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EPA reaches agreement with Wisconsin company on clean-air violations

Release Date: 10/08/2009
Contact Information: William Omohundro, 312-353-8254, omohundro.william@epa.gov

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
No. 09-OPA194


(Chicago - Oct. 8, 2009) - U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5 has reached an agreement with A & A Manufacturing Co. Inc. on alleged clean-air violations at the company's metal and rubber products manufacturing plant at 2300 S. Calhoun Road, New Berlin, Wis.

The agreement, which includes a $79,429 penalty and two environmental projects costing $22,280, resolves EPA allegations that A & A operated its plant from 1995 to the present without a state operating permit that would require the company to limit its emissions of hazardous air pollutants and volatile organic compounds.

For its first environmental project, A & A will reformulate one of its coatings to a low-volatile organic compound formula by Dec. 31. The reformulation will reduce emissions of the hazardous air pollutant toluene, total hazardous air pollutant emissions and volatile organic compound emissions.

For its second environmental project, the company will reduce toluene emissions and total hazardous air pollutant emissions by reformulating a second coating by Dec. 31, 2010.

Hazardous air pollutants may cause serious health effects including birth defects and cancer. They may also cause harmful environmental and ecological effects. Breathing high levels of toluene affects the brain and can cause headaches, confusion, dizziness, sleepiness and memory loss.

Volatile organic compounds contribute to the formation of ground-level ozone (smog). Smog is formed when a mixture of pollutants react on warm, sunny days. Smog can cause 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.

Information about EPA Region 5's enforcement program is at http://www.epa.gov/region5/air/enforce/index.html. Potential environmental violations may be reported at http://www.epa.gov/compliance/complaints.

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