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Speeches By EPA Administrator

 

Announcement of Clean Air Act Enforcement Cases, Washington, D.C.

04/09/2003
Remarks of Governor Christine Todd Whitman,
Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency,
at a Press Conference announcing settlements of
Clean Air Act Enforcement Cases
Washington, D.C.

April 9, 2003


Good afternoon. I have often said that the true measure of our success at the EPA is whether our efforts are making America = s air cleaner, its water purer, and its land better protected. Today, I am pleased to announce that the EPA, in conjunction with the Department of Justice, has settled a landmark Clean Air Act case with Archer Daniels Midland B a settlement that will make our air cleaner, both now and for future generations.

This historic settlement with ADM will result in broad-sweeping environmental improvements at 52 of its plants nationwide B improvements that will mean cleaner, healthier air for the people who live near these facilities and to anyone downwind.

Under this agreement, ADM will also have to make various environmental improvements in the communities in which their facilities are located B improvements including more than $2 million to support the A Illinois Green School Bus Program, @ which is working to reduce school bus emissions in that state, and another $1.1 million to retrofit diesel bus engines in communities surrounding ADM facilities. Because of an unprecedented joint federal and state enforcement effort B with 14 states and counties signing on to the consent decree B ADM will reduce 63,000 tons of such pollutants as NOx, carbon monoxide, particulate matter, SO2, volatile organic compounds, and other hazardous pollutants.

That means cleaner air to breathe and clearer skies to see. What is more, as a result of what we have learned in pursuing this case, we are going to continue to focus our attention upon the emission levels in the corn and oil seed processing and ethanol industries. This landmark case was initiated just two years ago, shortly after this Administration took office. We have moved quickly and effectively to enforce the law, reflecting this Administration= s principle that while we would rather prevent pollution through compliance, we will not hesitate to enforce America = s environmental laws to protect our environment and the health of America's families.

There = s another Clean Air Act settlement I am pleased to announce today B with Alcoa, Inc. Once again teaming with the Department of Justice, and in this case the State of Texas, we have gotten Alcoa to agree to install state-of-the-art pollution controls at its aluminum production facility in Rockdale, Texas B a facility that contains the largest industrial boiler in the nation.

These improvements will eliminate more than 90 percent of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide emissions from the power plant, eliminating more than 68,000 tons of these pollutants from the air. Alcoa has also agreed to spend $750,000 to retrofit school buses in the greater Austin area with state of the art pollution control devices. In this case, the settlement addresses Alcoa = s failure to obtain legal permits when it made significant modifications to its coal-fired industrial boilers.

The announcement of these two settlements today demonstrates both this Administration= s firm commitment to fully enforcing our environmental laws and the power of working together to improve our quality of life. We will work with companies that share our goal of cleaner air; we will give them the opportunity to meet their obligation to the law and to the people those laws are meant to protect. However, let no one forget that while we will offer the carrot, we have not retired the stick.

We will continue to ensure that the laws that are in place to protect the environment and safeguard the public health are obeyed. That means a better quality of life for us, our children, and our grandchildren. Thank you.