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Belvan Corporation Ordered to Pay Hefty Fine For Violating Clean Air Act

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A judge has ordered one corporation to pay a hefty fine for violating a federal act.

U.S. District Judge Sam R. Cummings ordered Belvan Corporation to pay a $500,000 fine for violating the Clean Air Act and failing to notify the appropriate authorities.

Belvan Corporation owns the Belvan Midway Lane Gas Processing Plant, which is a natural gas processing facility in Crockett County, Texas. In January 2012, three company executives admitted to violating the Clean Air Act.

The plant reportedly allowed their Sulfur Recovery Unit, an environmental control, to shut down from October 15th, 2005 through December 12th, 2008. Acid gas was released into their flair system, which combusted the gas and released dangerous substances into the air.

The three Belvan executives that admitted to violating the Clean Air Act, Michael Davis, vice president of engineering and operations, Daniel Valmer Meacham, operations manager, and Robert Mark Stewart, environmental coordinator, all pleaded guilty to one count of negligent endangerment under the Clean Air Act.

Davis paid a $50,000 fine, Meacham paid a $22,000 fine, and Stewart paid a $15,000 fine. They were each sentenced to serve a one-year term of probation, and must complete an 8-hour environmental training program.

“Careful monitoring and accurate record keeping are essential to assure compliance with environmental regulations,” said Ivan Vikin, Special Agent in Charge of EPA’s criminal enforcement program in Texas. “This case demonstrates that those who endanger human health and the environment will be vigorously investigated by EPA and our partners with TCEQ and Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.”

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