New Orleans (AP) – Firestone Polymers LLC, a leading manufacturer of synthetic rubber, I agreed By paying a $ 4 million fine and environmental project, the Southwest Louisiana plant will make many improvements to resolve a long list of federal air pollution complaints.
Environmental Protection Agency regional director David Gray said the sulfur plant was “the highest source of three harmful air pollutants in Louisiana” and violated the Clean Air Act. .. Thursday press release.
According to the plant, it illegally emitted thousands of tons of pollutants, including nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, volatile organic compounds and other substances and chemicals. Federal Government Complaints on page 127 For factories near Lake Charles.
The results of a long-standing federal investigation were released in a complaint and settlement Thursday and currently require a 30-day public comment period and final court approval.
The company was recently accused of contaminating nearby waterways. Firestone and 8 other companies I accepted Pay $ 5.5 million for the cleanup of the super fund in April Calcasieu Estuary, It covers over 19 square miles (49 square kilometers), including the Bayou, the lakes and the Calcasieu River.
No consent decree finds any violation or liability.
The new deal requires Firestone to pay a fine of $ 3.35 million. This works out to about $ 2.1 million for the US government and over $ 1.25 million for the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality. The company also paid the department $ 654,125 to upgrade and replace air monitoring equipment at sites around southwest Louisiana, or to purchase field monitoring equipment in the southern region. -west of the department as a “beneficial environmental project”. to augment.
A statement sent Friday by Steve Kinkade, spokesperson for Bridgestone Americas Inc. in Nashville, the parent company of Firestone, said: Tennessee.
The document was submitted to the US District Court in Lake Charles on Thursday, but the deal says some improvements have been made since 2019. This was after Firestone was made aware of the breach and before a deal was reached. , according to the press release. .
According to Kinkade, one of the emission reduction devices was in service in March 2019.
According to the Justice Department, the company has also reduced solvent concentrations and increased inspections and testing of heat exchangers under negotiation.
Since 2017, “Firestone Polymers has reduced emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) throughout the facility by approximately 98% and harmful air pollutants by approximately 97%,” said Kinkade.
The Justice Department said Fireston still meets emission limits and operational and maintenance requirements, installs equipment controls, limits hazardous air pollutants from facility driers, inspects heat exchangers and covers heat exchangers. torches. He said you have to install controls and monitors, and flaring instruments and monitoring systems.
“Companies such as Firestone Polymers have a sacred duty to protect the environment in Louisiana and to use natural resources wisely,” said Alexander C. Vanhook, Assistant Attorney General of the United States, on Thursday. “This reconciliation sends a clear message that those who fail to meet this obligation will be held accountable.”
The previous consent decree did not indicate how nine companies, including two Bridgestone companies linked to Firestone Polymer, would split the $ 5.5 million Super Fund payments. Federal government complaints The government said it spent more than $ 13 million to clean up the area.
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