Shintech and subsidiary to spend US$4.8 mln to comply with Clean Air Act and RCRA at Freeport, Texas

02-Dec-08
In a bid to reduce harmful chlorofluorocarbon emissions and improve hazardous waste management beyond the requirements imposed by environmental laws- In a settlement announced by the Justice Department and EPA; Shintech Inc. and its subsidiary K-Bin Inc., have agreed to spend US$4.8 mln to comply with the Clean Air Act and the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) at their manufacturing facilities in Freeport, Texas. The companies also have agreed to pay a civil penalty of US$2.585 mln to resolve environmental violations under the Clean Air Act, RCRA, and the Clean Water Act, and to perform US$4.7 million worth of supplemental environmental projects. Shintech and K-Bin have agreed to reduce emissions of ozone-depleting refrigerants by replacing six refrigeration units with units that use refrigerants that do not harm the atmosphere's protective stratospheric ozone layer.In addition, the two companies have agreed to third-party audits of their handling of ozone-depleting refrigerants, increased training, and other steps to ensure compliance with EPA regulations under the Clean Air Act. Under RCRA, the federal hazardous waste law, Shintech will close a lagoon and a drying bed that were not designed to handle hazardous waste, implement a series of audits and reviews of its hazardous-waste handling practices, and add a treatment tank to its waste-water treatment system. The overall cost of the steps the companies will take to comply with the Clean Air Act and RCRA is estimated to be approximately $4.8 million. Shintech has already addressed its Clean Water Act violations by completing its permit-renewal process. Shintech also has agreed to perform three environmental projects as part of the settlement. Shintech will add at least 300 acres of forest and wetlands to Austin's Woods preserve (also called the Colombia Bottomlands area) managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Shintech will create a recycling program in the city of Houston that will pick up and recycle, at no cost to residents, residential appliances containing ozone-depleting refrigerants. Finally, Shintech will retrofit part of its manufacturing process to reduce emissions of polyvinyl chloride by 10,000 lbs pa.
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