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EPA investigates possible environmental law violations

Because of the potential for harmful pollution, chemical plants here in Georgia and across the country often need to comply with numerous rules and regulations. The demands of environmental law may help combat pollution, but they can also box a company into a corner. Failing to comply with applicable laws could even lead to criminal allegations.

The owner of an out-of-state chemical plant recently came under investigation by the Environmental Protection Agency and the state's Department of Environmental Quality. Apparently, allegations arose indicating that the company's air emissions fail to meet with current standards and the terms of a settlement reached back in 2013. The agencies appear to believe the problem to be serious enough to warrant more than just a civil inquiry. Reports indicate that the company has a history of failing to comply with air quality standards.

The EPA and Virginia's DEQ executed a search warrant at the company and served a subpoena on it at the same time. The company, which makes a chemical required in the manufacturing of plastics, fibers and packaging, issued a statement indicating that it does not know what gave rise to the allegations that prompted the search and the investigation. Understanding the nature of the alleged violations will more than likely be a starting point for the company's response.

Georgia companies that could face similar accusations from the EPA and the Georgia Environmental Protection Division would also need the same information in order to combat the allegations. Of course, obtaining a full understanding of the applicable laws and how to comply with them ahead of time could avoid these types of legal entanglements, which could not only threaten the future of the business, but also the future of the individuals who could face accusations of criminal activity. In either case, seeking the advice and assistance of an environmental law attorney could prove invaluable.

Source:, "Company: Investigation at plant may be related to emissions", March 14, 2018

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