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Unique: Chevron Phillips Chemical did not disclose years of U.S. benzene imports 

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: An aerial view of Chevron Phillips Chemical Co is seen in Pasadena, Texas, U.S. August 31, 2017. REUTERS/Adrees Latif

By Laila Kearney

NEW YORK (Reuters) – A Chevron Corp (NYSE:) and Phillips 66 (NYSE:) petrochemical three way partnership imported important portions of the poisonous chemical benzene into the USA for a number of years with out reporting it to regulators as required by regulation, in response to an organization doc seen by Reuters.

Benzene is a identified carcinogen that’s used within the manufacturing of pesticides, detergents, plastics, and different artificial supplies, and firms should report imports of 25,000 kilos (11,340 kg) or extra to assist regulators observe potential publicity.

Chevron Phillips Chemical Firm LLC imported “reportable portions” of the chemical between 2013 and 2020 that it didn’t instantly open up to regulators, in response to the doc, a letter from the corporate’s lawyer to non-profit watchdog group Heart For Environmental Well being dated April 21.

The letter stated the corporate has since filed paperwork to appropriate the problem.

Chevron Phillips Chemical declined to touch upon the matter for this story, citing pending regulatory evaluation. The Environmental Safety Company additionally declined remark, saying the company typically doesn’t disclose whether or not or not there are enforcement actions underway.

The EPA has fined firms prior to now for comparable violations, working into the tens to a whole lot of 1000’s of {dollars}, in response to company paperwork.

Chevron Phillips had despatched the letter to CEH after the watchdog group threatened to sue it for allegedly violating the U.S. Poisonous Substances Management Act, which requires the disclosure of great imports of harmful chemical substances.

CEH stated it believes the corporate imported greater than 350 million kilos of the product with out reporting it to the EPA from the years 2013 to 2015, citing the newest publicly out there information. It didn’t have an estimate for unreported imports since 2015.

CEH stated it had additionally discovered that different chemical firms imported benzene with out reporting it on required U.S. Chemical Knowledge Reporting rule kinds, however in lesser portions.

“We consider these violations are the tip of the iceberg throughout the business and CDR non-compliance is probably going widespread and important,” stated Robert Sussman, CEH counsel and a former EPA senior official.

“Non-profit teams like CEH can do solely a lot to discourage violations if EPA doesn’t successfully use the enforcement instruments at its disposal to seek out and penalize violators.”

Deemed a carcinogen by the U.S. Division of Well being and Human Companies, benzene can evaporate and in addition pool underground, contaminating air, soil and groundwater that may trigger folks and animals to grow to be sick over time.

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