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Vizag gas tragedy: LG Polymers lacked environmental clearance before styrene gas leak

The Visakhapatnam plant which led to a chemical gas leak and claimed the lives of 12 people in Andhra Pradesh last week lacked federal environmental clearance but had been issued state permits to operate anyway, exposing a potentially dangerous enforcement gap in the country’s laws. The owner of the LG Polymers plant in Andhra Pradesh state, South Korean chemicals giant LG Chem, said in a May 2019 affidavit that formed part of an application for the clearance that the company “doesn’t have a valid environmental clearance substantiating the produced quantity, issued by the competent authority, for continuing operations.”

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