The U.S. Department of Justice, Eastern District of Texas, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, (EPA), and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, (TCEQ) announced a settlement agreement with E.I. Du Pont de Nemours and Company, (DuPont), and Performance Materials NA, Inc., (PMNA), to settle alleged violations of hazardous waste, water and environmental laws at the PMNA Sabine River chemical production facility in Orange, Texas. DuPont will conduct compliance audits, reduce benzene emissions, and provide other injunctive relief as part of the settlement agreement. The State of Texas will also pay $3.1 million in civil penalties and attorney’s fees. These measures will help communities nearby that are already suffering from pollution. They will reduce uncontrolled emissions of hazardous air pollutants as well as unpermitted discharges from the facility’s surface impoundments.
In a joint complaint filed Oct. 13,, the United States and the State of Texas alleged that DuPont and PMNA violated the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, the Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act, and Section 7. 002 The Texas Water Code, and any applicable regulations to the former DuPont facility that is now owned and operated under PMNA. RCRA violations are alleged for failure to make hazardous-waste determinations, treatment, storage, or disposal of hazardous materials without a RCRA permit, and failure to comply with land disposal restrictions. CWA violations are unpermitted discharges from process wastewater that violate Texas Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permits. The violations of the CAA include non-compliance with national emission standards for hazardous pollutants in benzene waste operations, and miscellaneous organic chemicals manufacturing for certain waste streams.
” The petrochemical industry must comply with environmental laws,” stated Assistant Attorney General Todd Kim from the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division. “We will continue holding operators accountable to address pollution from industries that violate the law, like those at the Sabine River plant, and to improve public health, especially in nearby communities overburdened with industrial pollution The Eastern District of Texas is proud to be home to many natural resources, including streams, lakes, rivers, and streams which span the district,” stated Acting U.S. attorney Nicholas J. Ganjei. We are also home of some of the most prominent names in industry. These two groups co-exist peacefully. The Eastern District of Texas will take steps to enforce applicable laws and protect the environment when industry does so. Toby Baker, Executive Director of TCEQ stated that this case does not only benefit the environment but also demonstrates our commitment towards advancing justice for all Texas
” communities. “This settlement is a sign of that commitment .”
” said Toby Baker, Executive Director at TCEQ. A third party will perform multimedia compliance audits to verify compliance with RCRA and CWA, and other state laws and regulations. The defendants will also take measures to control benzene emissions from wastewaters and the pH level. To determine the extent and source of contamination in certain surface impoundments, they will also conduct soil, sediment, or groundwater sampling. This sampling will be done by the defendants in accordance with the Texas Risk Reduction Program.
The consent decree was filed with the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas in October 13. It is open for public comment and publication in the Federal Register.
For more information on this settlement: https://www.epa.gov/enforcement/dupont-sabine-settlement.