Dow, DuPont Each Reach Agreement With EPA

July 23, 2007
Dow settles on dioxin cleanup at Midland site; DuPont to reduce air pollution at four plants

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5 has reached an agreement with Dow Chemical Co. to clean up three dioxin-contaminated hot spots on the Tittabawassee River downstream of its Midland, Mich., facility. Past waste disposal practices, fugitive emissions and incineration at Dow have resulted in on- and off-site contamination. Dioxins and furans, chlorobenzenes, heavy metals and other materials were byproducts from the manufacture of chlorine-based products and other chemicals.

The EPA-ordered corrective action will include three segments, called reaches, of the river:

  • Reach D includes a discharge channel containing approximately 15,000 cubic yards of dioxin-contaminated sediment. Dow will isolate this area from the river and remove the dioxin-contaminated sediment.
  • Reach JK's corrective action will address contamination on the levee adjacent to the riverbank and in the flood plain terraces. Dow will remove approximately 32,000 cubic yards of levee deposits, the riverbank will be stabilized, sediment removed and disposed of and bank areas will be revegetated with native plants. In addition, an area of dioxin-contaminated soil in the floodplain will be capped and a wooded wetland area will be fenced off as an interim measure.
  • Reach O is a sediment deposit about 6 miles downstream of the confluence of the Chippewa and Tittabawassee Rivers. It is adjacent to property owned by Dow. Dow will isolate this area from the river and remove approximately 7,000 cubic yards of sediment.

The Dow facility is a 1,900-acre chemical manufacturing plant located in Midland, Mich. All of the contaminated sediment removed during the cleanup will be disposed of in the Salzburg Road Landfill, a hazardous-waste landfill located on the Dow property.

Du Pont air pollution reduction agreement

The Department of Justice and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced a settlement today with E.I. Du Pont de Nemours & Co. that is expected to reduce more than 13,000 tons of harmful emissions annually from four sulfuric acid production plants in Louisiana, Virginia, Ohio and Kentucky.

Du Pont will spend at least $66 million on air pollution controls at the plants and pay a civil penalty of $4.125 million under the Clean Air Act settlement. The states of Louisiana, Virginia and Ohio joined the federal government in today's agreement and will receive shares of the civil penalty.

The company will meet new, lower emission limits for sulfur dioxide at its sulfuric acid production units in Darrow, La.; Richmond, Va.; North Bend, Ohio; and Wurtland, Ky. At the Burnside plant in Darrow, the largest of the four, Du Pont will install state-of-the-art "dual absorption" pollution control equipment by Sept. 1, 2009, at an estimated cost of at least $66 million.

At the other three plants, DuPont has the option of installing appropriate control equipment or ceasing operations to meet the new lower emission limits. The additional cost of installing control technologies at all of the remaining three plants, if Du Pont does so, is estimated to be at least $87 million. All four plants will meet their lower emission limits by March 1, 2012.

Du Pont is the second sulfuric acid manufacturer in the nation to agree to a company-wide global compliance agreement as part of an initiative under which the Justice Department and EPA expect to reach similar agreements with other sulfuric acid manufacturers.

The first global sulfuric acid manufacturing compliance agreement was announced earlier this year with Rhodia Inc. As a result of the two settlements, this initiative has now garnered pollution control at 12 plants, which will eliminate a combined total of 32,000 tons of sulfur dioxide emissions per year. When fully implemented, the settlement with Du Pont will reduce sulfur dioxide emissions from the four plants by approximately 90%.

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About the Author

Brad Kenney | Chief Marketing Officer

Brad Kenney is the former Technology Editor of IndustryWeek and now serves as director of the mobile/social platforms practice at R/GA, a global marketing/advertising firm in New York City.

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