Croda cited by DNREC for air quality permit violations

NEW CASTLE — The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control has issued a notice of violation to Croda Inc. for air emission and equipment violations associated with the operation of Croda’s ethylene oxide plant near New Castle.

The violations include connecting and routing an unpermitted source into an air pollution control device (scrubber); exceeding the annual emission limit for ethylene oxide at the scrubber; failure to meet the volatile organic compound removal efficiency at the scrubber; and operation of an unpermitted source of ethylene oxide at the hotwell, which collects and condenses vapors from the purification and vacuum distillation of crude ethylene glycol.

The violations at the EO plant outlined in the notice were discovered through a source-testing event conducted Sept. 17 by the company and observed by DNREC staff. Croda submitted results of the testing to the department in a report dated Oct. 5.

Following receipt of the report, DNREC has been working to accurately quantify Croda’s emissions, which resulted in the NOV issued by DNREC, as compared to the emissions Croda is allowed under conditions of its air permit for the EO plant. For example, while some fugitive emissions are associated with the hotwell, ethylene oxide was detected there during the stack test and is not permitted at this location.

The ethylene oxide plant has not operated since the date of the test.
An NOV is the first step in a process that can lead to DNREC taking further enforcement actions. DNREC is currently working from its regulatory purview to determine the path forward for Croda’s resuming operations at the EO plant.

DNREC will hold a virtual information session at 6 p.m. Thursday to describe the violations and answer questions from the community near the Croda facility. The public may join the video meeting via WebEx at stateofdelaware.webex.com/stateofdelaware/onstage/g.php?MTID=e4c89abf0bc79ce0f842c2b6e9d0eb72b, with event number 173 655 4144 and password CrodaInfoSession. To join by audio conference only, call (408) 418-9388. Questions and comments from the public can also be sent to daqpermittinginfo@delaware.gov.