MOUNDSVILLE - PPG Industries must pay more than $1.3 million for releasing pollutants into the Ohio River, a judge ruled Wednesday.
The order stems from a civil suit filed by the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection, claiming PPG was dumping toxic substances into the river. According to court documents, Marshall County Circuit Judge David Hummel ordered PPG to pay a total civil penalty of $1.37 million to the WVDEP.
Hummel ruled $1.02 million must be paid by "certified or cashier's check" in installments over the next eight months. The remaining $350,000 must be used by PPG for "Supplemental Environmental Projects," which are described as "projects or activity which improves, protects, or reduces risks to public health or the environment at large."
In May 2009, the WVDEP filed a formal civil complaint against the Pennsylvania-based company, stating that "during the conduct of its manufacturing processes, PPG discharges effluents into the Ohio River" from its manufacturing facility, known as the Natrium Plant, in Marshall County. The WVDEP notes in the complaint "the discharge of any pollutant into waters of the United States is prohibited" by the federal Clean Water Act.
In July 2005, the WVDEP issued PPG a permit for the Natrium Plant to discharge pollutants into the Ohio River from various outlets associated with the plant. The permit limits the amount of pollutants - including mercury, iron, copper, chlorine, sulfides and aluminum - that can be discharged into the waterway.
The WVDEP claims in the suit "discharge monitoring reports" submitted by PPG since July 2006 revealed that on "multiple occasions" discharges from the Natrium Plant exceeded the maximum daily and average monthly permit limitations for "some or all" of the pollutants.
The WVDEP claims the violations continued through 2008 and 2009.
Court documents show that from September 2006 to October 2009, PPG exceeded chemical discharge limits 53 times.