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Toxic chemical emissions have declined 10 percent at the E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co. Inc. Yerkes plant over the past year, plant officials say, but a doubling of two manufacturing operations could nonetheless lead to an emissions increase this year.

The increased operations at the Town of Tonawanda facility will more than offset the cuts if pending state air pollution permit applications are approved.

"Our goal is to reduce emissions and we are working on it," said Robert P. Hughes Jr., plant manager.

Stanley Gubner, regional engineer for the state Department of Environmental Conservation, confirmed Du Pont delivered permit applications two days ago for one operation to increase emissions.

"I was told by my engineers that the new processes would result in a net decrease of emissions, so I'm disappointed to hear there will be an increase," Gubner said. "It's something we will have to scrutinize very carefully. We want to cut emissions, not increase them."

Hughes said the company reported 724,000 pounds of toxic emissions in 1988 and will report a 10 percent decrease when it files required federal documents next week. Under federal regulations companies must report each year total discharges of 322 chemicals to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The majority of the toxic chemical discharges from the plant, located on River Road near Sheridan Drive, are solvents released into the air.

The company received a permit for an additional 6,000 pounds a year to be discharged from one production process.

The company plans to double its output of Corian, and that will increase emissions by 140,000 pounds a year, Hughes said. Corian is a product used in the manufacture of kitchen table tops and other uses.

The other manufacturing process is for Tedlar, a preservative used to coat truck bodies and aluminum siding.

The increases in the two lines of about 146,000 pounds a year would more than offset the 72,400 pound decrease the company will report for 1989.

"Our goal is a 35 percent reduction over the next five years including a 10 percent cut next year," Hughes said.

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