EPA Seeks $79,000 Fine for Union Carbide for Alleged Water Pollution Permit Violations

April 12, 2021

According to EPA, Union Carbide violated its National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit and the Clean Water Act by exceeding effluent limits

The U.S. EPA is planning to file a consent agreement and final order for a South Charleston corporation with the civil administrative penalty pending a 40-day comment period as required by the federal Clean Water Act (CWA). This entails a $79,000 fine against Union Carbide.

The EPA alleges that the corporation, Union Carbide, violated its National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit and the CWA by exceeding effluent limits, discharging unauthorized storm water and failing to implement or maintain a storm water pollution prevention plan that the permit requires. The Union Carbide facility discharges into the Kanawha River.

Union Carbide’s committed effluent exceedance violations for parameters including zinc, cadmium, silver and fecal coliform at eight different outfalls from November 2015 to June 2019, according to the EPA.

In a statement, a Union Carbide spokesperson said the company takes all enforcement actions seriously, reported The Charleston Gazette-Mail.

A 40-day comment period began on Mar. 26 and comments will be accepted until May 5.

Comments should be emailed to the EPA Mid-Atlantic regional hearing clerk at [email protected] and all comments must include the writer’s name, address and telephone number.

According to The Charleston Gazette-Mail, Union Carbide is also fighting a separate legal battle with a company alleging that Union Carbide is discharging water pollutants onto their property. The company, Courtland Company, has filed three unresolved lawsuits against Union Carbide since 2018 for the alleged pollution violations by Union Carbide.

Senior Judge John Copenhaver, Jr. denied the Courtland Company’s request in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia for a temporary restraining order directing Union Carbide to stop all discharges from a dumping site in South Charleston that is leaking hazardous substances into nearby Davis Creek and its tributaries.

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Cristina Tuser