Last month, the Justice Department and Environmental Protection Agency announced that Equistar Chemicals LP, headquartered in Houston, Texas, will spend more than $125 million on pollution controls and cleanup to address a myriad of air, water and hazardous waste violations at seven petrochemical plants in Texas, Illinois, Iowa and Louisiana.
The consent decree, lodged in federal district court in Illinois, requires Equistar to invest in comprehensive control and operational measures expected to significantly reduce air, water and hazardous waste pollution from the seven manufacturing facilities. The states of Iowa, Illinois and Louisiana have all joined the federal government in the settlement.
The Equistar plants which are subject to the settlement are:
- Morris, Ill.
- Clinton, Iowa
- Lake Charles, La. (currently inactive)
- Channelview, Texas
- Chocolate Bayou, Texas
- Corpus Christi, Texas; and
- La Porte, Texas.
The case was initiated as a result of inspections conducted by the EPA which identified extensive Clean Air Act, Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, and Clean Water Act violations, as well as violations of laws regarding spills and hazardous substance releases.
Once Equistar was notified of the violations, the company agreed to address potential compliance issues at all seven of its petrochemical plants, and has already in facdt initiated action to correct the regulatory violations and enhance its air, water and hazardous waste programs to address deficiencies.