State environmental regulator fines Dow, Chevron Phillips, Shintech

01-Sep-09
The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality has fined Dow, Chevron Phillips, Shintech sites in Brazoria County for emission and record-keeping violations. The regulatory board has levied a fine of US$63000 against Dow Chemical Co. for failing to stop the unauthorized release of ethylene, benzene, butadiene, nitrogen oxide and carbon monoxide at its Texas Operations site. 11,562 pounds of ethylene were reported to have been released from a flare without a flame present Dec. 1, 2007. Crews also released 1,064 pounds of ethylene, 1 pound of benzene, 1 pound of butadiene, 770 pounds of carbon monoxide and 107 pounds of nitrogen oxide on June 28, 2008, resulting from an overtightened tube, which led to bending fatigue. Chevron Phillips Chemical was fines US$9700 for failing to stop the unauthorized release of acetylene, benzene, butadiene, butane, carbon monoxide, nitric oxide, nitrogen oxide and methanol at its Sweeny site. 4 pounds of acetylene, 32 pounds of benzene, 30 pounds of butadiene, 8 pounds of butane, 1,347 pounds of carbon monoxide and 866 pounds of ethylene were released Sept. 30, 2008 along with 178 pounds of nitric oxide, 9 pounds of nitrogen oxide, 12 pounds of propane, 76 pounds of propylene, 7 pounds of butenes and 3 pounds of methanol when crews failed to shut down a compressor, according to court documents. The commission fined Shintech Inc. US$3500 for failing to submit accurate information of emissions released at its Freeport site from May 25 to Nov. 25, 2007. Dow agreed to pay US$31500 to the commission, with the remainder going to the Clean Cities/Clean Vehicles Program of Brazoria County, documents state. The program helps local school districts and area transit agencies pay for the cost of replacing older diesel buses with alternative-fueled or clean diesel buses. Chevron Phillips agreed to pay US$3880 to the commission, with $3880 going to the Clean Cities/Clean Vehicles Program of Brazoria County. About $1,940 was deferred because of the expedited settlement. Shintech agreed to pay US$2800 to the commission, while US$700 was deferred due to an expedited settlement, and has agreed to implement measures to ensure reports contain all required information within 30 days of the fine.
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