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Union Carbide Corp. Settles Environmental Violations at Chemical Plant in Institute, W. Va. - In Consent Agreement with EPA, Company to Pay $16,600 Penalty and Provide Emergency Response Equipment to Local Fire Department

Release Date: 5/26/2005
Contact Information: Donna Heron, 215-814-5113

Donna Heron, 215-814-5113

PHILADELPHIA – Union Carbide Corp. has settled violations of federal and state environmental laws at its specialty chemical manufacturing plant in Institute, W. Va., the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced today.

In a consent agreement with EPA, Union Carbide resolved alleged violations of regulations on hazardous waste storage and annual reporting of toxic chemicals. The company has agreed to pay a $16,600 penalty and to provide $19,800 in emergency response equipment to the Institute, W. Va. Volunteer Fire Department.

The settlement announced today resolves violations discovered during EPA inspections at the plant in May and November 2001. Based on these inspections and followup investigations, EPA cited the company for three violations of hazardous waste storage regulations: failing to conduct a timely inspection of a hazardous waste storage tank; failing to mark the storage date of two 55-gallon drums used to store aerosol cans; and failing to properly label a tank used to store used oil. EPA also cited the company for errors in required annual reports to EPA and West Virginia about 1999 releases of three toxic chemicals (antimony, silver, and nitric acid).

In addition to the $16,600 penalty, Union Carbide has agreed to a $19,800 supplemental environmental project – exceeding the requirements of federal and state law – designed to improve the emergency response capabilities of the local fire department. Specifically, the company will donate two thermal imaging cameras, mounting kits, and storage case, to the Institute, W. Va. Volunteer Fire Department. The thermal imaging cameras, when mounted on firefighters’ helmets, will enhance the ability of rescue personnel to locate people lost or trapped in smoke-filled areas.

The settlement penalty takes into account the company’s cooperation with EPA and prompt compliance efforts. As part of the settlement, the company has neither admitted nor denied liability for the alleged violations.