Firestone Polymers Agrees to Resolve Multiple Environmental Claims at Its Louisiana Rubber Plant | USAO-WDLA
LAKE CHARLES, La. Acting U.S. Attorney Alexander C. Van Hook announced that Firestone Polymers LLC (Firestone) has agreed to clarify alleged violations of the Clean Air Act and several other state and state environmental laws at the company’s synthetic rubber sulfur manufacturing facility , Louisiana. The company is also paying a total of $ 3.35 million in civil fines.
The comparison requires several actions on the part of Firestone, including compliance with emission limits, operation and maintenance requirements, equipment controls, containment of hazardous air pollutants from facility dryers, conduct inspections of heat exchangers, installation of controls and monitors on covered flares, and installation of flare instruments and monitoring systems. After Firestone was informed of the violations, but before the consent form was submitted, Firestone took other compliance measures, including installing and operating a regenerative thermal oxidation system to capture exhaust gases from dryers, reducing n-hexane solvent levels and the inspection and testing of heat exchangers.
The Justice Department filed a complaint in the US District Court for the Western District of Louisiana on behalf of the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Louisiana Department of Environment Quality (LDEQ) co-plaintiff. The complaint alleges that the facility has an inordinate amount of pollutants such as nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, volatile organic compounds, particulate matter, sulfur dioxide and dangerous air pollutants such as 1,3-butadiene, n-hexane, styrene, formaldehyde, methanol and others and has the requirements for it Equipment such as dryers, cooling towers and flares not adhered to; Leak detection and repair; mechanical integrity; and monitoring and reporting. The complaint also asserts violations of the comprehensive environmental protection, compensation and liability law; the law on contingency planning and the community right to know; the Pollution Prevention Act; and Air Quality Requirements for the State of Louisiana.
“Companies like Firestone Polymers have a sacred obligation to protect the Louisiana environment and use our natural resources wisely,” said Acting US Attorney Alexander C. Van Hook for the Western District of Louisiana. “This deal sends a clear message that those who fail to meet this commitment will be held accountable.”
“This settlement will provide cleaner air for Louisiana citizens and the communities near the Firestone facility,” said Assistant Attorney General Todd Kim of the Department of Justice’s environment and natural resources. “It also enforces the company’s commitment to educating local communities of potential chemical hazards to support state and local efforts to control accidental releases.”
“The Clean Air Act is critical to protecting people’s health, and the Sulfur Firestone plant has violated these safeguards because it is Louisiana’s largest emitter of three types of dangerous air pollutants,” said acting regional administrator David Gray of the EPA. “The EPA’s legal and enforcement team, working with DOJ and LDEQ, has held the company accountable for reducing emissions and providing additional benefits to environmental justice communities in southwest Louisiana with improved air monitoring systems. I congratulate our team on their hard work on behalf of the people of Louisiana. ”
“The violations described in the complaint represent Firestone’s disregard for the Clean Air Act, which is a fundamental agency for environmental regulation in the United States,” said Secretary Dr. Chuck Carr Brown from LDEQ. “LDEQ and our federal partner EPA will vigorously pursue all violations of the CAA. These penalties and the beneficial environmental project under the consent regulation are the result of our efforts. Funds from the Beneficial Environmental Project will be used to support additional ambient air monitoring in the Westlake and Southwest Louisiana areas, which will support LDEQ’s efforts to improve air quality for these communities. “
As part of the consent decree, Firestone will pay a civil penalty of $ 2,098,678.50 to the United States and $ 1,251,321.50 to LDEQ for a total of $ 3,350,000. Firestone will also complete a beneficial Louisiana environmental project by funding the upgrading of ambient air monitoring systems at multiple locations in southwest Louisiana.
The consent decree has been filed in the US District Court for the Western District of Louisiana and is subject to a 30-day public comment period and final court approval. A copy of the decree will be available on the Ministry of Justice website: www.justice.gov/enrd/consent-decrees.
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