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Prospect, Conn. Company will pay $102K to Settle Clean Air Violations

Release Date: 06/07/2011
Contact Information: David Deegan, (617) 918-1017

(Boston, Mass. – June 7, 2011) – A Prospect, Conn., company that manufactures hard foam products has agreed to pay $102,000 and to strictly limit air pollution emissions from its main production facility to settle claims by the US Environmental Protection Agency and the US Department of Justice that it violated federal Clean Air laws.

In a settlement filed this week in federal district court, Polar Industries agreed to install a new air pollution control system for volatile organic compound emissions at its main facility in Prospect.  At this facility, Polar uses expandable polystyrene beads, which emit VOCs, in order to manufacture block foam products such as foam insulation sheets used in building construction.

According to EPA and DOJ, Polar miscalculated and under reported its VOC emissions, and installed new manufacturing equipment without obtaining appropriate state air permits. As a result, Polar triggered Clean Air Act requirements for strict pollution limits.  

Under the settlement, Polar will meet a new, low VOC emission limit. To meet the limit, Polar will install a new pollution control system that will destroy VOC emissions with a natural gas-powered incinerator. The new system will be fully operational by March 31, 2012. Polar will also obtain federally-enforceable air permits with its new VOC control requirements.

VOC pollution, a main cause of ground-level ozone and smog, is of special concern in Connecticut. Ground-level ozone can aggravate asthma and damage lung cells, and may cause permanent lung damage. Connecticut does not meet EPA’s national ozone standards and Polar’s excess VOC emissions have contributed to Connecticut’s failure to attain these standards.

More information:

EPA enforcement of Clean Air Act in New England (http://www.epa.gov/region1/enforcement/air/index.html)

Volatile Organic Compounds (http://www.epa.gov/iaq/voc.html)

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