Toledo, Ohio-based Owens Corning has pulled the plug on its plans to build a controversial polystyrene foam board insulation plant in Gresham, Ore.
Because the plant was going to emit hydrochlorofluorocarbon 142b, a blowing agent listed by the Environmental Protection Agency as a greenhouse gas and ozone-depleting substance, Owens Corning had to file an air-quality permit application, which the company ultimately pulled.
``Nothing additional has been decided beyond the fact that we've decided not to proceed with the facility as it is today,'' an Owens Corning spokesman told The Oregonian newspaper in a May 9 story.
Owens Corning officials did not respond to several requests for comment.
The company started building a shell of the 50,000-square-foot plant in June 2004, before applying for an air-quality permit from the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality.
According to the Oregonian story, Owens Corning ``faced intense opposition at packed public hearings, a federal lawsuit by three environmental groups, and a recent proposal by the EPA to ban some uses of HCFC 142b immediately, rather than waiting until 2010.''
Jane Harris, executive director of the Portland, Ore.-based Oregon Center for Environmental Health, said the 280 tons of HCFC 142b emissions that the Owens Corning plant was going to produce was the equivalent of 100,000 cars driving 12,000 miles per year.
The group was one of three to file a lawsuit against Owens Corning in U.S. District Court in Portland.
``The product is going to be banned after 2010 anyway,'' Harris said during a May 12 telephone interview. ``We're in the process of negotiating a settlement agreement [for Owens Corning] to use a different chemical. They've agreed that the chemical will not have ozone-depleting capabilities.''