This is real progress: Polluters are stepping to the fore to do the right thing. THIS IS WHAT A SUSTAINABLE WORLD LOOKS LIKE! Three Cheers! Thank you, Formosa!
Formosa Plastics Corp., Texas, and Formosa Plastics Corp., Louisiana, will spend more than $10 million on pollution controls to address air, water, and hazardous waste violations at two petrochemical plants in Point Comfort, Texas, and Baton Rouge, La., the Justice Department and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced today.
The companies also have agreed to pay a civil penalty of $2.8 million to resolve violations under the Clean Air Act (CAA), Clean Water Act (CWA), Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) and Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA).
Under the agreement lodged in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, both the Texas and Louisiana facilities will implement a comprehensive CAA enhanced leak detection and repair program, which goes beyond regulatory requirements by requiring more stringent leak definitions, more frequent monitoring and monitoring and repair of additional chemical manufacturing equipment. The leak prevention practices agreed to in the settlement include an innovative program to replace valves with new “low leak” valve technology, which will significantly reduce the likelihood of future leaks of air pollutants. The enhanced program also includes requirements for periodic audits of the companies’ leak prevention practices to ensure compliance going forward.
The enhanced leak detection and repair program will potentially reduce the annual volatile organic compound (VOC) air emissions from the two Formosa facilities by approximately 6,570,000 pounds per year of VOCs, including hazardous air pollutants such as vinyl chloride.
According to EPA, VOCs can contribute to respiratory disorders such as asthma and reduced lung capacity. They can also cause damage to ecosystems and reduce visibility.