Finland's Kemira vows it never put US people, environment at risk

25 January 2013 16:48  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Kemira Group said on Friday that, although the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has levied penalties against it, the company’s actions never put people or the environment at risk.

Two subsidiaries of the Kemira Group – Kemira Chemicals and Kemira Water Solutions - will pay a total of more than $800,000 (€600,000) in civil penalties after reaching settlements with the EPA on multiple alleged violations of chemical reporting and pesticide laws.

Leena Lie, senior vice president of communications and public affairs for Kemira, released a statement on Friday in which Kemira denied the EPA’s allegations of non-compliance.

“Kemira prides itself on creating a safe work environment for its employees and the communities in which we operate,” the company said. “All of our plants adhere to strict permit regulations as proclaimed and regulated by the state and federal environmental protection agencies, and our accident/incident rate is well below the industry average.”

The settlement with Kemira Chemicals was in regard to alleged violations of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act, including the sale and distribution of an unregistered pesticide, the sale and distribution of misbranded pesticides and pesticide production reporting violation, the EPA said.

Under the terms of the agreement, Kemira Chemicals has corrected the alleged violations and will pay a civil penalty of $301,600, the EPA said.

Kemira said that it and several other companies had begun selling the pesticides “long before” the EPA decided to regulate them. The EPA issued a notice on 16 December 2010, and Kemira complied with it, the company said.

The remaining alleged violations by Kemira Chemical were in regard to a distributor’s sales under brand names without prior company approval, as well as other minor reporting discrepancies by the distributor, Kemira said.

The EPA also reached a settlement with Kemira Water Solutions after an EPA inspection identified 27 violations of the Toxic Substance Control Act’s Inventory Update Reporting (IUR) rule for the 2006 reporting period, the agency said. The IUR rule requires manufacturers and importers of certain chemical substances to report the production volume and location of each facility producing these substances.

Kemira Water Solutions has since submitted the required information to the EPA and will pay a civil penalty of $503,110, the EPA said.

Kemira said these alleged violations were administrative in nature. The products consisted of inorganic substances that have been sold in the US for decades, and the EPA had not required them to be reported until 2006, the company said. During a self-audit, Kemira discovered some filings for 2006 had not been made, and the company immediately reported that to the EPA and filed the missing reports, the company said.

Kemira Chemicals and Kemira Water Solutions are subsidiaries of the Kemira Group, a global chemical company with its headquarters in Helsinki, and its US headquarters in AtlantaGeorgia. Kemira group offers chemical products for a variety of industries, including paper, oil, mining and pharmaceutical.

($1 = €0.75) 

By: Jeremy Pafford
+1 713 525 2653

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