Arkema Geneseo Plant

The Arkema Geneseo Plant is a plant located in Piffard, New York, that produces chemicals which are turned into plastics or used to manufacture other chemicals. Some of these plastics are used in kitchen counter tops and in plastic chairs and other furniture, bath tubs and spas. Another chemical produced is peroxydicarbonate, which is used in the production of PVC. PVC is mainly a product that is used in making different types of piping. Another chemical produced is benzoyl peroxides, which can be found in acne medicines and is also used in the bleaching of flour. The Arkema Geneseo Plant has been in operation in Livingston County since 1953. Safety and Environmental protection are high priority at the Arkema Plant and they maintain this by engaging employees at all levels in safety conscious efforts and by promote safety habits among the employees. These excellent safety habits have paid off. In 2002, Arkema was awarded the President’s Safety Award, and the plant continues to aim for injure-free zones throughout the plant. In connection with maintaining a safe property, Arkema also takes pride in reducing the amount of toxins and wastes that could affect the community and the families that live there. The on-site water treatment plant is also committed to environmental excellence. The plant spent $5 million on this wastewater purification system that includes aerobic biological treatment and supplemental membrane filtration, or strict pollution prevention. The state of New York Water Environment Association awarded the Arkema Geneseo Plant the Pollution Prevention Award in 2003 and 2004. This is evidence that Arkema is actively promoting a safe workplace and a clean environmental community. Though the plant is presently committed to environmental and employee safety, this may not have always been the case.  When the Geneseo plant was built, asbestos was a popular insulating material, particularly in factories and manufacturing facilities where extreme temperatures and corrosive chemicals were present.  Though the asbestos helped protect expensive equipment and buildings, it often had disastrous consequences for the health of employees at these plants. When asbestos is contained within other materials like insulation, it is not harmful, but when those materials are damaged, they can release tiny, needle-like fibers into the air.  It is these fibers that lodge in the lungs and cause conditions like lung scarring, asbestosis, mesothelioma, and other lung cancers. Reference: Arkema, Inc.