The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the U.S. Department of Justice, the Eastern District of Texas, and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) have announced a settlement with Delaware-based E.I. Du Pont de Nemours and Co. and Performance Materials NA Inc. (PMNA) to resolve “alleged violations of hazardous waste, air, and water environmental laws” at the PMNA Sabine River chemical manufacturing facility in Orange, Texas.
Du Pont is the former owner of the facility now operated by PMNA, according to Beaumont, Texas-based television station and website KBMT. According to a 2018 Du Pont news release, the facility at that time was boosting its capacity to “meet growing demand for Surlyn, Nucrel, Fusabond (P&SP) and Vamac (T&AP) specialty materials used for applications in food packaging, transportation and consumer goods.”
Alleged Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) violations at the site included failure to make hazardous waste determinations; the treatment, storage or disposal of hazardous waste without a RCRA permit; and failure to meet land disposal restrictions. Alleged Clean Water Act violations include unpermitted discharges of process wastewater in violation of the facility’s Texas Pollutant Discharge
“This settlement ensures proper management of hazardous wastes, requires a comprehensive review of the facility’s environmental compliance across all media, and ensures cleanup of contamination from past operations,” says Acting Assistant Administrator Larry Starfield of EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance.
As part of the settlement agreement, DuPont and PMNA will conduct compliance audits, control benzene emissions, and perform other actions to address violations at the facility. The defendants also will also pay a $3.1 million civil penalty and attorney’s fees to the State of Texas.