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Plant to Pay for Pollution

(CN) - Two plastics manufacturers will pay a $2 million penalty to resolve Clean Air Act violations at a West Virginia sulfuric acid plant.

The plant, a 100-acre complex along the Kanawha River at Belle, burns sludge to recover sulfuric acid used to make plastics. The process emits toxic sulfur dioxide, which contributes to acid rain and is particularly harmful to children and the elderly.

In a complaint filed along with the consent decree, the government claims that the plant, owned by DuPont and operated by Lucite International, made unpermitted modifications and failed to install proper pollution controls.

"The settlement is part of an EPA initiative to improve compliance among industries that have the potential to cause significant amounts of air pollution, including the cement manufacturing, glass manufacturing, and acid production industries," the Department of Justice said in a statement.

DuPont is the world's second-largest chemical company, while Lucite International focuses on acrylics production.

The agreement is subject to a 30-day comment period and court approval.

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