Facility Correcting Violations and Pay Civil Penalties
DALLAS – (Dec. 14, 2018) Firstly, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a court settlement with Georgia-Pacific Chemicals LLC and Georgia-Pacific Consumer Operations LLC (Georgia-Pacific). These were for alleged violations of the Clean Air Act (CAA) in a Complaint filed today with the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Arkansas. The Complaint alleges that the violations occurred at the companies’ paper and chemical products facilities in Crossett, Arkansas.
In addition, the Complaint and settlement are a result of an EPA inspection of these facilities in 2015. Under the settlement, Georgia-Pacific must to take steps to correct the violations and most noteworthy, carry out a mitigation project to cut hydrogen sulfide (H2S) emissions. In addition carry out three supplemental environmental projects to further control H2S. The companies will also pay $600,000 in civil penalties. Of which, half to the United States and half to the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ).
So EPA and the ADEQ plan a public meeting in Crossett to discuss the settlement and answer questions. The date, time, and place of the meeting announcement soon. The settlement will further efforts by EPA and ADEQ to address residents’ health and odor complaints stemming from H2S emissions from the Georgia-Pacific facilities.
As well, EPA’s inspection revealed, among other concerns, a lack of air pollution controls (required by Federal Law) at two wood pulp washers at the facilities. The settlement requires Georgia-Pacific, among other thing, to install the proper pollution controls on its washers. In addition, update leak-control and compliance-monitoring rules, and conduct emissions and performance testing on other control systems. The measures required by the settlement , designed to do reductions of hazardous air pollutants released from the facilities. In addtion to the settlement, Georgia-Pacific also installed a $2.9-million mitigation project to cut H2S emissions and odors from its wastewater discharges.
In conclusion, Georgia-Pacific will carry out three supplemental environmental projects, costing nearly $2 million, to cut the potential for H2S emissions from the company’s processes and to set up air monitoring for H2S along the fence-line of the facilities for at least three years. Monitoring data will be available to the public in real-time on a website.
Finally, the proposed settlement is subject to a 30-day public comment period and last court review and approval. A copy of the consent decree is available on the Department of Justice website at www.justice.gov/enrd/Consent_Decrees.html.