Five Lake Area facilities on EPA's secret "watch list"

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - They maintain they are good neighbors but a new report put out by the Environmental Protection Agency puts more than 400 plants around the country on a "watch list" due to air pollution violations. Among those names on the list are 29 Louisiana are on the list, including five Lake Area facilities.

The EPA released the secret "watch list" of so-called chronic polluters to NPR and the Center for Public Integrity.

The five Lake Area facilities included:

Calcasieu Refining Company - Lake Charles

CITGO Petroleum - Lake Charles

Miller Production Facility - Westlake

PPG Industries - Lake Charles

Stream 25 #1 Facility - Toomey

According to the report when regulators don't crack down on pollution within nine months of learning the facility is a chronic or serious violator of the rules, the facility automatically pops up on the list. Some of the companies named were surprised they were on the list.

CITGO released this statement:

"The list does not state the reasons why two CITGO facilities are included on the list. CITGO notes that the story itself points out that "not every offender on the list may be a serious or chronic offender." Given these considerations, CITGO does not wish to comment or speculate at this time. Since the list was developed by the EPA, any questions regarding it should be directed to the EPA."

The report also states some of the companies may end up on the list in error. In a released statement PPG told us:

"PPG is aware of the Center of Public Integrity and National Public Radio's recent articles regarding the U.S. EPA's "watch list." The EPA has not given PPG any specific reasons as to why any PPG manufacturing plant is on the list. PPG will investigate the matter and work with EPA on any outstanding issues that have not been addressed. PPG operates in compliance with all regulations."

Meanwhile local representatives at Calcasieu refining Company passed our request for comment on to their CEO, whom we've still not heard back from. The other two companies on the list from the Lake Area were unable to be reached for comment.

The EPA notes cleanups have been delayed due to budget cuts, however they told NPR it is still a priority.