EPA Environmental News , October 9, 1996
BAYER CORPORATION TO PAY $500,000 PENALTY AND PERFORM TWO ENVIRONMENTAL PROJECTS TO SETTLE EPA TOXICS COMPLAINT
Philadelphia - On September 30, 1996, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Region III filed a consent agreement and order settling a Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) case against Bayer Corporation (formerly Mobay Corporation). Under the terms of the settlement, Bayer has agreed to pay a $500,000 penalty, and perform two environmental projects that will cost an estimated four million dollars.
The filing ends five years of litigation that started with a July 1991 EPA complaint against Mobay Corporation, Bayer's former subsidiary.
EPA Regional Administrator W. Michael McCabe said that he was pleased with the consent agreement because it reduces the potential risk of toxic chemical exposure to the public and to the environment. "The settlement results in an appropriate penalty for past violations, a future benefit to the community, and reduces the possibility of future environmental violations by the company," said McCabe. "It is an outcome that upholds the law, and protects public health and the environment through the use of sound pollution prevention and environmental auditing techniques."
EPA's 1991 administrative complaint alleged that Mobay had violated TSCA's reporting requirements for the import and manufacture of toxic substances. The alleged violations -- which included false certification of compliance with TSCA's import rules, incomplete information on Premanufacturing Notification Forms, submission of false Notices of Commencement, and false TSCA Inventory reporting -- occurred in the 1980s.
In addition to the $500,000 penalty, Bayer has agreed to complete two "supplemental environmental projects" (SEP) that go beyond legal requirements. The first SEP, a pollution prevention project, involves modifications to a chemical manufacture system at Bayer's New Martinsville West Virginia facility. This project, which will cost an estimated 3.5 million dollars, should reduce the hazardous waste generated at the plant by approximately 2.4 million pounds annually.
The second project is an "environmental audit" of Bayer's compliance with TSCA requirements, which will cost an estimated $500,000 to perform. The audit will cover chemical substances (as defined by TSCA) that were imported or manufactured by Bayer Corporation in 1994 and 1995. Bayer must report and pay stipulated penalties for all violations uncovered by the audit, and promptly correct these violations.
Under EPA policy, the settlement of an environmental violation may take into account the defendant's expenditures for projects that protect public health and the environment, and exceed legal requirements. To preserve a deterrent effect, EPA requires that the company pay a penalty in excess of the amount it saved by delaying its compliance with the law. Bayer is also liable for additional payment of up to $3.5 million if it does not satisfactorily complete the promised projects.
Contact: Bonnie Lomax