ExxonMobil to pay $2 million

ExxonMobil Ordered to must pay $2.329 million in a settlement.

ExxonMobil must pay $2.329 million in a settlement, announced by the state’s Dept. of Environ-mental Quality last August and finalized early this month, to address violations from 2008 into 2013 at its greater Baton Rouge facilities.

The settlement was DEQ’s biggest with any company last year. But critics question whether the agreement was large enough or even appropriate. Exxon was cited with many infractions at its refinery and resinfinishing and chemical plants in East Baton Rouge Parish and its tank-farm facility in West Baton Rouge.

Early this month, DEQ said the settlement was approved following a public review period late last year and was signed by state Attorney General Buddy Caldwell in December.In addition to paying a civil penalty of $300,000 to DEQ, Exxon under the agreement must spend no less than $1 million on Spill Prevention Control and Countermeasures or SPCC projects at its Baton Rouge complex and will fund beneficial environmental projects or BEPs totaling $1.029 million.

In terms of funding, the top four BEPs approved under the settlement are $400,000 for a Groundwater Reduction Project to trim the company’s groundwater usage; a $250,000 donation to DEQ to improve its Early Warning Organic Chemical Detection system; a $100,000 donation to the East Baton Rouge Mayor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness/ Local Emergency Planning Committee to implement the ExxonMobil North Baton Rouge Emergency Preparedness Initiative; and a $100,000 donation to Rebuilding Together Baton Rouge for weather proofing and air tightening of homes, especially those next to ExxonMobil facilities.

In the settlement, Exxon also agreed to a $50,000 donation to the Baton Rouge Area Foundation for groundwater-conservation awareness in East Baton Rouge Parish; a $50,000 donation to DEQ to fund the agency’s Expanded Age Distribution and Vehicle Population Data Project on emissions in Louisiana; a $29,000 donation to the Louisiana Foundation for Excellence in Science, Technology and Education, or LaFESTE, for the Baton Rouge Clean Air Coalition; a $25,000 donation to Baton Rouge Green Association Inc.’s Neighbor Woods project near the refi nery; and $25,000 payment to install a meteorological station at the company’s Baton Rouge refinery complex.