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EPA reports end-of-year enforcement results for Louisiana

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 Louisiana, EPA achieved more than 84 million pounds of pollution reductions, more than $43 million in penalties and environmental improvements, and concluded 62 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 FY 2007, which ended September 30.

Among the Agency’s enforcement achievements for Louisiana is working with state counterparts to achieve cleaner air and safer drinking water for residents. EPA partnered with the Louisiana Department of 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 worked with the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals (LDHH) to bring several public water supply systems in northeast Louisiana into compliance with safe drinking water requirements. Inspections conducted by EPA and LDHH resulted in 17 administrative orders requiring the facilities to take the necessary actions to ensure the quality and safety of drinking water for residents.

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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