Chem Plant to Pay $135 in Civil Penalties for Air Pollution Violations
(BayAreaNewsTalk.com) – A company that operates a chemical plant in Richmond has agreed to pay $135,000 in civil penalties for air pollution violations per the terms of a settlement with the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, district officials said today.
Chemtrade West US LLC acquired the facility, which was issued two notices of violation for non-compliance between 2009 and 2014, from General Chemical West in January 2014.
At least some of the violations were discovered as part of an audit that Chemtrade voluntarily conducted after purchasing the facility.
However, many of them occurred before Chemtrade acquired the facility.
District officials said that those included potential emissions of sulfuric acid and sulfur dioxide when alkylation acid was moved from storage tanks to trucks. Chemtrade removed loading equipment from the facility to
prevent that from happening in the future.
The facility also failed to use “back-up abatement” equipment while loading sulfuric acid into tanks, which also led to monitoring, record-keeping and reporting violations, according to district officials.
Because Chemtrade acquired the entity that owned the facility when those violations took place, they were also responsible for the fines associated with those violations, according to Chemtrade’s chief financial
officer Rohit Bhardwaj.
The monetary penalties for those violations will be used to fund the district’s inspection and enforcement activities.
Chemtrade is based out of Toronto, Canada.