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Chemicals-Technology.com-UK: Mexican investigators raid Celanese's Poncitlan chemical plant over environmental breach

Chemicals-Technology.com-UK: Mexican investigators raid Celanese's Poncitlan chemical plant over environmental breach
Velma Anne Ruth, M.Ed. - Tue May 12, 2015 @ 10:37AM
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Mexican investigators raid Celanese's Poncitlan chemical plant over environmental breach

Chemicals-Technology.com-UK, 11 May 2015
Celanese's chemical plant located in Poncitlan, Jalisco, Mexico, has been raided by investigators over environmental breaches.
Investigators under Mexico's attorney-general (procuradaria general de la republica - PGR) raided the plant after a search warrant was issued by a Mexican Federal District Judge.
The chemical plant is believed to have contaminated the Santiago River and soil with mercury and methyl ethyl ketone.
As part of a preliminary investigation, the PGR collected samples from the river and adjacent soil.
Following the investigation, it was confirmed that Celanese leaked mercury into the river in higher concentrations, even though the allowed concentration should be a maximum of .01mg of mercury per litre of water.
The alleged leak also contaminated the surrounding soil with mercury and methyl ethyl ketone in higher levels.
Located 200 yards from the Celanese plant, the Santiago River is close to Poncitlan town, home to approximately 45,000 people and around 50 miles from Guadalajara.
Constructed by Celanese in 1947, the plant recently underwent capacity expansion with an investment of $55m and was equipped with a 10in diameter natural gas pipeline as part of it.
The expansion reportedly made it reclassified as a 'high risk' facility from being a 'medium risk' facility.
Despite receiving rejection from Mexico's Supreme Court for its appeal to overrule Municipal Planning Officials, Celanese reportedly proceeded to increase production at the plant without suitable authorisations.
The investigation is carried out by the law firms of Del Toro Carazo Abogados and Ramos & Hermosillo Abogados who are working with the Mexican attorney-general's office.
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