Victoria County to offer tax break to Invista

A part of the Invista plant in May 2013.

The state fined Invista $30,135 this week for not complying with its air permit.

Records show that the state fined the company because it did not inspect vents at its plant off Old Bloomington Road for visible emissions on 17 occasions throughout 2016.

Invista has since set up a new procedure to ensure the vents are inspected. Invista’s fine was enhanced because the company has had two similar violations. Part of its fine was deferred because the company expedited a settlement with the state, while $12,054 of the fine will go to Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi’s AutoCheck program. It measures pollutants from vehicles, repairs some of those vehicles and issues people vouchers for replacement gas caps.

“Invista is proud to be part of the Victoria community and has a long-standing commitment to environmental health and safety,” company spokeswoman Kim Conlee wrote in a statement. At the same meeting where regulators approved the settlement with Invista, they approved fining another Crossroads business, Lucky’s Redi-Mix Co. in Cuero, $2,625.

Records show that residents near the concrete batch plant complained in June 2016 and in April 2017 that it was blowing dust onto their property.

Regulators came out on both occasions and confirmed the dust was coming from Lucky’s. Records show that although the base penalty for this type of violation is $25,000, the regulators determined the dust posed only a minor threat to human health and the environment. The regulators sent a notice to Lucky’s about the violation but it was returned.

The Advocate also could not find a working phone number for the plant.

Regulators met on Wednesday and fined companies throughout the state nearly $312,000, but only about $255,000 went into the state’s coffers because the companies that were fined either received deferrals or chose to put part of their fine toward environmental projects.

Jessica Priest reports on the environment and Calhoun County for the Victoria Advocate. She may be reached at jpriest@vicad.com or 361-580-6521.

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Environment/Investigations Reporter

Jessica Priest has done a little bit of everything since moving to Victoria in 2012. She was a regular fixture in the Crossroads’ historic courthouses, but now slathers on the sunscreen to report on the environment.

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