Alcoa subsidiary in Louisiana pleads guilty

On July 13, Discovery Aluminas, Inc., an Alcoa subsidiary operating in Port Allen, La., pleaded guilty to violating the state water law.

July 27, 2001 — On July 13, Discovery Aluminas, Inc., an Alcoa subsidiary operating in Port Allen, La., pleaded guilty to violating the state water law.

The company had previously pleaded guilty to violating the federal Clean Water Act. The state court sentenced the defendant to a criminal fine of $230,000, and to make a payment of $160, 000 to be divided between the District Attorney's Office, the West Baton Rouge Foundation for Academic Excellence, the West Baton Rouge Local Emergency Planning Committee and an environmental enforcement organization called S.E.E.N.

In the federal court case, the company was assessed over $700,000 in fines and restitution, and was required to develop an environmental compliance program. Both the state and federal cases resulted from the defendant having discharged wastewater contaminated with hexanol and other materials into the Intracoastal Waterway.

Discharge of industrial wastewater containing higher than permitted levels of hexanol into surface waters can be harmful to fish, aquatic life and wildlife that live in or drink the waters.

The case was investigated by EPA's Criminal Investigation Division with the assistance of EPA's National Enforcement Investigations Center, the FBI, the Coast Guard Investigative Service, the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality, and the West Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office. It was prosecuted by the District Attorney's office in Baton Rouge.

More in Environmental