Owners of a Geismar chemical plant have agreed to pay a $1.4 million fine for failing to properly dispose of hazardous waste, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced Thursday.
New Jersey-based Innophos manufactures purified phospohoric acid at its facility on the Mississippi River in Ascension Parish. The company's phosphate products are used in a variety of products, including as a leavening agent in baked goods and in toothpaste cleaning agents, according to their website.
In 2004, EPA inspectors discovered that the plant was improperly sending waste products to a company next door. The waste was contaminated with arsenic, cadmium and chromium, and the receiving facility was not authorized to handle it, according to an EPA news release.
Since then, the plant has improved the process by which it filters waste. The company and regulators signed off on a settlement Thursday in which Innophos agreed to pay a $1.4 million civil penalty to be split between the federal Department of Justice and the state Department of Environmental Quality.
The agreement also lays out protocol for the disposal of hazardous waste moving forward. In particular, the EPA noted that the company is seeking a permit to inject certain byproducts into a deep well.