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Former Owner of Kelp Processing Plant to Pay $1.8 Million in Penalties

September 5, 1996

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Merck & Co., the former owner of the Kelco kelp processing plant in San Diego, will pay more than $1.8 million in penalties to settle government allegations that the facility polluted the air for years, the Justice Department announced Thursday.

Monsanto Co., which acquired the plant last year, agreed to install pollution control equipment to reduce emissions equivalent to smog produced by about 10,000 cars as part of the agreement.

The Justice Department said that in 1991, Kelco ``was responsible for more than a third of all industry related volcanic organic compound emissions in the San Diego area.″

``This facility was a major polluter, so cleaning it up means major gains in air quality for San Diego area residents,″ said Dave Howekamp, director of the Environmental Protection Agency’s western regional air division.

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