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Dow Chemical Co. Faces Fines for Clean Air Violations in Connecticut

Release Date: 10/02/2008
Contact Information: Paula Ballentine, (617) 918-1027

(Boston, Mass. – Oct. 2, 2008) - The Dow Chemical Company, which operates a chemical manufacturing facility in Gales Ferry, Conn., faces an EPA penalty for violations of the federal Clean Air Act.

A recent complaint filed by EPA alleges violations of numerous provisions of Dow’s clean air operating permit (Title V permit), the National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants, as well as the Stratospheric Ozone Protection Regulations. Dow may be subject to fines of up to $330,112 for the violations.

Specifically, Dow failed to keep records of required equipment inspections and monitoring results including records of thermal oxidizer temperatures. Dow also failed to repair leaking valves. These violations may have resulted in excess emissions of volatile organic compounds and hazardous air pollutants. Finally, Dow failed to conduct and document leak repair verification tests on its refrigeration equipment. Dow has since corrected the violations.

Exposure to hazardous air pollutants and volatile organic compounds can cause a variety of health problems. Volatile organic compounds also contribute to the formation of ozone (smog). Ozone can damage lung tissue and reduce lung function. Children, the elderly, people with lung disease, and people with asthma are most susceptible.

Certain types of refrigerants, such as chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), contain substances that destroy the thin layer of ozone in the upper part of the atmosphere that protects us from the sun’s harmful rays. CFCs are also potent greenhouses gases.

More Information:
EPA Clean Air enforcement in New England (epa.gov/region1/enforcement/air/index.html)

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