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News Releases from Region 06

Georgia-Pacific Settles EPA Clean Air Act Claims at Crossett, Ark., Facility, Will Correct Alleged Violations and Pay Civil Penalties

12/14/2018
Contact Information: 
Jennah Durant or Joe Hubbard (R6Press@epa.gov)
214 665-2200

DALLAS – (Dec. 14, 2018) Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a settlement with Georgia-Pacific Chemicals LLC and Georgia-Pacific Consumer Operations LLC (Georgia-Pacific) of alleged violations of the Clean Air Act (CAA) set forth in a Complaint filed today with the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Arkansas. The Complaint alleges that the violations occurred at the companies’ paper and chemical products facilities in Crossett, Arkansas. The Complaint and settlement are a result of an EPA inspection of these facilities in 2015. Under the settlement, Georgia-Pacific is required to take steps to correct the violations, implement a mitigation project to reduce hydrogen sulfide (H2S) emissions, and implement three supplemental environmental projects to further control H2S. The companies will also pay $600,000 in civil penalties, half to the United States and half to the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ).

EPA and the ADEQ plan a public meeting in Crossett to discuss the settlement and answer questions. The date, time, and location of the meeting will be announced soon. The settlement will further efforts by EPA and ADEQ to address residents’ health and odor complaints stemming from H2S emissions from the Georgia-Pacific facilities. 

EPA’s inspection revealed, among other concerns, a lack of air pollution controls (required under the Clean Air Act’s New Source Performance Standards and the National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants) at two wood pulp washers at the facilities. The settlement requires Georgia-Pacific, among other things, to install the appropriate pollution controls on its washers, update leak-control and compliance-monitoring procedures, and conduct emissions and performance testing on other control systems. The measures required by the settlement are designed to achieve reductions of hazardous air pollutants released from the facilities. In connection with the settlement, Georgia-Pacific also installed a $2.9-million mitigation project to reduce H2S emissions and odors from its wastewater discharges.

In addition, Georgia-Pacific will implement three supplemental environmental projects, costing nearly $2 million, to reduce the potential for H2S emissions from the company’s processes and to establish air monitoring for H2S along the fenceline of the facilities for at least three years. Monitoring data will be available to the public in real time on a website.

The proposed settlement is subject to a 30-day public comment period and final court review and approval. A copy of the consent decree is available on the Department of Justice website at www.justice.gov/enrd/Consent_Decrees.html.

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