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EPA, DOJ Announce Settlement Agreement with Carbon Black Producer, Sid Richardson Carbon and Energy Company

12/22/2017
Contact Information: 
EPA Press Office (press@epa.gov)

WASHINGTON (December 22, 2017) - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced today a settlement resolving Clean Air Act claims by the United States and the states of Louisiana and Texas against carbon black manufacturer Sid Richardson Carbon and Energy Company.  Under the settlement, the company has agreed to install and operate state-of-the-art pollution control technologies to reduce emissions of harmful air pollutants.

In addition to the controls, estimated to cost over $100 million, Sid Richardson will pay civil penalties of $999,000, and perform environmental mitigation projects valued at $490,000. This settlement resolves claims, alleged in a complaint filed today in federal court in Louisiana, that Sid Richardson failed to obtain permits and install and maintain appropriate emissions reduction technology at its three carbon black production facilities located in Addis, Louisiana; Big Spring, Texas; and Borger, Texas, as required under the Prevention of Significant Deterioration provisions and/or Maximum Achievable Control Technology Standards of the Clean Air Act.

Carbon black is a fine carbonaceous powder used in tires, plastics, rubber, inkjet toner and cosmetics.  Production of carbon black creates large amounts of nitrogen oxide (NOx), sulfur dioxide (SO2) and particulate matter. NOx and SO2 have numerous adverse health effects and are significant contributors to acid rain, smog and haze. These pollutants are converted in the air to particulate matter that can cause severe respiratory and cardiovascular impacts, and premature death.

As a part of the settlement, Fort Worth, Texas-based Sid Richardson will be required to install wet gas scrubbers to reduce SO2 emissions at its Addis, Louisiana and Borger, Texas, facilities and selective catalytic reduction technology to reduce emissions of NOx at all three facilities. In addition, at its Borger, Texas, facility, Sid Richardson will be responsible for a mechanical and structural integrity assessment to find, fix and replace failing components of the carbon black process system. At its Big Spring, Texas, facility, Sid Richardson must meet a limit on the sulfur content of its feedstock.

EPA projects that this settlement will result in a reduction of SO2 emissions of approximately 10,198 tons per year; a reduction of NOx emissions of approximately 984 tons per year; and a reduction of emissions of particulate matter, as compared to the company’s 2015 emissions.

The proposed settlement, lodged in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana, is subject to a 30-day federal public comment period, a 45-day Louisiana public comment period and final court approval.  Information on submitting comments is available at the DOJ website at: www.justice.gov/enrd/consent-decrees

Today’s settlement comes at the same time DOJ and EPA are announcing settlements with two other carbon black production companies: Orion Engineered Carbons LLC and Columbian Chemicals Company.

More information about the settlement: https://www.epa.gov/enforcement/sid-richardson-carbon-and-energy-company-clean-air-act-settlement