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HOFFMANN-LA ROCHE REDUCES AIR EMISSIONS BY 90 PERCENT; FULFILLS PLEDGE TO EMPLOYEES, NEIGHBORS

 NUTLEY, N.J., Nov. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- Hoffmann-La Roche today announced it has reached its five-year goal to reduce air emissions of hazardous substances by 90 percent at its Nutley and Belvidere, N.J. manufacturing facilities.
 In 1989, with emission reduction efforts already under way, Roche pledged to reduce by 90 percent emissions of hazardous substances listed under Title III, Section 313, of the 1986 Federal Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act (SARA). Roche established the goal using baseline emission levels from 1987, the first year that emission reports were required under SARA, and set a target to achieve the reduction by the end of 1992.
 "We are very proud of this achievement, not only because of what it means for the environment and for the health and safety of our employees and our neighbors, but because it represents a massive undertaking which would not have been possible without the commitment and ingenuity of a dedicated team of Roche people," said Patrick J. Zenner, Roche president and chief executive officer, at a briefing held at Roche headquarters today for local public officials, community members and the media.
 How Major Reductions Were Achieved
 To reach its goal, Roche focused on fugitive and vent emissions. Fugitive emissions are defined as hard-to-detect stray emissions emanating from pipes, valves and flanges. Vent emissions are defined as regulated emissions coming directly from a process or operation and which are discharged through a permitted vent stack. Because of the permit requirements on vent stacks, vent emissions are easier to control and calculate.
 At Roche's Nutley pharmaceutical operations, major reductions in emissions were achieved through the implementation of source reduction and pollution prevention activities, as well as through the installation of state-of-the-art control technology. For example, ultra-low temperature condensers, which remove solvents from the vent air stream, were installed in priority manufacturing operations. The recovered solvents are recycled and reused in the manufacturing process or are transferred to an off-site location for proper treatment. The Nutley site also established a task force called the Internal Nutley Emissions Reduction Team, which used sensitive detecting devices to "sniff out" and repair more than 900 fugitive emission sources.
 At Roche's Belvidere, N.J., plant, one of the world's largest vitamin C production facilities, dramatic decreases in emissions were achieved by systematically analyzing production operations at the site. This approach enabled environmental personnel to identify and correct fugitive emission sources throughout the plant. Both plants have source reduction programs to further reduce emissions.
 Next Steps
 According to Ted Berger, associate vice president and director of Corporate Environmental & Safety Affairs, Roche is continuing to look for ways to reduce emissions at both sites. Through its broad-reaching environmental and safety programs, Roche is also looking for opportunities to reduce its impact on the environment and further protect employees and residents of surrounding communities. "We don't view our successful achievement of this goal as a finite initiative. The process of reducing emissions, as well as reducing our impact on the environment, is a never-ending process," Berger said.
 A natural extension of the 90 percent goal is the company's voluntary commitment to take part in a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) initiative called the Industrial Toxics Project, or the 33/50 program. The EPA asked companies that volunteer for the program to reduce the use, release and off-site transfer of 17 priority chemicals by 33 percent by 1992 and by 50 percent by the end of 1995. Of these 17 chemicals, Roche only uses five in its pharmaceutical and chemical processes and is well on the way to meeting the EPA's targets.
 In addition, Roche has established an internal task force to examine how the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments (CAAA) will affect employees who commute to work by automobile. The task force is investigating methods of reducing the number of vehicles that enter Roche U.S. facilities affected by the legislation.
 In a related initiative, last summer, Roche joined a group of companies, state regulatory agencies and environmental groups throughout the Northeast in launching the Emissions Reduction Credit Demonstration Project. This pilot program seeks to cut ground level ozone by providing tradable credits as incentives for companies and utilities to reduce emissions of ozone-producing pollutants, and, ultimately, to meet Federal requirements under the CAAA.
 Roche is also a member of the EPA's Greenlights Program, a voluntary program to reduce utility plant emissions by implementing energy-efficient programs at the local level.
 About Hoffmann-La Roche Inc.
 Hoffmann-La Roche Inc., the United States affiliate of Roche Holding Ltd. of Basel, Switzerland, is a leading health care company with major businesses in prescription pharmaceuticals, diagnostics and vitamins. The company operates more than 600 facilities around the country, including clinical testing laboratories, pharmaceutical and vitamin manufacturing facilities and research and development operations.
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 /CONTACT: Pamela Fears, 201-235-7652 (office) or 201-467-0744 (home), or Al Wasilewski, 201-235-5947 (office) or 201-762-7545 (home), both of Hoffmann-La Roche/


CO: Hoffmann-La Roche Inc. ST: New Jersey IN: MTC SU:

LG -- NY065 -- 2813 11/10/93 14:01 EST
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Date:Nov 10, 1993
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