Air Products to pay $1.5m to resolve Texas environmental violations

26 August 2010 17:18  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Air Products will pay nearly $1.5m (€1.2m) in civil penalties to resolve hazardous waste mismanagement violations at its chemical plant in Pasadena, Texas, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said on Thursday.

The EPA said the US industrial gases firm had violated the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act by transferring spent acid to a neighbouring Agrifos fertilizer plant.

The case was related to an EPA initiative to limit pollution from mining and mineral processing facilities, such as the Agrifos fertilizer plant, it said.

Air Products, which makes chemicals at the site used in the manufacture of polyurethane and hydrogen gas, had purchased acid product from the adjacent Agrifos site. It then returned a spent acid stream that was used by Agrifos to make land-applied fertilizer.

However, Agrifos was not authorised to accept hazardous waste from other facilities, the EPA said.

As part of the settlement, Air Products agreed to manage the spent acid on site and not ship it to Agrifos or any other facility not authorised to accept it, the EPA said.

Air Products has also made modifications to reduce the levels of contamination in the spent acid, and is planning to construct a $60m regeneration plant to stop the acid waste stream altogether, according to the EPA.

Air Products did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The settlement agreement was lodged in a US district court, and is subject to a 30-day public comment period and approval by a federal court.

($1 = €0.79)

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By: Ben DuBose
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