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DSM fined $23,750 in emissions case

An Augusta industry will pay fines of $23,750 for excessive chemical emissions related to an ongoing equipment malfunction, according to Georgia’s Environmental Protection Division.

A consent order posted Monday and dated Feb. 29 said DSM Chemicals North America Inc. of Augusta was in violation of its regulatory permit for “exceedances” of volatile organic compounds.

The plant will also be required to make a series of repairs and conduct follow-up monitoring, the order said. The monitoring results will be reported to the EPD.

DSM manufactures caprolactam and fertilizer products at its complex on Columbia Nitrogen Road.

Biomass generator has ribbon-cutting

The U.S. Department of Energy’s new biomass generating station at Savannah River Site was cheered Monday as a clean alternative to the 1950s-era coal-fired power plant it will replace.

“Projects like the SRS biomass facility are helping to deliver energy efficiency savings that benefit both taxpayers and the environment,” said Undersecretary of Energy Thomas D’Agostino, one of several speakers at a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Ameresco won a $795 million, 20-year contract in 2009 to finance, design, construct, operate, maintain and fuel the new facility.

The plant will generate up to 20 megawatts of electricity for use within SRS by burning about 385,000 tons per year of forest residue and wood chips, supplemented with a smaller percentage of shredded tires.

Taurus, Sable get accelerator probe

Federal safety regulators have launched an investigation into sticky accelerators in more than 1.9 million Ford Taurus and Mercury Sable sedans.

It includes cars from the 2001 through 2006 model years. The Taurus and Sable models are nearly identical.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has received at least 14 complaints. No crashes or injuries have been reported, but drivers have said it was difficult to stop the car.

Treasury blasted over AIG tax break

WASHINGTON — Former members of a congressional panel that oversaw bailouts during the financial crisis blasted the Treasury Department on Monday for quietly granting a tax break worth billions to insurance giant American International Group.

Companies sometimes defer losses and use them later to reduce the tax burden. Companies that change ownership usually face strict limits on how much of a loss they can defer. But the Treasury Department granted AIG an exemption, handing the company $17.7 billion in profit.


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