2021 Air Conservationist of the Year

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Mar. 2, 2022

Toray Composite Materials America, Inc. (CMA)

On October 22, 2021, CMA Decatur Plant was recognized as the 2021 Air Conservationist of the Year by the Alabama Wildlife Federation (AWF). AWF is one of the oldest (established in 1935) and largest nonprofit organizations in the state of Alabama.

The Decatur Plant operates acrylic fiber manufacturing processes at its facility located in Decatur, Alabama, and operates under a Major Source (Title V) Operating Permit, an air pollution control program, based on federal law, designed to standardize air quality permits and the permitting process for major sources of air emissions across the United States. As part of its regulatory requirements, the facility is required to minimize its fugitive emissions of acrylonitrile through the implementation of a Leak Detection and Repair (LDAR) Program, instituted by the United States Environmental Protection Agency. During 2020, the plant implemented improvements designed to prevent components (i.e. flanges, pumps, valves, etc.) from reaching established leak definitions; reducing fugitive emissions of acrylonitrile.

Using an electronic fugitive emissions monitoring log, the Decatur Plant intentionally monitored for leaks below otherwise acceptable limits. Any component falling into this category for two consecutive monitoring events are identified and a maintenance request is entered. The Spinning Maintenance Group then checks for overall tightness of the components (flange bolts, packing gland, packing nuts, valve stems, etc.) and takes measures for abatement of any leaks. This voluntary environmental stewardship initiative resulted in a reduction of otherwise acceptable emissions by more than 80 percent.

The Decatur Plant continues, and will continue, to strive for ways to reduce our emissions so as to protect our natural environment while also minimizing risks to the health and safety of our surrounding communities.

2021 AWF Governor’s Conservation Achievement Awards Ceremony.
CMA’s Mike Conlon, Consultant, EHS, in the middle, with AWF Board of Directors

Air Conservationist Trophy—recognize outstanding efforts toward improvement of air quality in Alabama