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Imperial, OSHA in settlement talks

POSTED: May 12, 2010 9:41 a.m.
SAVANNAH - Imperial Sugar and the U.S. Occupational Health and Safety Administration are discussing a possible settlement of proposed fines against the company for a deadly 2008 refinery explosion near Savannah.

The talks have prompted an administrative law judge to postpone a hearing on the fines by the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission scheduled for next Tuesday in Savannah.

OSHA proposed fining Imperial Sugar $8.8 million after the 2008 explosion killed 14 workers.

Melik Ahmir-abdul, a commission spokesman, confirmed that settlement talks are taking place.

OSHA says it found 221 safety violations at both the Georgia plant and the company's refinery in Gramercy, La. Imperial Sugar is contesting OSHA's finding that 118 of the violations were willful.

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