Enforcement

Ineos-Chlor Americas Settlement

(Washington, DC - August 21, 2012) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a settlement with INEOS Chlor Americas, Inc., based in Wilmington, Del., to resolve violations of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). INEOS allegedly imported various chain-length chlorinated paraffins into the United States without providing the required notice to EPA. Under this settlement INEOS has ended the importation of short-chained chlorinated paraffins into the United States.

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Overview of Company

INEOS Chlor Americas, Inc. (INEOS) is headquartered in Wilmington, Delaware. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of INEOS, a global manufacturer of petrochemicals headquartered in the United Kingdom. INEOS is the United States marketing arm for INEOS ChlorVinyls and INEOS Enterprises, two sibling foreign subsidiaries. In 2009, Experian identified INEOS with gross sales of $39,000,000. The United Kingdom parent INEOS self-reported revenues of $47 Billion in 2009. INEOS manufactured chlorinated paraffins without providing notice to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) 90-days before commencing

Violations

INEOS violated section 5(a)(l) of TSCA, 15 U.S.C. § 2604(a)(l), and 40 C.F.R. Part 720 by manufacturing short-chained, medium-chained and long-chained chlorinated paraffins without first submitting a pre-manufacture notice (PMN) to the Administrator of EPA at least 90-days before manufacturing such substance.

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Injunctive Relief

The consent decree requires INEOS to:

  • cease manufacture of short-chained chlorinated paraffins and
  • provide proper pre-manufacture notices to the EPA for any other chlorinated paraffin it wishes to manufacture after the date of lodging of the Decree.

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Pollutant Impacts

Under this settlement INEOS will end the importation of short-chained chlorinated paraffins into the United States.

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Health Effects and Environmental Benefits

Short-chained chlorinated paraffins are persistent, bioaccumulative, and toxic to aquatic organisms at low concentrations. They can remain in the environment for a significant amount of time and can bioaccumulate in animal tissues, increasing the probability and duration of exposure. Even relatively small releases of these chemicals from individual manufacturing, processing, or waste management facilities have the potential to accumulate over time to higher levels and cause significant adverse impacts to the environment. Short-chained chlorinated paraffins have been measured in a variety of environmental media including air, sediment, surface waters, and wastewater.  Short-chained chlorinated paraffins have also been measured in a variety of biota, including freshwater aquatic species, marine mammals, and avian and terrestrial wildlife. In addition, short-chained chlorinated paraffins have been detected in samples of human breast milk from Canada and the United Kingdom, as well as in a variety of food items from Japan and various regions of Europe.

Submission of pre-manufacture notices by INEOS to EPA for medium- and long-chained chlorinated paraffins will enable the Agency to identify and evaluate the health and environmental effects, exposures and releases, and risks posed by these chemical substances. If appropriate, EPA will initiate action under TSCA section 5 to address any unreasonable risks posed by the medium- and long- chained chlorinated paraffins.

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Civil Penalty

As part of the settlement, INEOS has agreed to pay a $175,000 civil penalty.

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For more information, contact:

Carl J. Eichenwald 
Waste and Chemical Enforcement Division
U. S. Environmental Protection Agency
1200 Pennsylvania Ave, NW (MC 2249A)
Washington, DC 20460 
(202) 564-4036
Carl Eichenwald (eichenwald.carl@epa.gov)

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