Houston-based CCS (USA) Inc. and several of its operating subsidiaries will pay a $2.5 million civil penalty relating to operations at its Shreveport, Louisiana, industrial wastewater treatment plant, the Department of Justice, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the state of Louisiana announced today. The settlement will resolve violations of the Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act and the hazardous waste law known as RCRA.
CCS acquired the plant in 2006 through its purchase of two closely held companies owned by John Emerson Tuma. Tuma is now serving a five-year prison sentence for illegally discharging untreated and improperly treated wastewater from the plant into the Red River and Shreveport Publicly Owned Treatment Works (POTW). Inspections by EPA and the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality following the sale led to the discovery of these violations and others, including unpermitted storage and improper handling of hazardous wastes and sludge, unpermitted stormwater discharges and noncompliance with Clean Air Act requirements for benzene-containing wastes.
After discovering these violations, CCS ceased wastewater treatment operations at the facility. Under EPA supervision, CCS removed the hazardous wastes illegally stored there.
The $2.5 million civil penalty will be split evenly between the United States and state of Louisiana.
The stipulation of settlement, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana, is subject to a 45-day public comment period and approval by the federal court.