13 April 2009 22:51 [Source: ICIS news]
WASHINGTON (ICIS news)--Polymers major Invista will pay $1.7m (€1.3m) in civil penalties and spend up to $500m to correct environmental violations at 12 facilities acquired from DuPont in 2004, US federal officials said on Monday.
The Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) noted that Invista voluntarily disclosed more than 680 violations of federal air, water, waste or emergency planning requirements at the former DuPont facilities in seven states.
The settlement is the largest under EPA’s 14-year-old policy encouraging companies to self-audit their facilities and voluntarily disclose environmental violations.
Launched in 1995, the audit policy “provides incentives to companies that voluntarily discover, promptly disclose and expeditiously correct environmental violations”, EPA said.
In recognition of Invista’s voluntary disclosure and $500m remediation plan, EPA said it waived “a large portion of the penalty in this case”.
Neither EPA, DOJ nor Invista officials were immediately available to say how much penalty was waived.
David Dotson, Invista senior vice president for operations, said that the EPA settlement lodged in federal court on Monday in ?xml:namespace>
“We are pleased to have a clear path forward to closing out these legacy issues,” Dotson added.
Invista has an $800m lawsuit claim pending against DuPont for what Invista alleges was DuPont’s failure to rectify environmental and safety violations at the 12 plants and to disclose those liabilities to Invista as part of the 2004 purchase.
“Shortly after taking ownership of the facilities from DuPont in 2004,” Invista said, “we discovered significant and widespread environmental noncompliance at certain plants.”
Invista also is seeking unspecified punitive damages against DuPont in the suit filed in March 2008.
The company said its suit is moving forward, following a ruling on 30 March in which the court denied DuPont’s motion to dismiss the case.
The 12 plant sites subject to the EPA settlement are located in
($1 = €0.76)
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