June 25th, 2024

Ontario chemical plant subject to provincial, federal orders, permanently closing


By The Canadian Press on June 11, 2024.

A plastics plant in Sarnia, Ont., that has been subject to recent orders and regulations from both the provincial and federal governments over benzene emissions says it is permanently shutting down. A petrochemical plant is seen in Sarnia, Ont., Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

SARNIA, Ont. – A plastics plant in Sarnia, Ont., that has been subject to recent orders and regulations from both the provincial and federal governments over benzene emissions says it is permanently shutting down.

Ineos Styrolution says its decision to close the Sarnia site by June 2026 was made irrespective of the current regulatory situation, rather it is due to economic considerations.

Ineos says the company has made significant investments in the site for many years to ensure safe and reliable operations, but it is no longer an economically viable operating asset.

The site temporarily shut down in April shortly after the neighbouring Aamjiwnaang First Nation recorded high benzene emissions and said people there were falling ill.

Ontario imposed new conditions on Ineos that it had to fulfill before it restarted, and the company said that while it had never detected emissions over limits, the timeline for the province’s new requirements was unrealistic.

The site employs 80 people and a large number of contractors.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 11, 2024.

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