CHARLESTON – Pending public comment and approval of a federal judge, a DuPont and Lucite International have agreed to pay $2 million in fines related to violations of the state and federal pollution laws at a sulfuric acid regeneration plant in Belle.

On Monday, federal prosecutors on behalf of the Environmental Protection Agency filed both a complaint and a proposed consent decree with the U.S. District Court in Charleston against DuPont and Lucite International.

DuPont operates the plant and Lucite owns the plant, according to court documents.

According to the complaint, an EPA investigation of the plant found that:

* the companies insufficiently monitored and exceeded emission limitations;

* failed to obtain the proper federal and state permitting for construction and modifications that increased emissions; failed to keep adequate records;

* failed to provide regulatory agencies with sufficient data to perform independent analyses on emissions at the plant; and

* failed to implement the best available technology to control sulfur dioxide and sulfuric acid mist emissions.

The EPA noticed the companies of the violations on Aug. 2, 2007, the complaint says.

The proposed decree calls for DuPont and Lucite to surrender all air pollution permits related to the plant to the state permitting authority after the cessation of the plant in 2010.

The decree also blocks the companies from applying for emission reduction credits because of the plant closure or selling any emission credits that might result from the closure.

Lucite has decided to shut down the plant on April 1, 2010 for independent business reasons, according to court records.

The case has been referred to federal Magistrate Mary Stanley for discovery.

Following the period of public comment, federal prosecutors then will decide whether to ask the court to approve the consent decree.

Federal court case number: 2:09-cv-00385

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DuPont U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

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