Stephanie Ostrowski Apr. 5, 2013, 1:02pm

WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) - Alleged Clean Air Act violations against Honeywell Resins and Chemicals LLC at its Hopewell, Va. plant has resulted in their agreement to pay a $3 million civil penalty.

In addition to the civil penalty, Honeywell has also agreed to improve the facility's air pollution control equipment and processes, as announced March 27 by the Justice Department and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Hopewell plant is the world's largest single-site producer of caprolactam used in the production of nylon and ammonium sulfate used for fertilizer.

The Honeywell facility violated Clean Air Act limits on emissions of nitrogen oxide, benzene and other volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and particulate matter, according to EPA and the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality.

Allegedly the plant also failed to upgrade air pollution control equipment as required, failed to detect and repair leaks of hazardous air pollutants, and failed to develop safeguards on benzene waste.

Honeywell has also agreed to install selective catalytic reduction at four production trains in order to comply with the agreement to reduce harmful air pollutants.

In addition to the agreement, the Honeywell facility will conduct a third-party benzene waste operations audit, implement enhanced leak detection/repair program, and a mitigation project valued at $1 million.

As a result of this settlement, annual emissions of nitrogen oxide will reduce by about 6,260 tons. Other VOCs and hazardous air pollutants, including benzene, will reduce by 100 tons. The cost to address the emissions issue is approximately $66 million.

The $3 million civil penalty will be split evenly between Virginia and the U.S.

Honeywell neither admits nor denies liability for the violations and has certified that it is now in compliance with the Clean Air Act regulations.

The proposed consent decree, which will resolve violations of federal and state air pollution regulations, is subject to final court approval and a 30 day public comment period.

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