WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced Dec. 22 that, along with the state of Louisiana, it reached a Clean Air Act settlement with Orion Engineered Carbons LLC worth more than $101.3 million.
As part of the settlement, Orion will pay $800,00 in civil penalties and perform $550,000 worth of mitigation projects. Additionally, the majority of the settlement funds—more than $100 million—will go toward installing and operating new pollution control technologies. These controls will help Orion better comply with the Clean Air Act by reducing emissions of harmful air pollutants.
The settlement resolves allegations Orion violated the Clean Air Act by failing to obtain permits and maintain proper emission reduction technology at facilities in Franklin, Louisiana, Belpre, Ohio, Orange, Texas, and Borger, Texas. The permits and emissions reduction technology are required by the Clean Air Act’s Prevention of Significant Deterioration provisions.
The company’s alleged failures allowed possibly harmful emissions to occur at the facilities, which produce carbon black. Production of the substance—which is used as an ingredient in tires, plastics, rubber, inkjet toner and cosmetics—generates nitrogen oxide (NOx) and sulfur dioxide (SO2) and particulate matter. Both NOx and SO2 can be harmful to the environment and are contributors to acid raid, smog and haze. It can cause respiratory and cardiovascular impacts in humans.