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University of Cincinnati agrees to EPA order to comply with Clean Air Act

Release Date: 11/02/2009
Contact Information: William Omohundro, 312-353-8254, omohundro.william@epa.gov

For Immediate Release
No. 09-OPA212

(Chicago – Nov. 2, 2009) U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5 has issued an administrative consent order to the University of Cincinnati requiring the university to comply with its state operating permit and its construction permit for a coal-fired boiler and two natural gas-fired turbines at 3001 Vine St.

The order resolves EPA allegations that the university had exceeded its emission limit for opacity (the amount of light obscured by particulate matter) for its coal-fired boiler and nitrogen oxide and carbon monoxide emission limits for its two gas-fired turbines.

Inhaling high concentrations of particulates can affect children, the elderly and people with heart and lung diseases the most.

Nitrogen oxides can irritate the lungs and lower resistance to respiratory infections. They also contribute to the formation of ground-level ozone (smog) and acid rain.

When carbon monoxide enters the bloodstream, it reduces delivery of oxygen to the body’s organs and tissues. Exposure to high levels of carbon monoxide can cause death or impair vision, hand movement, learning ability and performance of complex tasks.

Information about EPA Region 5’s air 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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