Company Ordered to Pay $1 million for Air Pollution in Manatee

Publication Date 06/22/2010
Source: Tampa Tribune (FL)

A federal judge today ordered a Delaware company to pay $1 million in penalties for four criminal violations of the Clean Air Act at its Manatee County facility.

Kinder Morgan Port Manatee Terminal, which operates a dry bulk material handling and storage facility at 475 N. Dock St. in Port Manatee, must pay a $750,000 criminal fine and a $250,000 community service payment to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.

U.S. District James Moody also ordered the company to serve two years of probation. It has agreed to implement an extensive environmental compliance program.

Kinder Morgan’s 6-acre facility, which includes four warehouses, receives and ships materials such as granular fertilizer products. When these materials are handled incorrectly, they generate particles that pollute the air.

The law required the company to operate “baghouse” air pollutant control systems that trap, filter and separate the particulates.

From about 2001 through March 2008, however, the baghouse systems were in poor condition and several were not fully operational at times, authorities said.

In August 2006 and August 2007, local company officials falsely stated in permit applications that the company would operate and maintain its emissions and control equipment in accordance with regulations.

From October 2006 through March 2008, managers and supervisors also failed to notify the state that the baghouse systems were not in compliance with regulations, authorities said.

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection also brought an enforcement action against the company, resulting in a $331,000 civil penalty and an order requiring corrective actions.

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