The state of Louisiana and an international producer of carbon black settlement recently reached a settlement for violations of the Clean Air Act. The Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Justice jointly announced the settlement on Dec. 22.
According to an EPA press release, the claims stated the manufacturer failed to acquire certain permits necessary for the production of carbon black. It also did not install and maintain emissions reduction technology at production facilities in Franklin, Louisiana; Belpre, Ohio; Orange, Texas and Borger, Texas.
"Corrective measures will cost an estimated $100 million."
Carbon black is a fine powder used in the creation of tires, rubber, plastics, adhesives, cosmetics and inkjet toner. When produced, it creates significant amounts of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide, which contribute to acid rain and smog. These can cause respiratory and cardiovascular issues when in particulate form.
The manufacturer violated the Prevention of Significant Deterioration, an environmental regulation in the Clean Air Act. The settlement required it to install cutting-edge technologies to control pollution and reduce emissions. A press release from the carbon black producer stated the corrective measures will cost an estimated $100 million and the company is required to pay $800,000 in civil penalties, in addition to performing $550,000 worth of environmental mitigation projects.
"We have worked hard to find a solution to this matter," said the company's CEO in its official press release. "After several years of review and analysis, we believe this settlement provides the best outcome for all parties. We will be pleased to see this part of the story come to a close so that we can begin implementing the actions necessary to ensure a sustainable supply of U.S. produced carbon black for our customers."
The EPA statement noted the organization expects the emissions reduction initiatives to lower sulfur dioxide output by 10,000 tons per year, drop nitrogen oxide production by approximately 1,663 tons per year and cut the release of overall particulate matter.