Albemarle's fire safety solutions are safe when used for their intended purposes. Based on a review of the extensive toxicity and environmental testing data associated with our flame retardants, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has approved our products for use in fire safety applications. These same products have also been approved for use by the European Union and other regulatory agencies around the world.
Albemarle assesses the health and environmental safety of our products to meet all regulatory requirements in all countries where they are marketed. These requirements are set by the EPA in the U.S. and by similar regulatory agencies in many European countries, Canada, Japan, Korea, China and Australia.
Government regulatory agencies set a margin of safety that provides extra assurance that the exposure level that anyone, including children, might experience will not cause harm. In many cases, we at Albemarle conduct safety testing that goes well beyond the requirements of any government agencies.
Environmentally-sustainable performance is a way of life at Albemarle.
The responsibility of implementing Albemarle’s environmental programs is not just the job of Magnolia’s full time environmental regulatory staff but is also the job of every Albemarle Magnolia team member.
Using technology that NASA developed for space stations, Albemarle has created two artificial marshes in Magnolia, Arkansas, that protect and enhance our environment. These marshes are unique wastewater treatment systems that naturally treat all of Albemarle’s non-contact and process water. This innovative approach is so successful that all of the water treated at the south plant is recycled and reused within the plants processes, reducing our water consumption from underground aquifers by up to 40%
Albemarle Magnolia’s South Plant Artificial Marsh water treatment system, operational since 1993, utilizes aquatic plants to treat an average of one million gallons per day of non-contact water and storm water runoff from within the main plant and adjacent areas. The exciting part of this technology is that it is an economical solution to treating industrial water using a naturally occurring biological process that does not harm the environment or consume vast amounts of valuable energy resources.
After the great success of the South Plant’s marshes, the West plant constructed its own artificial marshes and began functional operations in October of 1995. Temperature, pH and flows are monitored locally and daily samples are taken for quality control evaluations.
HOW IT WORKS
Approximately 40,000 aquatic plants were planted into each marsh. Some such plants are maiden cane, southern bulrush and southern cattails (to name a few). The aquatic plant roots that extend into the water provide habitat for a large number of bacteria and other microorganisms. These microorganisms feed off the minerals and organic chemicals that are contained in the water. While digesting the organics and minerals, the microorganisms produce by products such as sugar and amino acids, which are absorbed by the plant roots as food. The plants in turn supply oxygen and low levels of the microorganisms for their rapid growth. This complimentary relationship allows the water to be purified by the plant roots, and the plant’s abundant leaves help restore oxygen to the atmosphere and help regulate the amount of carbon dioxide and other atmospheric gases.
In each of the marshes, existing plant rainwater is re-routed into a common retention basin, or lagoon. These lagoons not only functions as a holding basin, but also as an equalizing area for water with excess heat and varying pH levels. Combined, the lagoons of both the South and West plants cover about 6 acres in Columbia County.
At the South Plant, there are additional 30 acres of natural wetlands adjacent to the marshes. This area, referred to as a storm water impoundment, is encircles with a levee system that provides extra hold up capacity in the event of a very large rainfall. It contains forest habitat that is common for the region – oaks, pine beech, willow, for example.
Albemarle understands the importance of nature and wants to do all it can to help protect it.
Bird houses and a variety of fish have been added to the marsh and vegetation common to the area has also been planted in an effort to further attract wildlife. Deer, wild ducks, otters, rabbits, mice or hawks are among the marshes’ inhabitants.