Chris Schulz Published

New Cumberland Manufacturer To Pay Millions In Environmental Violations

A picture of a person in a red kayak on the Ohio River. The nonprofit, national clean river environmental organization American Rivers has included the Ohio River on its annual list of America’s Most Endangered Rivers.Ohio River Basin Alliance (ORBA)/Facebook

A manufacturer in Hancock County will have to pay close to $2 million for environmental violations. 

Messer, LLC, an industrial gas manufacturing facility located in New Cumberland, West Virginia, will pay a $1.9 million civil penalty for violations of its Clean Water Act permit and the West Virginia Water Pollution Control Act.

According to court documents, Messer exceeded permit limits when it discharged pollutants into the Ohio River on at least 186 occasions since February 2016.

The company’s EPA permit imposed limits for the discharge of specific pollutants, including copper, aluminum, iron, residual chlorine and phenolics.

In addition to the civil penalty, Messer, LLC must take steps to prevent future violations including the construction of a new treatment system at its New Cumberland facility, implementation of a response plan in the instance of future violations, mandatory internal inspections, and quarterly reporting requirements to federal and state agencies. 

A consent decree was entered by the United States District Court on Sept. 11, 2023. Messer, LLC did not admit any liability to the United States or the State of West Virginia arising out of the transactions or occurrences alleged in the complaint.