SPI elects Austin its first female chair
WASHINGTON - Jane Austin, global business director for DuPont Co.'s chloroelastomers business, was elected chair of the Society of the Plastics Industry Inc. for 2006, becoming the first woman to head the nation's leading plastics industry group in its 70-year history.
Austin has been active in SPI leadership for more than seven years, including terms as a board member, treasurer and member of the finance committee. SPI chairmen serve for one year but are eligible to serve for a second term.
``Jane knows the industry, she knows the issues facing us, she knows the marketplace and she knows what our members expect of SPI,'' Bill Carteaux, SPI president and chief executive officer, said in a news release. ``She is exactly the right person at the right time.''
Auctions set for auto supply businesses
SOLON, OHIO - Auctions are set for two auto suppliers that went out of business in 2005.
Injection molder TKA Plastics Corp. closed its doors in Winchester, Tenn., at the end of November. Belleville, Mich.-based Atek Thermoforming Inc. closed in March.
TKA had been recovering from past business difficulties when the auto industry consolidated its supplier base and re-sourced work the company had been handling, leaving it with no alternatives, noted John Payne, director of the Franklin County Industrial Development Board. The firm had about 80 employees in 2005.
Myron Bowling Auctioneers Inc. will oversee the sale of 17 injection molding machines from TKA, ranging in size from 90-720 tons, during a Feb. 8 auction.
Atek thermoformed auto interior and exterior trim parts, armrest consoles and floor mats, according to Stopol Inc., the Solon-based firm that will handle the March 1 auction of Atek's assets.
EPA urging PFOA, telomer phaseout
WASHINGTON - The Environmental Protection Agency is asking chemical companies to phase out their use of perfluorooctanoic acid and related precursor chemicals used to make fluoropolymers.
EPA announced the plan Jan. 25, releasing a letter it sent to manufacturers of PFOA and telomers asking them to reduce the use of those chemicals by 95 percent by 2010, and to eliminate them completely by 2015. The voluntary agreement would cover all PFOA and telomers manufactured globally, not just in the United States.
EPA also announced that DuPont Co., which makes Teflon-brand fluoropolymer, already has agreed to work toward those goals. Other manufacturers were asked to join the program by March 1. EPA will add PFOA and its precursors to the Toxic Release Inventory, which will require companies to report their emissions of the chemicals.
One environmental group that has pushed PFOA issues had praise for EPA and DuPont.
``This is one of those days when the Environmental Protection Agency is at its best,'' said Ken Cook, president of the Washington-based Environmental Working Group.
He added: ``As harshly as we have singled out DuPont for criticism for its past handling of PFOA pollution, today we want to single out and commend the company, and acknowledge its leadership going forward.''
In December, Wilmington, Del.-based DuPont agreed to pay $16.5 million to settle allegations that it withheld key health data about fluoropolymer manufacturing from EPA.
Chipsco fire cause under investigation
MEADVILLE, PA. - An investigation is continuing into the cause of a Jan. 23 fire that destroyed injection mold toolmaker Chipsco Inc.
Firefighters declared the Meadville facility a total loss following the early morning blaze. No one was injured. State police and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are overseeing the investigation.
Chipsco co-owner Blair Learn could not be reached for comment but told local media that he intended to rebuild the facility and is making arrangements to meet existing contracts. The company employs about 50. The Learn family also owns molder Controlled Molding Inc. in Hadley, Pa.