Petrochemical Producer Altivia Agrees to Comprehensive Program to Reduce Harmful Air Pollution from Leaking Equipment to Resolve Clean Air Act Violations in Ohio | OPA


ALTIVIA Petrochemicals LLC has approved a consensus order that would require payment of a civil penalty of $1,112,500 and improvement of work practices to detect and repair leaks to investigate suspected Clean Air Act (CAA) violations at a petrochemical manufacturing facility in Haverhill, Ohio. Emissions of hazardous air pollutants (HAPs) such as phenol from leaking appliances pollute the environment and can cause serious health effects, including anorexia, dizziness, and blood and liver damage.

According to the seven-fold complaint, filed October 5, 2021 in the Southern District of Ohio, ALTIVIA allegedly violated CAA requirements to monitor and repair leaking equipment, demonstrate compliance with chemical plant regulations, and HAP emissions required to control devices.

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“This case and settlement demonstrate that the Justice Department will take vigorous action against companies that violate federal environmental laws,” said Assistant Attorney General Todd Kim of the Justice Department’s Division of Environment and Natural Resources. “The substantial civil penalty received will serve as a deterrent to future violations, and the compliance program will require ALTIVIA to improve its monitoring and maintenance practices to prevent future fugitive emission violations.”

“Prevention or prompt detection and repair are critical to protecting human health and the environment,” said US Attorney Kenneth Parker for the Southern District of Ohio. “The Department of Justice and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are vigilant in ensuring compliance with the Clean Air Act and other environmental laws.”

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“This consent decree will benefit Ohio communities by reducing hazardous air pollution,” said Debra Shore, EPA Region 5 Administrator Enhance Clean Air Act compliance efforts and implement best practices for monitoring and repair.”

In addition to paying a penalty, ALTIVIA will implement a comprehensive program to reduce HAP emissions from leaking equipment such as valves and fittings. These emissions, known as “fugitive” emissions because they exit directly from equipment rather than being vented from a stack, are generally controlled through work practices such as leak monitoring and repair. The settlement commits ALTIVIA to implementing improved work practices, including more frequent leak monitoring, better repair practices and innovative new leak prevention efforts.

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In addition, the expanded program will require ALTIVIA to replace valves with new “low emission” valves or valve packing material designed to significantly reduce the likelihood of future HAP leaks. The comparison also obliges ALTIVIA to control similar emissions from a previously uncontrolled process tank. The estimated cost of these controls is $730,000. The compliance program and technical controls will reduce HAP emissions by up to 97 tons per year.

The consent writ is subject to a 30-day comment period and final court approval. A copy of the consent decree is available on the Department of Justice’s website at www.usdoj.gov/enrd/Consent_Decrees.html.



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