Sunday, March 26, 2023 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Honeywell Pays $3 Million for Pollution

RICHMOND, Va. (CN) - Honeywell Resins and Chemicals will pay $3 million to settle Clean Air Act violations at its Hopewell, Va. plant, the world's largest producer of an ingredient used in nylon.

In a consent decree with the United States and Virginia, Honeywell also agreed to improve the plant air pollution equipment.

The factory is "the world's largest single-site producer of caprolactam, used in the production of nylon, and ammonium sulfate used for fertilizer," the Justice Department said in a statement announcing the consent decree.

Honeywell polluted the air with nitrogen oxide, benzene and other volatile organic compounds and particulates, but as is customary with these settlements, did not have to admit it.

The Justice Department said in the statement that "the estimated cost for injunctive relief to address these emissions will be approximately $66 million," so presumably the government got a deal.

"The settlement reduces annual emissions of NOx by about 6,260 tons, and cuts annual emissions of benzene, other VOCs and hazardous air pollutants by 100 tons," the Department of Justice said.

Honeywell noted in a statement that its agreement with the EPA and Virginia aims "to modernize our Hopewell site's environmental control systems while continuing to meet current and future demand for products produced at Hopewell."

The upgrades are already underway, Honeywell said, adding that it has not admitted to any of the alleged violations.

Honeywell said its total capital investment in Hopewell has exceeded $170 million during the past five years, improving the company's performance in its health, safety and environmental commitments. Built in 1928, the Hopewell plant employs more than 600 and is Virginia's second largest exporter, shipping caprolactam to China and other Asian countries and fertilizer to Latin America, Honeywell noted.

Read the Top 8

Sign up for the Top 8, a roundup of the day's top stories delivered directly to your inbox Monday through Friday.