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PA TWO TEXAS MEN INDICTED ON CLEAN AIR CHARGES

Release Date: 11/20/98
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FOR RELEASE: FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 20, 1998

TWO TEXAS MEN INDICTED ON CLEAN AIR CHARGES

Jeffrey L. Jackson, former plant manager, and Michael Peters, former environmental manager, for the Huntsman chemical plant in Port Arthur, Texas, were named in an indictment that was unsealed on Nov. 16 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas in Beaumont. Both men are accused of violating the Clean Air Act by failing to disclose information to EPA and the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission concerning releases of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from the plant. VOCs contribute to the formation of ozone. High levels of ozone irritate lung tissue and contribute to the development of respiratory diseases. Both men face maximum sentences of up to 10 years in prison and/or fines of up to $500,000 if convicted. In addition to these indictments, the Huntsman Corp., cooperated with the investigation and signed an agreement with the U.S. Attorney stating that Huntsman would strictly enforce its environmental polices. Huntsman also agreed to establish a $500,000 trust fund for the preservation and improvement of coastal wetlands in Southeast Texas. The case was investigated by EPA’s Criminal Investigation Division, EPA’s National Enforcement Investigations Center, the FBI and the Special Investigations Unit of the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission.

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