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Total Petrochemical will pay USD8.75 mln for failing to comply with enforcement settlement to resolve air violations

September 24/2013

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Total Petrochemical USA Inc. will pay an USD8.75 million penalty for failing to comply with the terms of a 2007 settlement with the United States that resolved alleged violations of the Clean Air Act at its Port Arthur, Texas, refinery, according to the Department of Justice and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).  

Between 2007 and 2011, Total violated numerous requirements of the 2007 settlement, including failing to comply with emissions limits for benzene, a harmful air pollutant. The company also failed to perform corrective actions or to analyze the cause of over 70 incidents involving emissions of hazardous gases through flaring.  EPA discovered the violations through a review of the quarterly compliance reports required by the 2007 settlement.

The 2007 settlement required that Total pay a USD2.9 million penalty and make upgrades to its facility to reduce emissions of harmful air pollution to resolve Clean Air Act violations. The 2007 settlement further required that Total upgrade leak detection and repair practices and implement programs to minimize flaring, which can result in emissions of gases that can cause serious respiratory problems and exacerbate asthma.  

In addition to the penalty, the recent action extends the requirement that Total comply with a lower benzene emissions limit for an additional two years. The enhanced limit for benzene, which is 30% lower than the federal limit, was initially required by the 2007 settlement.  In addition, Total must hire a third-party to audit its compliance under the settlement and must implement a company task force to monitor its compliance.

Reducing illegal emissions of toxic air pollutants at facilities that have a significant impact on air quality and health in communities is one of EPAТs national enforcement priorities.

We remind that, as MRC reported earlier, The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has charged France-based oil and gas company Total S.A. with violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) by paying USD60 million in bribes to intermediaries of an Iranian government official who then exercised his influence to help the company obtain valuable contracts to develop significant oil and gas fields in Iran.

Total Petrochemicals & Refining USA, Inc. (TPRI) is part of the Refining-Petrochemicals Americas Segment of Total S.A., one of the largest integrated international oil and gas companies with operations in more than 130 countries worldwide. TPRI is headquartered in Houston and is a major producer of polypropylene, polystyrene, styrene, base chemicals and polyethylene in the United States. Its refinery produces transportation fuels and other petroleum-based products for the global market. The company employs more than 1,600 who work in support of manufacturing and research/development activities in Texas and Louisiana.
Author:Margaret Volkova
Tags:PP, PS, PE, styrene, Total Petrochemicals, USA.
Category:General News
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