WASHINGTON, Sept 13 (Reuters) - The U.S. subsidiary of
Formosa Plastics Corporation will pay $2.85 million to
settle civil charges it violated federal air pollution laws
after a series of fires and explosions at its petrochemical
manufacturing plant in Texas injured some of its workers, the
Justice Department said on Monday.
In its complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Southern
District of Texas, the Justice Department said that during the
fires at the company's Point Comfort, Texas, plant from May 2013
through October 2016, workers suffered serious injuries
including second- and third-degree burns, as well as chlorine
The Clean Air Act requires companies to identify potential
hazards, maintain safe facilities and minimize the consequences
of accidental releases. The measure was put into place by
Congress following a 1984 release of methyl isocyanate in Bhopal
India, which left more than 3,400 people dead and another
200,000 people injured.
"Formosa repeatedly failed to comply with the chemical
accident prevention provisions of the Clean Air Act at the Point
Comfort plant, repeatedly placing their workers, neighbors and
the environment in danger, said Todd Kim, the assistant
attorney general of the Justice Departments Environment and
Natural Resources Division, in a statement issued on Monday.
As part of the consent decree, which must be approved by a
federal court, the company will be required to update its
internal plans for responding to public and environmental risks
and addressing worker safety.
It also must conduct a third-party audit of its risk
A company spokesperson could not immediately be reached.
This marks at least the second consent decree the company
will be entering over pollution in recent years.
In 2019, the company settled a citizen suit over complaints
about wastewater and stormwater discharge from the same plant in
(Reporting by Sarah N. Lynch in Washington
Editing by Matthew Lewis)