$4m fine and $66m works programme for chemical company

DuPont has agreed to pay a civil penalty of $4.125 and spend at least $66 million on air pollution control at four factories producing sulphuric acid for industry.

The measures are expected to cut harmful emissions by more than 13,000 tonnes at the plants in Louisiana, Virginia, Ohio and Kentucky.

The company will meet new, lower emission limits for sulphur dioxide at the four acid production units covered by the agreement.

At the largest of the plants, in Louisiana, the company will be obliged to fit state-of-the-art dual absorption pollution control equipment which will cost an estimated $66m.

At the other three plants, the company has the option of cutting production or installing new equipment to meet emissions limits.

If it goes for the technological solution, the cost is likely to be at least another $87m.

"This settlement will reduce harmful air pollutants by more than 13,000 tonnes per year," said Granta Y Nakayama, the US EPA's assistant administrator for the Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance.

"The actions taken will ensure that those affected will be able to breathe easier knowing these pollutants will no longer be in the air."

Ronald J Tenpas, acting assistant attorney general for the Justice Department's Environmental and Natural Resources Division, said: "This agreement demonstrates our commitment to a level playing field and compliance with the law in the sulphuric acid industry.

"This settlement shows the high level of cooperation possible among the federal government, our local and state partners, and industry when all are committed to compliance and meaningful improvement of the environment."

David Gibbs



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