The industry in Alabama has long been a hotbed for chemical spills and other problems that have made cleanup difficult.
The state has been dealing with two chemical accidents in recent years, one in May of 2016 that killed eight people and another in August of 2017 that left 17 people dead and nearly 500 others injured.
That’s when the state came under scrutiny for its lax enforcement of hazardous waste laws.
A state investigation found the state had failed to report hundreds of potentially dangerous chemicals that had spilled into the state.
The investigation found that ALDI had failed in at least five of those cases, including an explosion in September of 2017 at the company’s Alachua, Florida, plant.
ALDI and the company agreed to a $15 million settlement in January of this year, but the state also agreed to pay the $2.6 million to the families of the workers who died.
In August of this season, ALDI announced that it had begun taking the steps to clean up its chemical facilities in an effort to cut costs and comply with federal guidelines.
In a statement, the company said it had taken steps to remove toxic materials from facilities in its Alachio and Jacksonville, Florida facilities and to eliminate the use of hazardous chemicals in its Atlanta and Orlando, Florida plants.
“These steps will save taxpayers $1.3 billion over the next four years,” ALDI CEO Mike Pfeiffer said in a statement at the time.
“We have made substantial progress toward meeting the standards set by the EPA and other regulators.
We have implemented several changes to our facility design, including a new, more energy-efficient ventilation system, which has resulted in reduced airborne contamination and reduced airborne air quality.”
The company also has taken steps that will help it reduce its reliance on volatile organic compounds, including moving the company to a new facility in Florida.
Pfeifer said the company will use the savings from the new facility to fund its plan to eliminate all volatile organic chemicals from the state’s chemical waste streams by 2022.
The company has also pledged to reduce the number of chemicals produced in its Jacksonville plant by more than 40 percent by 2020.