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Honeywell to pay $90,000 penalty to state

BY LAUREL BLACK lblack@paducahsun.com

Honeywell International will pay a civil penalty as a result of three releases of hydrogen fluoride several years ago at its Metropolis, Ill., plant.

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan announced Wednesday that the company must pay $90,000 as a result of the leaks. She added that Honeywell already completed a series of comprehensive upgrades to its raw materials handling and emissions monitoring systems as directed by her office and the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency.

"The dangerous air pollution from this plant posed a serious threat to Honeywell's neighbors," Madigan said in a statement released to The Paducah Sun. "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."

The three hydrogen fluoride releases occurred on Dec. 28, 2008; Dec. 22, 2010; and Oct. 6, 2011, Honeywell spokesman Peter Dalpe said.

He said the company upgraded equipment, alarm systems and video monitoring sensors in response to the incidents. He added that none of the releases resulted in injuries or impact to the community.

Madigan noted in her statement that hydrogen fluoride is a dangerous gas that can form corrosive hydrofluoric acid upon contact with tissue.

Contact Laurel Black, a Paducah Sun staff writer, at 270-575-8641, or follow @LaurelFBlack on Twitter.

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