GEISMAR, LA (WAFB) - An Ascension Parish plant is facing thousands in fines Monday after being cited by government regulators for an explosion last year.
The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) fined the Renewable Energy Group plant in Geismar $70,000 for a hydrogen gas explosion that happened on September 3, 2015.
The REG plant was cited with three willful safety violations. According to the agency's manual, that means the company either "purposeful disregard or acted with plain indifference to employee safety."
The Ascension Parish Sheriff's Office reported the investigation revealed hydrogen likely pressurized in a line being worked on and resulted in the gas being released. Investigators added an unidentified source ignited the released hydrogen, causing the explosion and fire.
Four people were injured, one of them severely, in the explosion.