BPA Baby Bottle Ban
Chicago has become the first U.S. city to adopt a ban on the sale of baby bottles and sippy cups containing the chemical BPA. The ban is slated to take effect January 31, 2010. Chicago’s ordinance will require retailers to post notices declaring the products they sell do not contain BPA. Violators could be fined up to $100 or more per offense and could lose their licenses. Chicago is the third jurisdiction in the country to ban BPA from baby bottles and sippy cups. New York’s Suffolk County became the first last month, and Minnesota passed a ban shortly thereafter. Canada became the first country to announce plans for a similar ban last year.
OSHA Citing Prior to Explosion
A fire broke out a Columbus Chemical Industries, causing a series of three explosions that rocked the building just after firefighters arrived. The company provides chemicals to high-tech and pharmaceutical companies. No workers were at the plant and it’s still unclear how the fire started. The company was fined about $4,300 in 2005 for 10 safety violations, including eight labeled “serious” by OSHA. The violations involved handling of flammable and hazardous materials and maintenance of safety equipment. An OSHA spokesman said the company promptly corrected those violations and has had no problems since.
U.S. Energy-Related Carbon Dioxide Emissions Down
U.S. carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels decreased by 2.8 percent in 2008, from 5,967 million metric tons of CO2 in 2007 to 5,802 million metric tons of CO2 in 2008, according to preliminary estimates released by the Energy Information Administration. This is the largest annual decline in energy-related carbon dioxide emissions since the group began annual reporting on greenhouse gas emissions. Factors that influenced the emissions decline included record-high oil prices and a decline in economic activity in the second half of the year.
Mexican Petchem Plan
Five consortiums of engineering and construction firms have placed bids for a project to double capacity at Mexico’s Cangrejera petrochemicals complex. Pemex expects to invest $63 million in 2009 and a total of $504 million during the next three years to build three plants and double paraxylene capacity to 488,000 tons a year.