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Eastman Chemical

Letter from Jon Kessler to Wayne Scharber

Wayne K. Scharber
Deputy Commissioner for Environment
Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation
L&C Tower, 21st Floor
401 Church Street
Nashville, Tennessee 37423

Dear Mr. Scharber:

Thank you for your letter supporting Eastman Chemical Company's request to hold in abeyance their obligations under a 1993 compliance order pending development and submittal of a Project XL application for their Kingsport facility. After careful examination of the specifics of this situation, EPA has decided not to pursue an XL project at the Kingsport facility until such time as the facility has fully satisfied the order and is meeting all applicable statutory and regulatory requirements.

Like you, I am committed to aggressively seeking opportunities through Project XL to test new methods and processes that produce superior environmental performance. As explained in EPA's reply to Eastman (copy enclosed), however, proceeding at this time with an XL project at Kingsport would serve neither the Agency's nor Eastman's interests. Agency policy generally precludes implementation of an XL project at a facility where there is an ongoing enforcement action. The basic thrust of the Administrator's policy on this point is to prevent the collision of enforcement actions an XL Projects. Where, as here, the nature of the project would expressly undermine the relief required to resolve an enforcement action, the argument for this policy is most compelling.

I want to stress, however, that EPA is extremely interested in pursuing XL-related activities with the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, and, in other circumstances, with Eastman Chemical. Several attempts have been made to bring EPA and Tennessee DEC officials together to discuss cooperation on the XL program in general. I would welcome an opportunity to discuss these issues with you further.

Again, thank you for your interest in Project XL. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me directly at (202) 260-3761.


Jon Kessler
Acting Director,
Emerging Sectors & Strategies Division

cc: Bill Patton, Region IV
John Fogarty, OECA
Harry Holliman, Eastman Chemical Co.

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