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Dow to spend USD294 million on air pollution control under DOJ settlement

January 26/2021

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Dow will spend approximately USD294 to install and operate air pollution control and monitoring technology at 4 US chemical facilities as part of a settlement with The Department of Justice (DOJ), the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality (LDEQ), according to Chemweek with reference to a statement by the DOJ.

The settlement resolves allegations that Dow and its subsidiaries Performance Materials NA Inc. and Union Carbide Corporation violated the Clean Air Act by failing to properly operate and monitor industrial flares at their petrochemical facilities, which resulted in excess emissions of harmful air pollution.

The technology will be used to reduce flaring and the resulting harmful air pollution from 26 industrial flares at the companies’ facilities at Hahnville and Plaquemine, Louisiana and Freeport and Orange, Texas.

The complaint, filed Tuesday along with the settlement, alleges that Dow and its subsidiaries “oversteamed” their flares and failed to comply with other key operating parameters that ensure the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and hazardous air pollutants contained in the gases routed to the flares are effectively combusted.

Once fully implemented, the pollution controls required by the settlement are estimated to reduce harmful air emissions of VOCs by more than 5,600 tons per year. The settlement is also expected to reduce toxic air pollutants, including benzene, by nearly 500 tons per year.

“This settlement will improve air quality in Texas and Louisiana by eliminating thousands of tons of harmful air pollution each year,” says Jonathan D. Brightbill, Acting Assistant Attorney General of the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division. “The agreement, which requires Dow to reduce emissions from its facilities in Texas and Louisiana, demonstrates the Justice Department’s and EPA’s  continuing efforts, together with our state partners, to reduce harmful air pollution from unnecessary and improper flaring in order to protect the American public by bringing sources of air pollution into compliance with the Clean Air Act.”

Under the terms of the settlement, Dow will also perform air quality monitoring that is designed to detect the presence of benzene at the fence lines of the four covered plants and pay a civil penalty of USD3 million. The LDEQ will receive USD675,000 of the USD3 million total civil penalty, and Dow will perform three state-authorized “beneficial environmental projects” in Louisiana that were negotiated by Louisiana.

As MRC reported earlier, in September, 2020, Dow and Luhai, an integrated waste management company located in Xiamen, China, announced their collaboration to give plastics waste collected by Luhai a second life, thereby increasing the circularity of plastics in China. The agreement is in line with Dow’s new sustainability targets to Stop the Waste by enabling one million metric tons of plastic to be collected, reused or recycled through its direct actions and partnerships by 2030.

According to MRC's DataScope report, PE imports to Russia decreased in January-November 2020 by 17% year on year and reached 569,900 tonnes. High density polyethylene (HDPE) accounted for the greatest reduction in imports. At the same time, PP imports into Russia increased by 21% year on year to about 202,000 tonnes in the first eleven months of 2020. Propylene homopolymer (homopolymer PP) accounted for the main increase in imports.

The Dow Chemical Company is an American multinational chemical corporation. Dow is a large producer of plastics, including polystyrene, polyurethane, polyethylene, polypropylene, and synthetic rubber.
Author:Margaret Volkova
Tags:PP, PE, benzene, homopolymer PP, HDPE, petrochemistry, recikling, Dow, China, Russia, USA.
Category:General News
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