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Environmental activist protests Veolia shipments
PORT ARTHUR - Environmental activist Hilton Kelley protested shipments of chemicals to Veolia in Port Arthur. They are materials the company says are precursors to Syrian chemical weapons and not the weapons themselves.
Watch KFDM News at 6 for reaction from Kelley and the company.
Veolia will destroy the chemicals in its industrial incinerator at the plant off Highway 73 in Jefferson County.
They arrived by ship and will be transported on trucks from the Port of Port Arthur to Veolia.
The company says it has safely destroyed similar chemicals in the past and maintains the chemicals pose no threat to the public.
Statement from Veolia:
The employees of Veolia North America are proud to support the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons program. This program is receiving strong support from the United States government, especially because of its humanitarian mission.
The materials that Veolia will destroy are quite simply standard commercial industrial chemicals that were earmarked for use in the Syrian program, stored in bulk and never used. Every day, these chemicals are transported and widely used across the United States.
OPCW inspectors and state and federal environmental officials will monitor the destruction of the material on a regular and routine basis. A Unified Command has been established to oversee the shipment of these precursor chemicals associated with the Syrian Chemical Weapons Elimination Program. The Unified Command consists of federal, state and local agencies including the U.S. Coast Guard, Port of Port Arthur, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Texas Department of Emergency Management, City of Port Arthur, Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and EPA, along with Veolia. This multi-agency partnership was established to ensure the safety of local citizens and protection of the environment during transportation of the chemicals to Port Arthur by ship and eventual transportation to the Veolia facility where final destruction will take place.
Veolia manages hazardous and toxic wastes for governmental and industrial clients with great care and proven technical, operational and management processes. For Veolia employees, this is business as usual and we are proud to have a role in this important international security program.
As the world's largest environmental company, we are committed to protecting the planet's natural resources for future generations. Ensuring the health, safety, and welfare of our employees and the public is our highest priority, and guaranteeing environmental compliance and sustainable solutions is core to our values.
Veolia is the global leader in optimized resource management. With over 200,000 employees* worldwide, the company designs and provides water, waste and energy management solutions that contribute to the sustainable development of communities and industries. Through its three complementary business activities, Veolia helps to develop access to resources, protect and conserve available resources, and to replenish them. In 2013, Veolia supplied 94 million people with drinking water and 62 million people with wastewater service, produced 86 million megawatt hours of energy and converted 38 million metric tons of waste into new materials and energy. Veolia (Paris Euronext: VIE and NYSE: VE) recorded revenue of $31 billion* in 2013.
(*) Excluding Transdev employees and revenue currently under divestment