PPG Industries Says Allegheny River Environmental
Suit is Without Merit
PennEnvironment of Philadelphia and Sierra Club of San Francisco
have filed a suit against PPG Industries of Pittsburgh and the Borough
of Ford City, Pa. alleging that the company violated the Clean Water Act
and Clean Streams Law by discharging chemicals in the Allegheny River
from one its glass plants in Ford City. The suit was filed on March 20
in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania.
“From approximately 1950 to 1970, PPG Industries pumped waste via a pipe
system from its Works Number 5 glass manufacturing plant in Ford City,
Pa., across the Allegheny River into an area that PPG formerly used as
sandstone quarry,” reads a supporting exhibit filed with the complaint.
“PPG created three slurry lagoons by constructing a series of earthen
containment dikes within the quarry in order to contain the slurry waste.”
The groups allege that the contaminated leachate from the lagoons seeps
through fissures in the cliff face and goes into the Allegheny River.
“... The slurry waste in the lagoons and the leachate that emerges from
the lagoons contain high levels of contaminants, including arsenic, chromium,
lead, manganese, copper, zinc, mercury, ... and semi-volatile organic
compounds,” continues the exhibit filed by the plaintiffs. “The lagoons
and leachate are also highly caustic, with pH levels reaching as high
The plaintiffs further allege that “... the Pennsylvania Department of
Environmental Protection (DEP) has concluded that the slurry waste discharges
‘pose a significant threat to public health and the environment.’”
Jeremy Neuhart, manager of corporate public relations at PPG, advised
USGlass that the allegations are without merit. “PPG has met with counsel
for the plaintiffs and has provided them with extensive information about
the work PPG has performed to address the conditions at the property that
is the subject of the lawsuit, and the Pennsylvania DEP-approved schedule
for PPG to develop a final plan for the property,” he says.
He adds, “Although the plaintiffs filed a lawsuit, they have also proposed
to hold the litigation in abeyance until after PPG submits its final plan
According to a statement from PPG, company officials believe that the
interim control measures that the company installed almost two years ago,
as well as the data that have been generated since that time, will enable
PPG to develop a final plan that will ensure that the conditions at the
property are addressed appropriately.
Eastman Chemical Co. to Acquire Solutia Inc.
Eastman Chemical Co. of Kingsport, Tenn., and Solutia Inc. of St. Louis,
have entered into a definitive agreement through which Eastman will acquire
Solutia for a sale price of approximately $4.7 billion, according to a
joint release from the companies.
The merger creates a company with combined revenues of about $9.3 billion.
Eastman Chemical Co. officials say they consider the acquisition an important
step in their strategy to extend the company’s global presence in emerging
markets—especially the Asia Pacific market.
“By leveraging infrastructure in the region, Eastman expects to have a
compound annual growth rate in Asia Pacific approaching 10 percent for
the next several years,” says Tracy Broadwater, corporate communications
manager for Eastman.
Currently, Eastman is one of the largest companies in its field with a
combined EBITDA margin of approximately 20 percent and an EBITDA of approximately
The transaction is expected to close in mid-2012. “Due to the size of
this acquisition we expect a great deal of our focus will be spent integrating
Solutia into Eastman,” she says. “However, we expect to continue to evaluate
appropriate opportunities for expansion on a number of fronts, including
emerging markets, access to feedstock, differentiated products or markets
and sustainability, which have been Eastman’s key focus areas for M&A
[marketing and analysis] opportunities.”
Solutia is a manufacturer of performance materials and specialty chemicals,
including polyvinyl butyral interlayers used in laminated glass. It also
owns window film manufacturer CPFilms.
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