ENDICOTT (WBNG) -- SungEel MCC Americas, a company trying to bring a lithium-ion battery recycling facility into Endicott, responded after the DEC's letter called for further investigation into chemicals that may be processed at the plant.
The DEC previously granted an air permit to SungEel in March.
On Wednesday, May 20th, the DEC wrote a letter to the president of SungEel. The state informed the company it wants to further investigate a chemical group called PFAS, which they say could be present in some of the batteries processed by SungEel.
The state said the permit may have to be modified before SungEel can move forward with its operations.
The DEC stated the company will either need to prove they're not recycling batteries with these chemicals, or get a new permit that would help regulate the emissions of PFAS to state standards.
Mayor Linda Jackson said this means the public comment period will reopen.
"It might slow it down some because they have to do some investigating and they're also going to ask for more public comments which is really wonderful because these people telling us their comments about this company, we have done everything we can to find the right experts but they really need to talk to the DEC or the company themselves," she said.
Thursday, a spokesperson for SungEel sent a statement to 12 News.
The company's CEO Danish Mir said :
"While recent literature suggests that there may be small amounts of PFAS compounds in limited types of lithium-ion battery electrolytes and possibly in the pouches, we strongly believe that testing will confirm that any PFAS compounds contained in batteries recycled at our facility will be destroyed at levels of concern in our afterburner which we will operate at 1,000 c. We agree to provide the DEC with the information requested by taking the following actions:
-We will reach out to the LIB manufactures to ascertain the amounts, if any of PFAS compounds in the electrolytes and pouches.
-We will research the composition of PFAS in both Electrolytes and pouches.
-We will agree to test for PFAS content in our (a) scrubber water (b) battery powder (c) air emissions (d) baghouse dusts after the facility becomes operational.
-We will test for PFAS content in the (a) scrubber water (b) battery powder (c) air emissions (d) baghouse dusts at SungEel Hitech’s Korean Plant (SMCC is modeled after this facility)
-We will verify and confirm with research that running our after burner at 1,000 c will eliminate any PFAS that may be contained in LIB’s
-Update our process to operate the after burner at 1,000 c.
We would agree that we shall not operate the facility until DEC reviews the information provided and decides whether and to what extent a modification is necessary. We also request that the DEC provide SMCC with examples of emissions limits that have already been put in place in air permits at industries with known sources of PFAS and the acceptable methods of testing for PFAS content."
This news comes as a win for groups against the recycling facility, such as "The Concerned Citizens of Endicott"