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EPA reaches agreement with Dow Agrosciences on clean-air violations

Release Date: 12/10/2009
Contact Information: William Omohundro, 312-353-8254, omohundro.william@epa.gov

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
No. 09-OPA236

(Chicago - Dec. 10, 2009) U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5 has reached an agreement with Dow AgroSciences LLC on alleged Clean Air Act violations at the company's pesticide production facility at 305 N. Huron Ave., Harbor Beach, Mich.

The agreement, which includes a $70,000 penalty, resolves EPA allegations that Dow Agro violated national emission standards for hazardous air pollutants at its Harbor Beach plant. The company generates methanol and uses xylene, both hazardous air pollutants, in making pesticide active ingredients at the plant.

Short-term exposure to methanol may result in blurry or dim vision as well as damage to the nervous system. Long-term exposure may result in headache, giddiness, insomnia, gastric disturbances, visual disturbances and blindness.

Long-term inhalation of xylene can cause headache, dizziness, fatigue, tremors and lack of coordination. Short-term inhalation can irritate the nose and throat and cause nausea, vomiting and gastric irritation.

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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