Mon., November 30, 2009 4:21pm (EST)

Olin Weighs Switch from Mercury
By Mary Ellen Cheatham
Updated: 5 years ago

AUGUSTA, Ga.  —  
Olin Corporation says it needs more time to evaluate and comply with a measure that would require the elimination of mercury in the manufacturing of chlorine.
Olin Corporation says it needs more time to evaluate and comply with a measure that would require the elimination of mercury in the manufacturing of chlorine.
Olin Corporation is asking for more time to weigh whether it will stop using mercury in its chlorine manufacturing process.

The move comes as Congress reviews a bill that would require chlorine plants across the country to stop using mercury by 2013.

Olin officials say the bill doesn't allow enough time to evaluate and comply with a changeover to new technology at its Augusta plant. The company says a change in technology would mean that its existing plant be torn down and rebuilt.

Governor Sonny Perdue is also requesting on Olin's behalf that Congress consider an extension of time in the bill.

The company says it's only evaluating the process and hasn't decided whether it will convert or close.

The measure affects three other plants in the U.S., including Olin's chlorine production facility in Charleston, Tenn. The nation's other chlorine plants have already eliminated mercury from their manufacturing process.

Olin has maintained that its manufacturing process is safe. Environmental groups say the mercury is toxic.