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EPA in Louisiana

LaPlace, Louisiana - Air Monitoring

About the monitoring

EPA began monitoring for chloroprene in the neighborhoods near the Denka Performance Elastomers - Pontchartrain Facility (formerly the DuPont Neoprene Facility, Pontchartrain Works) in the Spring of 2016. The purpose of the monitoring is to collect air samples to assist in EPA's assessment of the long-term situation and to gauge the potential risks to the community from chloroprene emissions. EPA is primarily concerned about the potential for long-term risk in the community and will be assessing that risk as more results become available. To keep the community informed during the monitoring period, we are providing individual sample results on this website throughout the monitoring period. 

EPA initially collected samples every third day at six monitoring sites in LaPlace. Beginning on March 1, 2019 the sample collection frequency became every sixth day at the six monitoring sites. The sample collection duration is 24 consecutive hours. For quality purposes, EPA collects one additional (collocated) sample at one of the six monitoring sites. The collocated sample location changes and is selected based on the predicted direction of the winds for the day of sampling. More information can be found in the Air Monitoring Plan.

During the week of March 9-13, 2020, EPA deployed a new air monitoring program around the Denka Facility.  The new monitoring program is projected to provide a better understanding of the frequency and magnitude of chloroprene emission spikes and may help identify possible actions to further reduce chloroprene in the community.

The new monitoring program uses six SPod monitoring stations that consist of a stationary photoionization detector (PID), a meteorological station to record weather data, and one or more summa canisters for sampling.  The PID measures for total volatile organic compounds (VOC) in the ambient air and, when VOC concentrations reach a certain threshold, a canister will collect a sample that will be measured for chloroprene in a laboratory.    EPA plans to operate the SPod monitoring system for about 6 months.  The SPod monitors will be placed in close proximity to the existing air monitors that have been operating since May 2016. 

More information can be found in the materials below:

Deputy Regional Administrator David Gray’s presentation in LaPlace on February, 11, 2020.

Quality Assurance Project Plan for SPod Monitoring (March 6, 2020)

About the Data

The tables in the monitoring results show the levels of chloroprene in the air samples collected at each monitoring location every six days, and that air monitoring data is available here.  The sampling canister results from the SPod monitoring system will be posted to EPA’s public website when it becomes available.