MOSCOW (MRC) -- A major manufacturer of synthetic rubber, Firestone Polymers LLC, has agreed to pay USD4 million in fines and an environmental project and make numerous improvements to settle a long list of state and federal air pollution complaints at its plant in southwest Louisiana, said the company.
The plant in Sulphur was “Louisiana’s highest emitter of three types of hazardous air pollutants,” violating the Clean Air Act, David Gray, regional administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency.
The plant illegally emitted thousands of tons of pollutants including nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, volatile organic compounds and more than a dozen other substances and chemicals, according to the 127-page federal complaint against the plant near Lake Charles.
The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) alleged that Firestone emitted excess amounts of pollutants including nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, volatile organic compounds, particulate matter, sulphur dioxide, and hazardous air pollutants including 1,3-butadiene, n-hexane, styrene, formaldehyde, methanol and others, according to a complaint filed the US District Court for the Western District of Louisiana.
The settlement requires several actions from Firestone, including meeting emissions limits, operating and maintenance requirements, equipment controls, limiting hazardous air pollutants from facility dryers, conducting inspections of heat exchangers, installing controls and monitors on covered flares and installing flaring instrumentation and monitoring systems. The EPA noted that Firestone has already taken compliance measures.
Firestone will also complete a Beneficial Environmental Project in Louisiana by funding ambient air monitoring system upgrades in several locations in southwest Louisiana. The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
As per MRC, Bridgestone Firestone, a subsidiary of Japan's Bridgestone Corporation, shut production at its Styrene Butadiene Rubber (SBR) plant in Lake Charles, Louisiana, USA on February 15 due to cold weather in the region. The plant with a capacity of 134,000 tonnes SBR per year does not work due to problems associated with extreme weather conditions in the US Gulf of Mexico. Although electricity was restored to the plant, cold weather and power outages in the area resulted in the cutoff of water and other circulation needed to keep the plant running.
According to MRC's ScanPlast, July total estimated consumption of PS and styrene plastics in Russia increased by 4% compared to the same month last year and amounted to 46,540 tonnes. The total consumption of PS in the country amounted to 328,980 tonnes, up 23% year on year in January - July 2021.