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E-M:/ Dow is Busted on butadiene release

Enviro-Mich message from asagady@sojourn.com

Look how long it took to settle this violation!!!!

And "supplemental environmental projects" allow companies to turn
their violation penalties into PR expenditures!!!

Alex Sagady

Legal Contact: Sean Mulroney
                                                   (312) 886-7150 

                                     Technical Contact: James Entzminger
                                                   (312) 886-4062 

                                            Media Contact: Mick Hans
                                                   (312) 353-5050 

            For Immediate Release: December 1, 1997 

            No. 97-OPA325 


            U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region has recently
            signed an agreement with Dow Chemical Co. (Midland, MI) for
            violation of Federal laws on the reporting of a hazardous chemical
            release. The company will pay a $24,760 fine and complete a
            supplemental environmental project that enhances the county
            government's emergency response capabilities. 

            EPA's complaint alleges that on August 24, 1994, plant management
            at Dow's 1261 Building failed to promptly notify the National
            Response Center, Michigan State Emergency Response Commission,
            and Midland County Emergency Planning Committee of a 232 lb
            release of 1,3-butadiene. Federal laws require immediate
            upon any release exceeding 10 lb of 1,3-butadiene. 

            The release occurred when a process-line flange developed a leak
            after maintenance operations. Once the leak point was identified,
            Dow's in-house maintenance team immediately repaired the flange. 

            1,3-butadiene is a colorless gas, with a mild gasoline-like
odor, used
            in the production of rubber and plastics. Exposure to it may cause
            irritation to the eyes, nose, and throat. Exposure to very high
levels in
            a short period can cause central nervous system damage, blurred
            vision, nausea, fatigue, headache, decreased blood pressure, and
            unconsciousness. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and
            Health has said that 1,3-butadiene is a potential carcinogen. 

            The environmental project requires the company to purchase and
            donate new telecommunications equipment for Midland County's
            emergency command vehicle. The vehicle is used by the Department
            of Emergency Services for communications and coordination for all
            types of incidents within the County. Cost of the project: at least

            Since 1989, EPA Region 5 has filed 149 separate complaints for
            hazardous chemical reporting violations, resulting in 135
            and $3.79 million in total fines and $1.39 million in environmental


Alex J. Sagady & Associates        Email:  asagady@sojourn.com
Environmental Consulting and Database Systems
PO Box 39  East Lansing, MI  48826-0039  
(517) 332-6971 (voice); (517) 332-8987 (fax)

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