Buffalo chemical plant owner disputes state shutdown order

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BUFFALO (AP) — The owners of a chemical plant in Buffalo are disputing a shutdown order issued by the state over sulfur dioxide emissions.

The New York Department of Environmental Conservation on Saturday directed PVS Chemical Solutions to cease operations at its plant in the Seneca-Babcock neighborhood after high sulfur dioxide emissions were detected at nearby athletic fields.

“Until PVS can prove it can operate without emitting potentially harmful SO2 into this community, either by altering operations or scaling back production, it should remain shuttered,” DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said in a statement.

In its own statement, the Detroit-based company said the shutdown “is not justified in any way" and said it has safely processed sulfuric acid at the plant for 40 years. The company added it was given no warning about the closure order during discussions with the DEC as recently as Friday.

PVS said it “will tone down operations while we work with the DEC through the courts to remedy this situation," the Buffalo News reported.

Complaints about sulfur dioxide odors led the DEC to put an air monitoring trailer near the athletic fields last year, and the agency issued notices of violation after excess levels were detected, according to the newspaper.

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