Action by the federal government to give another 2 and a half years to a Ponca City plant to install new pollution controls has angered residents in northern Oklahoma.
The move affects Continental Carbon Co., a firm that agreed in 2009 to pay $10.5 million to settle a class-action pollution lawsuit.
“It is outrageous that we have not been given any indications that there could be a delay in the implementation,” said Casey Camp-Horinek, a council member of the Ponca Tribe of Indians in north-central Oklahoma, in an email with E and E News after learning of the proposed extension from a reporter.
“The EPA has totally failed in its trust responsibility to the Ponca Tribe,” she said.
As the energy news group reported, three firms reached agreements with the government last year to cut air pollution. But the Justice Department and the Environmental Protection Agency also agreed ease up the pressure on two other firms—Cabot Corp. and Continental Carbon Co.
In short, federal regulators agreed to give them more time to install new pollution controls. And it hasn’t been well received by environmentalists like Camp-Horinek who noted that under the 2015 consent decree with EPA, Continental carbon was supposed to have new soot scrubbers in place by March 2019. But under the newly proposed agreement, the deadline could be delayed another two and a half years until the fall of 2021.
Jason Aamodt, general counsel to the tribe is attempting to hold formal consultations with the EPA.