The Sierra Club and Environment Texas claim that Exxon Mobil Corp. has violated federal air pollution laws thousands of times during the last five years, releasing 10 million pounds of illegal pollution, including cancer-causing toxins, without facing proper fines or being forced to fix equipment at its Baytown, Texas refinery and petrochemical plants. The environmental groups have not yet sued Exxon, but have notified the company, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality of plans to do so, which is a requirement under the Clean Air Act.
Westlake Chemical Corp. has sold $100 million in bonds and is considering a major expansion at its Geismar, Louisiana plant. The expansion of the companyís planned chlor-alkali plant has been on hold because of the economic downturn.
Membrane Chlor-Alkali Facility
Dow Chemical Co. has signed a deal with Mitsui & Co. to build and operate a new membrane chlor-alkali facility in Freeport, Texas. The agreement is a 50-50 joint venture. The deal is expected to close in the third quarter with the new facility expected to begin operations in mid-2013. The new facility is planned to have a capacity of approximately 800 kilotons/year.
Rebecca Morlock and Waunona Crouser, two West Virginia women who won a class-action lawsuit against DuPont Co. over long-term exposure to toxins from a former zinc-smelting plant in Spelter, West Virginia, are suing again. This time, they are seeking damages for dozens of ailments they say were caused by the chemicals. Morlock and Crouser are demanding damanges for pain and suffering, medical testing and treatment, lost wages, emotional distress and more. The amount of damages would be determined by a jury. The lawsuits accuse DuPont of negligence and list dozens of maladies the plaintiffs say were caused by long-term exposure to arsenic, cadmium, lead and other toxins from the Spelter smelter.
BASF and Monsanto Company plan to invest an additional $1 billion for expanded collaboration in developing higher-yielding and stress-tolerant crops, including wheat. The two companies are increasing investments in the joint venture following strong leads and commercial prospects in the collaborationís early work. Research collaboration began in 2007 on corn, soya, cotton and canola crops, with a joint budget of around $1.5 billion. The new agreement will result in a potential additional investment of more than $1 billion over the life of the collaboration.