Arkema, Inc. has agreed to pay $60,000 to resolve air pollution allegations reported at its Axis, Ala. chemical manufacturing plant in Mobile County.
According to the Alabama Department of Environmental Management, Arkema submitted results from air quality tests conducted on April 13 and 14 that showed the company exceeded its permit limits for emissions of particulate matter at its facility, as well as “failure to maintain control equipment to minimize emissions.”
A consent order resolving the alleged violations, negotiated between ADEM and the company, states that the company discovered in a May 2022 inspection that its baghouse pollution control devices were not functioning properly.
The order states that six of the company’s 81 baghouse “socks” were damaged, including one with a 12-inch slit. The order states that the damaged equipment had been repaired.
ADEM said it considered the air pollution violations to be “serious” and increased the fine by $5,000 because of a previous air pollution violation by the company. In 2020, Arkema settled with ADEM over failure to meet required flow rates in an air scrubber at the plant.
The Axis plant – located on U.S. Highway 43, about 20 miles north of the city of Mobile – manufactures chemical additives used in making many plastics as well as its own PEKK plastic, a lightweight, high-performance thermoplastic used for aerospace or other demand applications.
According to the company’s website, the Axis plant had 146 employees last year with a local economic impact of $18 million.
To comply with the consent order, which was negotiated between Arkema and ADEM, the company will pay a $60,000 civil fine to the state and submit updated repair and maintenance plans for the equipment that malfunctioned.
By agreeing to the consent order, Arkema is not admitting to the alleged violations, but is agreeing to resolve them without further legal or enforcement action.
ADEM says it agreed to settle the violations “in an effort to resolve the alleged violations cited herein without the unwarranted expenditure of State resources in further prosecuting the alleged violations.”
“The Department has determined that the terms contemplated in the Special Order by Consent are in the best interests of the citizens of Alabama,” the order states.
The full text of the consent agreement is available on the ADEM website.
Visit our sponsors
Wise (formerly TransferWise) is the cheaper, easier way to send money abroad. It helps people move money quickly and easily between bank accounts in different countries. Convert 60+ currencies with ridiculously low fees - on average 7x cheaper than a bank. No hidden fees, no markup on the exchange rate, ever.