Court rejects plea over ‘Cancer Alley’ emissions deadline

By Sean Reilly | 06/27/2024 04:31 PM EDT

EPA put the Denka Performance Elastomer plant under an accelerated compliance deadline to rein in air toxics pollution.

The Denka Performance Elastomer plant sits at sunset.

The Denka Performance Elastomer plant sits at sunset in Reserve, Louisiana, on Sept. 23, 2022. The plant is located in an industrial corridor known as "Cancer Alley." Gerlad Herbert/AP

A federal appeals court has rejected a Louisiana chemical company’s bid to stop EPA from singling it out for accelerated compliance with newly strengthened air toxics regulations.

In a brief order, a three-judge panel for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on Wednesday denied Denka Performance Elastomer’s bid to block the 90-day deadline for meeting the new requirements.

The company “has not satisfied the stringent requirements for a stay pending court review,” the panel wrote.


The company’s plant in a predominantly Black part of Louisiana is the nation’s only maker of neoprene, a compound used in products ranging from medical equipment to wetsuits. The plant also emits chloroprene, a compound that EPA deems a likely cause of cancer.