Westlake Chemical spending $110M to cut air pollution as part of settlement


Three subsidiaries of Westlake Chemical last week settled allegations that they violated federal and state pollution control laws, reports the Associated Press.

The U.S. Department of Justice said Westlake Chemical agreed to make extensive upgrades and perform compliance measures estimated to cost $110 million to resolve the complaint involving two facilities in Lake Charles and one in Kentucky. The companies also will pay a $1 million civil penalty.

According to the complaint, the companies failed to properly operate and monitor their industrial flares, which resulted in excess emissions at the three facilities, the department says.

The settlement will eliminate thousands of tons of air pollution from flares.

Westlake will be required to install and operate air pollution control and monitoring technology to reduce flaring from eight flares at the three facilities. Once fully implemented, the pollution controls are estimated to reduce emissions of ozone-forming volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, by 2,258 tons per year and of toxic air pollutants, including benzene, by 65 tons per year. Read the entire story.