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EPA reports end-of-year enforcement results for Texas

Release Date: 11/15/2007
Contact Information: Dave Bary or Tressa Tillman at 214-665-2200 or r6press@epa.gov

(Dallas, Texas – November 15, 2007) Enforcement activities by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency produced historic results from industry, government, and other regulated entities to protect the nation’s air, water, and land in fiscal year 2007. The record $10.6 billion in pollution controls and environmental projects to achieve compliance with federal environmental laws exceeds the previous record of $10.2 billion set in FY2006.

In Texas, EPA achieved more than 50 million pounds of pollution reductions, more than $229 million in penalties and environmental improvements, and concluded 252 enforcement cases with facilities in the state.

“EPA is committed to safeguarding our nation’s environmental health through effective compliance assistance and a strong enforcement program,” said EPA Regional Administrator Richard E. Greene. “Today’s report shows that we continue to make significant progress in protecting people and the environment.”

EPA’s enforcement numbers were released today by its Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance as part of its end-of-year report for FY2007, which ended September 30.

Among the Agency’s enforcement achievements for Texas is working with state counterparts to achieve cleaner air for residents. EPA partnered with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality in a national settlement against acid manufacturer Rhodia Inc. Under the settlement, for Region 6 facilities, Rhodia will pay $667,000 in penalties and spend $40 million on air pollution controls. These controls are expected to reduce harmful emissions of sulfur dioxide from its plants in Texas and Louisiana by an estimated 18,000 tons.

EPA also entered into an agreement with Total Petrochemical USA Inc. to resolve alleged violations of the Clean Air Act. The company will pay a $2.9 million penalty and spend $37 million to upgrade pollution controls at its Port Arthur facility as part of the settlement. Once fully completed, the controls will reduce annual emissions of nitrogen oxides by more than 180 tons, sulfur dioxide by more than 800 tons, and carbon monoxide by more than 120 tons.

Total enforcement results for EPA Region 6 included more than 92 million pounds of pollution reductions, more than $237 million in environmental improvements, and 674 enforcement cases concluded with facilities across Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas. In addition, EPA provided help to 11,839 regional businesses and individuals in understanding and complying with environmental responsibilities.

The EPA enforcement program is a vital tool in ensuring compliance with the nation’s environmental laws and inspiring businesses, governments, and others to focus on pollution prevention. More information on the EPA FY2007 enforcement and compliance program is available at http://www.epa.gov/earth1r6/6en/07-axns.htm.

To learn more about activities in EPA Region 6, please visit http://www.epa.gov/region6.

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