Denka Performance Elastomer, a global supplier of Neoprene, is an American entity with joint owners from Japan: Denka Company Limited and Mitsui & Company LTD. Since 2015, Denka Performance Elastomer has owned and operated a portion of the Pontchartrain Site located in LaPlace. We manufacture Neoprene rubber, one of the first synthetic rubbers, known for its resistance to sunlight, ozone, oil and heat, and ease of processing. This material is used for a variety of purposes, including medical, military, automotive, and construction applications.
Denka has 250 full-time employees and 125 resident contractors, resulting in a total annual payroll of $35 million. Nearly 50 percent of our workers are river parish residents, and our total taxes and purchases result in an annual contribution of approximately $80 million to the local and regional economies. Our employees are active members of the community, giving back by participating in local programs including the St. John United Way, St. John Rotary Club, River Region Chamber of Commerce, Household Hazardous Material Collection Day, Near Neighbors and Community Advisory Panel (CAP) meetings, and LaPlace’s annual Andouille Festival.
Denka is committed to protecting the environment as well as the health and safety of our employees and the community as a whole. We voluntarily completed installation of over $35 million in state-of-the-art control technology to reduce chloroprene emissions since purchasing the facility. Emissions
testing demonstrates that this new technology reduces more than 98 percent of the chloroprene emissions which are directed to it for control. Denka continues to investigate ways to further reduce emissions through review of emergent reduction technologies and plans to implement these where feasible.
Annual emissions data shows that Denka reduced chloroprene emissions by 70 percent between 2014 and 2018. This reduction rises to 86% when the shakedown of some emission reductions, as well as emission calculation improvements, are accounted for. We anticipate reporting further reductions for 2019 as a result of process optimization efforts that continue today. We demonstrate our commitment to environmental stewardship and to the community by working closely with regulatory agencies, maintaining open lines of communication, and complying with our environmental permits and regulations. At Denka Performance Elastomer, our goal is to achieve excellence in safety, health, and environmental performance.