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Environment

Buffalo chemical plant ordered closed by state DEC

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PVS Chemical Solutions was ordered closed by the state Department of Environmental Conservation.

The owners of a chemical plant in Buffalo are disputing a shutdown order issued by the state over sulfur dioxide emissions.

The New York Department of Environmental Conservation on Saturday directed PVS Chemical Solutions to temporarily cease operations at its plant after high sulfur dioxide emissions were detected at nearby athletic fields. The DEC said the closure of the Elk Street plant comes after users of the Medaille College sports complex complained about odors and potential respiratory issues.

“After repeated exceedances of air quality standards, I am directing PVS Chemical Solutions to cease operations, effective immediately,” said DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos. “Until PVS can prove it can operate without emitting potentially harmful SO2 into this community, either by altering operations or scaling back production, it should remain shuttered. DEC will not hesitate to use our full regulatory authority to protect this community from exposure to potentially dangerous pollution.”

In a statement,the company said it has safely processed sulfuric acid at the plant for 40 years and that it was given no warning about the closure order during discussions with the DEC as recently as Friday. The company said it will "work with the DEC through the courts" to address the situation.