ExxonMobil to pay $2.3M in settlement
BATON ROUGE (AP) — Louisiana officials say ExxonMobil will pay more than $2.3 million as part of a settlement agreement that resolves citations for chemical releases and spills and other alleged violations.
The state Department of Environmental Quality said Friday that the settlement addresses violations at four of the company’s facilities in Louisiana: a refinery, a resin finishing plant and a chemical plant in East Baton Rouge Parish and a tank farm facility in West Baton Rouge Parish.
The department said the company will pay a $300,000 civil penalty and fund more than $1 million in “beneficial environmental projects,” including one designed to reduce its groundwater usage.
ExxonMobil also agreed to spend at least $1 million on projects designed to prevent and control spills.
Business incubator opening
LAFAYETTE (AP) — University of Louisiana-Lafayette students and faculty soon will be able to grow their business ideas through an incubator called the Acceleragin.
Joby John, dean of the university’s Moody College of Business Administration, said the incubator will provide an environment of support to business ventures created by students and faculty. It’s offered in partnership with the Lafayette Economic Development Authority’s business incubator program, called the Opportunity Machine.
Nine student projects — ranging from a bike grip that conforms to a hand to an unusual hair clip design — will be the incubator’s first tenants, John said.
St. James methanol plant gets state permit
BATON ROUGE (AP) — Officials say South Louisiana Methanol LP has state permission to begin building its $1.3 billion methanol production plant in St. James Parish.
Barry Williamson, SLM’s chief executive officer, said receipt of the plant’s air permit from the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality means the company is on track to begin construction during the second half of 2014. Williamson said the plant should begin operations in January 2017.
In a written statement, company officials said the plant will need 85 workers whose annual salaries will average $66,500.
Company officials say a total 650 construction workers will be needed at the Mississippi River site from this year through early 2017.
SLM officials said last year the St. James site will be North America’s largest methanol production plant.
Commercial permits valued at $142M
HOUMA (AP) — Authorities in Terrebonne Parish say commercial construction permits valued at $142 million were issued in 2013.
The total was second only to the record of $178 million set in 2008.
Planned investment more than doubled the 2012 permit total value of $61.7 million.
Free financial seminars
FRANKLIN — The City of Franklin will offer a series of seven free seminars entitled “Financial Fitness 2014.”
The seminars will be held at the Alex P. Allain Memorial Branch of the St. Mary Parish Library from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday nights.
The maximum for each seminar is 15 people. For more information, contact the Office of Community Development at 337-828-6345 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The schedule is as follows:
—Today: “Saving and Budgeting” presented by Connie Harris of Teche Federal Bank.
—Jan. 22: “Investing” presented by Lyle and Victoria Simoneaux of Edward Jones.
—Jan. 29: “Homeownership” presented by Jeffery Beverly of St. Mary/Vermilion Community Action Agency.
—Feb. 5: “Insurance” presented by Chip Purpera of State Farm Insurance.
—February 19: “Paying for College” presented by Kelly Knight of South Louisiana Community College.
—Feb. 26: “Retirement” presented by Lyle and Victoria Simoneaux of Edward Jones.
—March 12: “Estate Planning” presented by Scott Ramsey of Ramsey, Skiles and Streva.