been seeking an extension on the deadline.
In a letter announcing the closure, Dennis Hetu, President of CCC, said:
CCC has been engaged with the EPA and DOJ for several months now in an exhaustive attempt to reach an amendment to the Consent Decree and extend the deadline. We have not been asking to be absolved of the requirements but simply a request to extend the deadline – as all of our competitors in the market have requested. However, as of the writing of this note the EPA and DOJ have provided us with one simple answer – NO! They have no desire nor interest to extend our deadline and do not seem to be concerned with the impacts to the economy, supply chain, employees, or even the fact that this will encourage more imports from two nations (China and Russia) who do not concern themselves with environmental impacts.