DNREC Requires Croda to Take Actions Protective of Human Health and the Environment at Atlas Point Facility
The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control announced an agreement today with Croda Inc., that requires the company to take actions protective of human health and the environment in addressing recent violations at Croda’s Atlas Point facility near New Castle.
In November 2020, DNREC announced violations at the ethylene oxide (EO) plant, including excess emissions of EO. In January 2021, Croda restarted the facility in order to conduct stack testing. While testing showed that the company was back in compliance with the EO emissions, it revealed violations for nitrogen oxide (NOx) at the ethanol dehydration furnace (EDF). Further violations were detected at the catalytic combustion unit (CCU) for carbon monoxide (CO), volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and particulate matter (PM). Additionally, the agreement with DNREC addresses violations at the Atlas Point facility that Croda disclosed in its July 2020 semiannual report.
According to the settlement agreement between Croda and DNREC, Croda will meet a schedule to complete construction to remove the hotwell as a source of emissions and re-route emissions from the EO scrubber to minimize or eliminate emissions from this source. Croda will apply to increase emissions at the EDF and all increases will be offset with concurrent permitted decreases at a 1:1.3 ratio. Prior to restarting the EO Plant, Croda will replace the catalyst at the CCU to improve operation of this unit and return to compliance. They will install a flue gas analyzer to measure carbon monoxide (CO) to continuously confirm catalyst performance within 30 days of the EO plant restart. Additional stack testing will be conducted within 60 days of restarting the EO plant to set operating conditions and ensure compliance with emissions limits.
In addition, Croda will pay a penalty of $300,000 and install a community alarm system to the north of Interstate-295, expanding the environmental emergency notification range should the facility be responsible for hazardous releases in the future. The agreement between DNREC and Croda can be found on the DNREC website at https://dnrec.alpha.delaware.gov/secretarys-orders/enforcement/.
A virtual public information session will be held March 3 by DNREC to answer questions and take community comments about Croda’s operations and about the agreement with DNREC. Questions from the public can be emailed in advance to email@example.com. Registration for the public information session can be made on the DNREC website. Croda intends to restart the plant no sooner than the end of next week.
DNREC previously posted a list of questions/answers following a November 2020 public information session – they are available on the DNREC website, as is the Nov. 11, 2020 Notice of Violation issued to Croda.
The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control protects and manages the state’s natural resources, protects public health, provides outdoor recreational opportunities and educates Delawareans about the environment. For more information, visit the website and connect with DNREC on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.