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EPA reaches agreement with Daramic

Release Date: 04/06/2006
Contact Information: William Omohundro, (312) 353-8254, omohundro.william@epa.gov

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
No.06-OPA044

CHICAGO (Thursday, April 6, 2006) - U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5 has reached an agreement with Daramic LLC on alleged clean-air violations at the company's battery separator manufacturing plant at 3430 Cline Road, Corydon, Ind. The plant makes thin plastic sheets for use in lead-acid batteries and other applications.

The agreement, which includes a $193,530 environmental project and a $68,297 penalty, resolves EPA allegations that Daramic failed to capture and recover volatile organic compound emissions at the level required by its state operating permit.

"Daramic has agreed to modify its production practices and install new equipment to better capture and recover emissions. These actions will reduce releases of the hazardous volatile organic compound trichloroethylene from the plant by roughly 450 tons a year," said Regional Administrator Thomas V. Skinner. "This will help protect the health of Daramic's neighbors in the Corydon area."

In a related action, Daramic agreed to an EPA order requiring it to apply for modifications of its state construction and operating permits to incorporate these changes.

Volatile organic compounds contribute to the formation of ground-level ozone or smog. Smog is formed when a mixture of air pollutants is baked in the hot summer sun. Smog can cause a variety of respiratory problems, including coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath and chest pain. People with asthma, children and the elderly are especially at risk, but these health concerns are important to everyone.

Breathing or drinking high levels of trichloroethylene may cause nervous system effects and liver and lung damage. It is used mainly as a solvent for cleaning metal and plastic parts.

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