Louisiana Settles Hundreds of Violations with Dow

Aug. 23, 2023
State environmental agency settles with Dow for $120,000 just days before an explosion took place at the Dow Chemical plant in Plaquemine, Louisiana.

A report in the local news source, Louisiana Illuminator, indicates that just days before a July 14 explosion and release of pollutants at the Dow Chemical plant in Plaquemine, Louisiana, a state agency settled with the company over decades of permit violations. 

The violations, which all preceded the July 14 explosion at Dow’s Gycol 2 unit, are detailed in a settlement agreement the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality (LDEQ) signed July 6. The filing notes more than 100 incidents since 2013 resulting in alleged violations that each carry a maximum penalty of $32,500 per day, yet LDEQ settled the entire case for just $120,000. 

According to attorney Caitlion Hunter with the Deep South Center for Environmental Justice, the final settlement amount should have been many times greater than it was. 

It’s unclear how Dow and LDEQ settled on the final fine amount. The settlement paperwork made public does not disclose which incidents LDEQ designated as major, moderate or minor, and it refused to disclose that information when asked, the Louisiana Illuminator article notes.

Dow Louisiana spokesperson Glynna Mayers told the Louisiana Illuminator reporter that the incidents were all self-reported, meaning Dow disclosed them voluntarily and saved LDEQ from having to spend time and resources on enforcement. 

For more on this story: https://lailluminator.com/2023/08/23/ldeq-dow/.

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