April 13, 2009

Invista agrees to $500M cleanup

U.S. synthetic fiber manufacturer Invista will spend a half-billion dollars to fix environmental problems at its plants in seven states, officials said Monday.

The company also will pay a $1.7 million civil penalty, the U.S. Justice Department and Environmental Protection Agency said in a statement issued in Washington. The settlement is the largest ever under EPA's audit policy.

Invista self-reported more than 680 pollution violations to EPA after auditing 12 facilities it acquired from DuPont in 2004.

John C. Cruden, acting assistant attorney general for the Justice Department's Environment and Natural Resources Division, called the settlement, filed in U.S. District Court in Delaware, a significant achievement that will clean up the environment and save lives.

Catherine R. McCabe, acting assistant administrator of EPA's Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance, said Invista will reduce harmful air pollution by nearly 10,000 tons per year.

The settlement, which is subject to a review period, affects Invista facilities in Seaford, Del.; Athens, Calhoun, and Dalton, Ga.; Kinston, N.C.; Camden, S.C.; Chattanooga, Tenn.; LaPorte, Orange, and Victoria, Texas; and Martinsville and Waynesboro, Va.

Invista is a multinational manufacturer of polymer-based fibers such as Lycra, Stainmaster and Coolmax.