Dow Chemical Leads The Way In Pollution

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Dow Chemical Co., whose TV campaign touts its reverence for the "human element" on this big blue marble we call Earth, was cited today for something much less ethereal.

Dow's Freeport plant topped the state's list of Texas environmental scofflaws thanks to its inability (or unwillingness) to follow the rules. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality cited Dow for numerous air and industrial and hazardous waste violations between 2003-2006 and levied a $648,904 fine.

Put that in your human element, Dow shareholders. Half of the fine will be provided to the Clean Cities/Clean Vehicles Program in Brazoria County, which hopefully will get rid of some of those smoking clunkers we see on Highway 288.

Placing second on the list of polluters was Total Petrochemicals in Jefferson County, which got whacked $529,300 for 21 air violations documented in routine inspections in 2007. The company will contribute $211,720 of the penalty to the Texas Association of Resource Conservation and Development Areas, Inc., to help replace and retrofit older diesel school buses.

-- Steve Olafson

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