EPA fines Missouri chemical plant over Clean Air Act violations

US-based chemical company Hercules has agreed to pay a $245,521 civil penalty to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for violating the Clean Air Act's leak detection and repair requirements at its manufacturing facility in Louisiana, Missouri.

Hercules violated the National Emission Standards for Organic Hazardous Air Pollutants for Equipment Leaks, which require chemical manufacturing facilities to implement leak detection and repair programmes to control hazardous air pollutant emissions from equipment leaks.

This enforcement action was initiated as part of EPA's national enforcement initiative into reducing fugitive air toxics emissions caused by failures to comply with leak detection and repair requirements.

The EPA has found that leaking equipment such as valves, pumps and connectors are the largest source of emissions of volatile organic compounds and volatile hazardous air pollutants from petroleum refineries and chemical manufacturers.