May 27--The state Department of Environmental Protection intends to approve Sanofi Pasteur's air pollution control permit for a new influenza vaccine manufacturing process at its Swiftwater facility.
Some 660,000 eggs per day will be used in the manufacturing process. Publication of a legal notice in the Pocono Record on May 22 triggered a 30-day written comment period during which members of the public may request a public hearing.
"Only minor air emissions (will) result from the vaccine production operation," according to the notice. "Volatile organic compounds anticipated to be used in the vaccine operations are limited to isopropanol (IPA), which is used to wipe surfaces for the purpose of disinfection. Other related processes that may result in emissions include buffer reagent handling, egg waste inactivation, cooling towers and wastewater management."
Egg waste residue from the vaccine production will be dried and inactivated using seven dehydrators. Each dehydrator is capable of handling 125,000 eggs per each batch produced.
"Each dehydration unit is an automated, stand-alone unit that mixes and dehydrates the egg waste while also combusting process emissions in a thermal oxidation chamber," according to the notice. "The cooling towers for cooling process water will be equipped with drift eliminators to minimize drift loss."
Dust generated by the buffering reagent equipment will be moved into a "bag house."
Exhausts from egg drying will be treated in a thermal combustion chamber in which the contents are heated a minimum of 1,650 degrees, for about one second. The thermal oxidation chamber is designed to control volatile organic compounds and odors.
Sanofi Pasteur hasn't commented on the specific nature of the new vaccine manufacturing process, though the company announced during last fall's World Vaccine Congress in Madrid, Spain that Sanofi is collaborating with the University of Georgia on "a more broadly protective influenza vaccine" offering protection from several strains of flu spanning several years and stains not yet in existence.
"The key advantage is broader coverage against several seasonal flu strains, which is important when there is a mismatch to the vaccine strain," the company said in a press release last year. "An additional advantage of this approach is not relying upon annual strain selection, allowing year-round manufacturing."
Current industry practice is for public health agencies in the U.S. and around the world to provide manufacturers with vaccine viruses that have been determined through active surveillance to be circulating during that year. This becomes the basis for that winter season's vaccine.
Copies of Sanofi's DEP permit applications, DEP's analysis and other documents used in the Department of Environmental Protection's evaluation are available for public review during business hours at the department's Wilkes-Barre office, 2 Public Square.
Written comments or requests for a public hearing are to be directed to Raymond Kempa, DEP Environmental Group Manager, Air Quality Program, 2 Public Square, Wilkes-Barre, PA 18701. Those making comment must include their name, address and phone number and a reference to permit number 45-00005B. For more information call 570-826-2511.
(c)2016 the Pocono Record, Stroudsburg, Pa.
Visit the Pocono Record, Stroudsburg, Pa. at http://www.poconorecord.com/
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
© Tribune Content Agency, source Regional News