2020 Environmental Real Estate Issues

A chemical company and the US Department of Justice (DOJ) have reached a settlement that requires the company to pay a civil penalty of $1,112,500. The company must also install controls and “low emissions” valves at an estimated cost of $730,000.

In its news release, DOJ said the settlement addresses emissions of hazardous air pollutants (HAPs) in violation of the Clean Air Act (CAA).

Failing to Respond to Leaks
DOJ filed a Complaint in October 2021, alleging the company violated the CAA because it failed to monitor and repair leaking equipment, did not demonstrate compliance with regulations applicable to chemical plants, and failed to control HAP emissions from equipment.

Settlement Requires Leak Reduction Program
As part of the settlement, the company “will implement a comprehensive program to reduce emissions of HAPs from leaking equipment such as valves and connectors.” The company will also “implement enhanced work practices, including more frequent leak monitoring, better repair practices and innovative new efforts designed to protect leaks.”

The settlement terms are in a Consent Decree filed with the federal court. It is subject to a 30-day comment period before the judge can approve the settlement.

To see DOJ’s news release, which has a link to access the Consent Decree https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/petrochemical-producer-altivia-agrees-comprehensive-program-reduce-harmful-air-pollution