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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE ENR

THURSDAY, APRIL 9, 1998

U.S., LOUISIANA ANNOUNCE DETAILS OF $7 MILLION

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The federal government and Louisiana


today filed a court settlement detailing the terms of an $7
million agreement reached last month with Borden Chemicals and
Plastics of Geismar, Louisiana resolving allegations that the
company contaminated soil and groundwater with hazardous waste.
The settlement includes a $3.6 million civil penalty, which is
the largest ever in Louisiana for violating a federal hazardous
waste law and the second largest nationwide.

"This agreement is good for the people of Louisiana and good


for the environment," said Lois Schiffer, Assistant Attorney
General in charge of the Justice Department's Environment and
Natural Resources Division. "This agreement will help ensure
that the people of Louisiana have safe and clean water to drink.
It also will help protect the the environment for future
generations. Borden will now abide by the same hazardous waste
laws as every other company across the country. The people of
Louisiana deserve nothing less."

Today's court settlement outlines the details of a


settlement Borden agreed to on March 11. The company agreed to
settle after two days of trial on federal allegations that it
violated the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, a federal
law governing the handling, storage and disposal of hazardous
waste.

Under the settlement filed today in U.S. District Court in


Baton Rouge, Borden will spend several million dollars cleaning
up soil and groundwater contamination around its plant and above
the Norco Aquifer, one source of drinking water for many local
residents, and constructing a groundwater containment and
monitoring system in the aquifer to ensure that no contamination
seeps into it from the company's plant.

"The LDEQ has been working diligently over the years to


bring Borden into the regulatory community and under a permit for
its hazardous waste activities," said J. Dale Givens, Secretary
of the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality. "We plan
to make sure that the resources of this State, such as the Norco
Aquifer, will be protected."

"We are satisfied with the fair and reasonable resolution of


this case. In the end, the agreement serves to protect our
state's soil and water in a manner that will result in immediate
benefits to our environment," said L.J. Hymel, United States
Attorney for the Middle District of Louisiana.

"Everyone should be assured of having safe water to drink.


This settlement will protect an important drinking water source,
as well as the environment surrounding the Borden plant," Acting
EPA Regional Administrator Jerry Clifford said.

According to the terms of the settlement Borden also will:

apply for the required federal and state environmental


permits;
accept full regulation under state and federal
hazardous waste laws;

regularly test the water quality in the Norco Aquifer


for the presence of industrial contaminants and report
those results to regulatory agencies;

spend $3 million decommissioning three deep underground


wells where it was disposing of solid waste. The
wastes that would have been dumped in the wells now
will be treated by innovative methods to eliminate
contamination;

donate about $325,000 worth of equipment to the


Ascension Parish Emergency Response Council to improve
the Council's ability to respond to emergencies at
industrial facilities, such as fires, chemical releases
and similar problems;

spend about $75,000 to establish a Community Technology


Center in a publicly accessible area where local
residents and emergency personnel can get on the
Internet and research environmental affairs and improve
their ability to participate in environmental decision
making.

The settlement filed with the court today would, if approved


by the court, settle the government's lawsuit.

The proposed settlement, known as a consent decree, will be


published in the Federal Register. Any person may submit written
comments concerning the proposed decree during the 30-day comment
period to the Assistant Attorney General, Environment and Natural
Resources Division, U.S. Department of Justice, 950 Pennsylvania
Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20530.

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