Protection of the Atmospheric Environment
Boiler Emissions Countermeasures
At the Yokkaichi Plant, which generates its own power, we installed flue gas desulfurizers to reduce emissions of sulfur oxides (SOx). We also substantially cut emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) by installing burners with low NOx emissions and denitrification equipment. NOx emissions declined in FY2011 (April 1, 2010 to March 31, 2011) as a result of reduced heavy fuel use made possible with a newly installed cogeneration system at Yokkaichi Plant. JSR will continue to adopt the best emissions reduction technologies and will continue to make improvements.
The PRTR Law2 was enacted in July 1999, and enforced in March 2000. Accordingly, since FY2002 we have been required to report PRTR results. The Japan Chemical Industry Association prioritized PRTR and implemented it ahead of other industries in FY1996; the scope of its survey has increased each year since then. As a member of the association, JSR will implement the survey on a continual basis.
The FY2011 results in accordance with the PRTR Law are detailed below. Due to a revision of the PRTR Law, Class 1 Specified Chemical Substances subject to reporting requirements have increased from 354 to 462 substances.
1. Pollutant Release and Transfer Registers (PRTR): A system for registering the emission and movement of environmental pollutants
2. PRTR Law: Law Concerning Reporting, etc. of Releases to the Environment of Specific Chemical Substances and Promoting Improvements in Their Management
Initiatives for Reducing VOC Emissions into the Atmosphere
Dried-synthetic rubber waste incinerators at the Chiba Plant
JSR has long taken measures to reduce atmospheric releases of chemicals, but the FY2005 amendment to the Air Pollution Control Law expanded application to all volatile organic compounds (VOCs). VOC is a general term for organic compounds that easily turn into a gas state when exposed to air. VOCs are believed to be one of the sources of suspended particulate matter and photochemical oxidants, which may have adverse effects on health.
To reduce VOC emissions, five dried-synthetic rubber waste incinerators were installed at three plants between FY2007 and FY2010. As a result, VOC emissions fell by approximately 80% in FY2011 from FY2001, reaching our target levels. We will continue our efforts to reduce VOC emissions.
Preservation of Water Quality
JSR performs rigorous wastewater management at all of its plants and strives to maintain and improve water quality. JSR is in full compliance with the 6th Total Pollutant Load Control that came into effect in April 2009. We will continue to strictly monitor water quality and strive to further reduce our impact on water while paying attention to changes leading up to the 7th Total Pollutant Load Control.
Assessment of Soil and Groundwater Pollution
Groundwater (Environmental Quality Standards for Groundwater Pollution) and soil (major items regulated under environmental standards) at all three of our plants are periodically inspected. As in previous years, no problems were found in FY2011.
In accordance with the Ordinance on Prevention of Hazards due to Asbestos, JSR has conducted checks at all of its facilities (office, manufacturing, R&D and employee amenity areas), including those of all Group companies, where asbestos containing materials have been sprayed. As a result, in FY2007, removal and enclosure projects were completed at locations in plants where asbestos was found. In addition, we are investigating the replacement of asbestos containing gaskets with non-asbestos containing types and are progressively carrying out replacements when the safety of their use in production has been confirmed.
Polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) is a highly toxic chemical that does not readily break down and is commonly used in transformers, capacitors, and other devices. JSR has stopped using PCB in 95% of its electrical equipment and strictly stocks and manages PCB in accordance with applicable laws. We also intend to incrementally replace equipment that currently contains PCB in accordance with a replacement plan. Under the Law concerning Special Measures for Promotion of Proper Treatment of PCB Wastes, JSR is obligated to complete the processing of all PCB by 2016, and JSR and its Group companies have already completed registration of electrical equipment containing PCB with PCB waste processing facilities. In FY2011 we transported 34 units of equipment to processing facilities, for a total of 76 removed units to date.
Measurement of Ozone-depleting Substances
JSR eliminated all use of carbon tetrachloride in 1994. We are systematically replacing designated equipment that contain chlorofluorocarbons with those employing chlorofluorocarbon substitutes. In FY2011, we switched designated refrigeration equipment containing chlorofluorocarbons at the Chiba Plant with lithium bromine absorption-type systems, thereby removing all large, designated equipment containing chlorofluorocarbons from JSR manufacturing facilities.