Equistar Chemicals, headquartered in Houston, Texas, will spend more than $125 million on pollution controls and cleanup to address air, water and hazardous waste violations at seven petrochemical plants in Texas, Illinois, Iowa and Louisiana, according to the Justice Department and the EPA.
The consent decree requires Equistar to invest in comprehensive control and operational measures expected to significantly reduce air, water and hazardous waste pollution from the seven manufacturing facilities.
“Equistar will be the first in the petrochemical industry to adopt these stricter environmental measures, many of which will go beyond what the regulations would require,” said Granta Nakayama, EPA’s assistant administrator for Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. “Through these investments in environmental compliance, Equistar has a chance to turn its performance record around, and ultimately become a leader in the industry by running a cleaner, less polluting facility.”
During inspections, the EPA identified extensive Clean Air Act, Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, and Clean Water Act violations. Inspectors also found that Equistar had violated laws requiring the company to immediately report spills and releases of hazardous substances to federal and state emergency response centers.