Thursday, November 06, 2008

The environmental crimes of INEOS way down on Chocolate Bayou

How crappy is INEOS, the world's third largest chemical company that operates the chemical manufacturing plant on Farm-to-Market 2004 near Chocolate Bayou south of our friends in Alvin, TX?

Here's an example.

For 27.3 hours on Feb. 29-March 1, the plant urped out 7,098 pounds of propylene, 4,022 pounds of propane, 1,545 pounds of nitrogen oxides, 7,925 pounds of carbon monoxide and 75 pounds of toluene -- all of it unpermitted.

As they say in the enviro business, opacity from the flares was 100 percent, meaning, the smoke was very black.

The emissions event "could have been avoided by better planning and operating practices," the state said.

Even so, the base penalty for the violations was a mere $5,000.

But because of the INEOS facility's poor environmental history, and the history of the former owner, Brititish Petroleum, the fine was enhanced 248 percent, adding another $12,400 to the standard $5,000 fine.

Reason for the enhancement: 19 previous notices of violations, seven previous enforcement orders containing denials of liability and two adjudicated final enforcements.

Since INEOS agreed to the fine, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality is letting it slide on $3,480 of the fine, so long as it fixes its planning and operating procedures. We hope that's enough of a monetary inducement to do the right thing as we doubt the company wouldn't do it otherwise.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Gee, that's the entire popcorn budget for the executive suite for a WHOLE year. This is taking corporate bashing a little too far. What would Hannittitty say!!!!