Web Date: August 18, 2011
Dow Settles Federal Pollution Case
Dow Chemical will pay $2.5 million to settle alleged violations of pollution leaking from pipes and valves at its facility in Midland, Mich., under a federal consent decree announced today.
The settlement addresses 24 alleged violations of the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, and the Resource Conservation & Recovery Act, the federal law governing the handling of hazardous waste. Dow, EPA, and the Department of Justice say federal inspectors identified the alleged noncompliance between 2005 and 2007.
Under the settlement, Dow will pay the penalty and implement a program to cut emissions of volatile organic compounds and toxic air pollutants from leaky valves and pumps. The company also agreed to step up its monitoring for leaks and improve its practices for prevention and repair of leaks, according to EPA and DOJ.
“Dow worked cooperatively with the government to resolve this matter and in doing so set an example for responsible compliance with our nation’s environmental laws,” says Ignacia S. Moreno, assistant attorney general for the environment and natural resources at DOJ.
Dow says it corrected the pollution problems immediately after the inspections.
“While there has been no harm to human health or the environment with regard to these findings, we have taken corrective action and implemented measures to prevent recurrence,” says Earl Shipp, Dow’s vice president of Michigan operations. A statement from the company says many of the allegations involved incomplete paperwork and procedural issues.
Cynthia Giles, EPA assistant administrator for enforcement and compliance assurance, says: “Today’s settlement with Dow will reduce the potential for future violations and protect communities from emissions of hazardous air pollutants.”
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