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For Release: Wednesday, April 13, 2022

DEC Commissioner Seggos Announces $322,400 in Penalties and Enforcement Actions Against SHPP US, LLC, 'SABIC'

Selkirk Facility Fined After 2020 Incident Involving Unauthorized Released of Hazardous Materials

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos today announced the execution of two Orders on Consent with SHPP US, LLC, (known as "SABIC"), in Selkirk, including $322,400 in penalties and required facility improvements. These enforcement actions resolve violations after a September 2020 incident at the SABIC plastics manufacturing facility that released approximately 22,057 pounds of styrene vapor to the environment, threatening public health and safety.

"Today, DEC is holding SABIC accountable for creating a dangerous situation that threatened the health and safety of employees, emergency responders, and the surrounding community," Commissioner Seggos said, "These enforcement actions include a substantial penalty and require SABIC to improve its operations to protect the surrounding community and the environment from further violations and prevent future emergencies."

At the SABIC facility in September 2020, styrene vapor was released from a railcar through its pressure relief valve and manway into the atmosphere. Emergency responders, including the New York State Office of Emergency Management, State Police, State Office of Fire Prevention and Control, and local governmental agencies, responded to the facility, which required multiple road closures, a shelter-in-place order for the public within a mile radius, and a public evacuation order within one-half mile of the facility.

DEC's investigation of the incident revealed improper handling and storage of hazardous substances, improper maintenance and repair of the railcar, violations of air pollution regulations, and an unauthorized release of a hazardous substance. In addition, DEC's inspection found an additional 29 violations of the facility's Air Title V permit, unrelated to the styrene release.

The two Orders on Consent address all violations from the styrene release event, as well as the additional air permit violations. In addition to the penalties imposed and to help prevent future incidents, DEC's Orders on Consent require SABIC to undertake a comprehensive third-party audit of the facility's hazardous substance management and to develop recommendations for DEC staff review, and to develop new operating procedures and employee training protocols.

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