Honeywell to Pay Penalty
Attorney General Lisa Madigan announced yesterday that Honeywell International, Inc., has been ordered to pay a civil penalty of $90,000 following three dangerous releases of hydrogen fluoride at its Metropolis plant. The company also completed a series of system upgrades as required by Madigan and the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency.
“The dangerous air pollution from this plant posed a serious threat to Honeywell’s neighbors,” Madigan said. “We took action to hold the company responsible for failing to prevent these incidents while ensuring new measures have been implemented to avoid them in the future.”
According to the consent order filed in Massac County Circuit Court, Honeywell has implemented comprehensive upgrades to its raw materials handling and emissions monitoring systems as directed by Madigan’s office and the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency as a result of the dangerous chemical releases.
Honeywell produces uranium hexafluoride at the facility on Route 45 near Metropolis. Hexafluoride is used in manufacturing nuclear reactor fuel for military and industrial electric utilities. Hydrogen fluoride is a highly dangerous gas, forming corrosive hydrofluoric acid upon contact with tissue. The gas can also cause blindness by rapid destruction of the cornea.
Assistant Attorney General Kelly Phelps is handling the case for Madigan’s Environmental Bureau. (AP)