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September 13, 2019

ATTORNEY GENERAL RAOUL ANNOUNCES SETTLEMENT WITH CHEMICAL COMPANY OVER CHEMICAL RELEASES AND PERMIT VIOLATIONS

Chicago — Attorney General Kwame Raoul today announced a consent order with chemical manufacturer Flint Hills Resources Peru, LLC (Flint Hills) that requires the company to address hazardous chemical releases and permit violations at its LaSalle County facility.

Raoul’s office entered the consent order in LaSalle County Circuit Court with Flint Hills, a subsidiary of Koch Industries, Inc., that manufactures chemicals and polymers in Peru, Ill. The consent order resolves a lawsuit the Attorney General’s office initially filed in 2014 after a system malfunction resulted in chemicals being released into the air and threatening a nearby river. The consent order requires Flint Hills to pay an $850,000 penalty and comply with all state environmental laws and permit requirements.

“This consent order will ensure that Flint Hills is held accountable for any future violations of state law,” Raoul said. “My office will work diligently to protect Illinois residents from contamination that threatens public health and the environment.”

Flint Hills’ Peru location produces polystyrene beads used for packaging materials. The Attorney General’s office filed a complaint in May 2014 after a system malfunction at the Flint Hills facility caused 56,000 pounds of styrene, a hazardous air pollutant, to be released into the air. Additionally, more than 2,000 pounds of liquid styrene was dumped onto the ground and threatened the Illinois River. After conducting internal reviews of its facility, Flint Hills reported several violations of state permit and reporting requirements. The violations included multiple styrene releases, as well as failures to comply with federal regulations that apply specifically to hazardous air pollutant facilities. The consent order resolves years of continued permit violations at the facility.

Under the consent order, Flint Hills must comply with all of the necessary permits required by the state in order to operate in Illinois. The company is also required to audit its program for detecting and repairing leaking valves and pipes to ensure the program meets all applicable requirements. The order also requires Flint Hills to pay a penalty of $850,000.

Assistant Attorneys General Jamie D. Getz, Stephen J. Sylvester, and Elizabeth Dubats handled the case for Raoul’s Environmental Enforcement Division.

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