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Eastman Chemicals agrees to fix pollution controls

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By Pittsburgh The Tribune-Review
Friday, Sept. 30, 2011

A West Elizabeth chemical plant repeatedly failed since 2001 to either keep its air pollution controls within their required parameters or failed to monitor those parameters, the Environmental Protection Agency and Allegheny County Health Department claim in a federal lawsuit.

The agencies claim that Eastman Chemical Resins Inc., a subsidiary of Eastman Chemical Co. of Kingsport, Tenn., keeps allowing its condensers to warm up, which reduces their ability to remove volatile organic compounds from the air coming out of several of the company's industrial units along the Monongahela River.

Wanda Valentine, a spokeswoman for Eastman Chemical, said the company is spending about $1.7 million to $2.7 million to fix the problems highlighted in the lawsuit and agreed to pay $632,000 in fines and penalties to settle the lawsuit.

The EPA and Health Department filed a 143-page consent decree after filing the lawsuit, court records show.

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