The U.S. Department of Justice has filed a consent decree to resolve alleged violations of the Clean Air Act by a petrochemical company’s Louisiana operations. United States v. Westlake Petrochemicals LLC, No. 2:13-cv-00364 (W.D. La., consent decree filed 2/20/13). The government alleged that the defendants failed to comply with Leak Detection and Repair program requirements applicable to production operations at their facilities. The alleged violations included omission of a barrier fluid seal for compressors, as well as failure to (i) cap openended lines, (ii) identify as leaking valves that tested between 500 parts per million (ppm) and 1,000 ppm volatile compounds during leak testing, (iii) make repairs at 132 leaking valves, and (iv) document weekly pump inspections.
The consent decree calls for payment of a $500,000 civil penalty and certification of compliance with the regulations underlying the alleged violations. Defendants have agreed to the imposition of stipulated penalties if they fail to comply with the consent decree, which is subject to public comment and court approval.