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The Facts

Gulf Chemical pays $2.75 million fine

Company officials plead guilty to skirting environmental regulations.

Posted: Saturday, May 29, 2010 2:00 am

FREEPORT — Gulf Chemical & Metallurgical Corp. officials said Friday the company pleaded guilty to 11 felony violations and agreed to pay a $2.75 million fine to end a criminal investigation into environmental violations at its Freeport plant.

Gulf Chemical officials made the agreement with Travis County prosecutors after the company was accused of manipulating its water releases at the site’s catalyst recycling plant to skirt environmental regulations.

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  • EmpWife posted at 12:51 am on Mon, May 31, 2010.

    EmpWife Posts: 1

    Hmmm.....those in charge down there have KNOWN what they have been doing for YEARS. Employees have brought the issues to the attention of those in charge and have basically been ignored OR told to just "do your job and dont worry about it" ....they have also been instructed to run the process "under the cover of darkness" (I have personally heard this from Daves mouth) .Employees were also instructed to check for "outside monitoring" during their shifts. Now, if you were doing what you are SUPPOSED to, why would you be so paranoid as to monitor if someone is monitoring YOU? Those in charge KNEW full well what they were doing and are STILL doing. Someone also needs to keep on them about their so-called corrective measures and CONFIRM progress in such. Pacella initially attempted to blow smoke up the behinds of the employees and the public by denying any wrong-doing and playing dumb like he didnt know why the search took place! Can the public or employees trust anything that this man says? I for one, believe he is deserving of a lengthy jail term! I would bet my right leg he is setting up another employee to take the fall for this, when in fact HE was ultimately responsible for the decisions within the company.

    Proud Dad - read a copy of the Plea Agreement...this isnt the end. There are still potential charges ahead. The reason other employees dont speak up is that they are fearful of being terminated. If you are an employee, think about those that have been terminated since July of '09.....many are those that did "speak up". And of many received what could be perceived as "hush money" in the form of severance pay? Read your handbook on what severance an employee is entitled to and then investigate what those terminated actually received. Oh there an actual CURRENT employee handbook? Try to locate one!

  • Proud Dad posted at 9:39 am on Sat, May 29, 2010.

    Proud Dad Posts: 5

    The smoke that they have coming out of their stack is called opacity, and if they don't have an opacity limit in their Air Permit they can pump as much of that stuff out as they want. But with my experience with the Air regs and the way they really get it coming out of the stacks on the weekends my guess is they have a limit, and again are carrying two sets of books. I WISH SOMEONE ELSE IN THE COMPANY WOULD STEP UP AND GET THESE EMISSIONS STOPPED. I have complained to the State several times and thought that when GC got raided that they would have got caught for that also. I guess not!!

  • onemorep posted at 7:51 am on Sat, May 29, 2010.

    onemorep Posts: 11

    So what about the air they pollute? You can't miss the yellow/brown smoke they are emitting to the local residents of Freeport. Come on Freeport and surrounding communities speak up. It affects everybody.

  • BrzFamMan posted at 6:17 am on Sat, May 29, 2010.

    BrzFamMan Posts: 69

    The arrogance of Gulf Chemical is amazing. I believe the only true way to eliminate these companies from knowingly polluting is to go after them criminally. Put Pacella in jail for 10 years and watch how the executives of these industrial companies ensure that they are not polluting.

    Also can you believe that after they are polluting in Brazoria County, Travis County gets >$2,000,000.00 of the settlement? Where is the outrage from The Facts about this fact. The residents of Brazoria County get polluted, then the residents of Travis County get the money. Somebody should call John Kyl or something because this is rediculous.[sad]


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