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Bayer CropScience to pay penalty for environmental violations

Release Date: 02/27/2009
Contact Information: Terri White 215-814-5523

PHILADELPHIA (February 27, 2009) Bayer CropScience will pay a $112,500 penalty and spend more than $900,000 for environmental projects to settle a wide range of environmental violations at its chemical plant in Institute, W.Va., the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced today.

    The violations stem from a series of EPA inspections in 2001, when the facility was owned by Aventis CropScience USA. The violations are unrelated to the explosion and fire at the facility last August.

    EPA inspectors identified violations of five different environmental laws designed to limit air and water pollution and protect the public from hazardous chemical leaks and spills. These violations included 35 instances between 1999 and 2001 when chemicals discharged through water violated permitted limits. The company also failed to properly monitor water discharges and failed to update equipment in accordance with best management practices.

    Other violations included: not properly labeling chemical storage containers; not properly disposing of wastewater sludge; not maintaining records associated with the use of oil; and not properly following the plant's own waste analysis plan. The facility was also cited for not properly notifying the National Response Center as soon as it had knowledge of the release of carbosulfan on Feb. 5, 2001.

    Environmental improvement projects under the settlement require Bayer CropScience to donate equipment and funding to the Kanawha Valley Emergency Preparedness Center and three local fire departments to support training and emergency response. The agreement also requires Bayer CropScience to upgrade its wastewater treatment facilities to improve monitoring and reduce pollution discharges. As part of the settlement, Bayer CropScience neither admits or denies the allegations.