Two companies to pay Clean Air Act fine

By Stephanie Ostrowski | Jan 4, 2013

BOSTON (Legal Newsline) - Two companies have been ordered to pay a $970,000 penalty for allegedly violating the Clean Air Act while operating as a chemical plant in Springfield, Mass.

The settlement, announced Dec. 20 by the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Justice, will settle alleged violations against Solutia Inc., INEOS Melamines LLC that occurred between 2003 and 2010 at the Indian Orchard chemical plant.

Violations were against the plant's federal and state operating permits for air pollution controls which include leak detection and repair requirements (LDAR) according to the EPA.

The settlement is contained in a consent decree filed in federal court.

Specifically the EPA alleges the companies failed to use suitable and/or properly calibrate leak detection instruments, identify unsafe and difficult to monitor equipment, implement a plant-wide leak detection and repair program, and properly report compliance in semi-annual certifications.

Under the Clean Air Act, the violations are covered under MACT standards, which are intended to control hazardous air pollutants, and state-issued permits including a Title V Operating Permit.

As a result of the consent decree the companies are required to pay a civil penalty of $970,000 and implement enhanced leak detection as well as a repair program at the Indian Orchard facility.

Preventative measures of this nature will ensure compliance and avoid future issues.

The Indian Orchard plant is located on about 280 acres along the Chicopee River in Springfield, Mass.

Solutia is a global manufacturer of chemical and engineered materials used in a range of industrial and consumer appliances.

The consent decree is subject to a 30-day public comment period and must gain approval by the federal court.

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