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E-M:/ EPA Busts Ford Motor

Enviro-Mich message from asagady@sojourn.com

What this EPA news release does not say is that Russell Harding,
MDEQ Director, tried to make the Wayne violation "legal"
by signing a secret agreement with Ford in his office with no public 
notice and which his staff told him would violate the Clean
Air Act.   EPA Region V should have sent an NOV
to the State of Michigan for that act.


Legal Contact: Cynthia King
                                                   (312) 886-6831 

                                      Technical Contacts: Michelle Farley
                                                   (312) 886-6778 

                                                    Jennifer Darrow
                                                   (312) 886-6315 

                                     Media Contact: William Omohundro
                                                   (312) 353-8254 

            For Immediate Release: March 17, 1998 

            No. 98-OPA077 


            U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 5 has recently
            cited three Detroit-area Ford Motor Co. assembly plants for alleged
            violations of the Clean Air Act. 

            Two Wayne, MI, plants were cited: Wayne Assembly and Michigan
            Truck Assembly, as well as Dearborn Assembly in Dearborn, MI. 

            Ford makes automobiles at its Wayne Assembly Plant. The plant was
            cited for exceeding its monthly volatile organic compound (VOC)
            for several months in 1994, 1995, 1996, and 1997. In 1996, the
            plant also violated its annual VOC limit. In addition, Ford
failed to
            follow the proper State permitting requirements for its purge and
            clean-up and final repair operations at the plant. 

            At the Michigan Truck Assembly Plant, Ford makes automobiles and
            light-duty trucks. On December 1, 1997, the plant exceeded the
            annual production limit set in its Michigan air quality permit. This
            increase may be a major modification of Ford's permit under Federal
            regulations designed to prevent significant air quality
            requiring Ford to get a permit for such a modification. 

            Dearborn Assembly, which makes automobiles, was cited for
            violations of the yearly VOC emission limits for purge
operations, the
            hourly VOC limits for the universal sealer operations, and the
            and yearly VOC limits for the hem flange sealer operations. 

            All three plants emitted VOC's, which combine in the atmosphere
            with other chemicals to form ground-level ozone, or smog. 

            Smog can cause breathing problems, reduced lung function, eye
            irritation, stuffy nose, and reduced resistance to colds and other
            infections. Ozone can aggravate asthma and may speed up aging of
            lung tissue. Children, the elderly, and people with heart and lung
            diseases are the most sensitive. 

            "The Detroit area achieved the health-based standard for ozone in
            March 1995 after being out of compliance since the 1970's," said
            David Kee, director of the regional Air and Radiation Division.
            "EPA's goal is to ensure that Detroit continues to have air
quality that
            meets this health-based standard." 

            These are preliminary findings of violations. To resolve these
            violations, EPA may issue compliance orders, assess administrative
            penalties, or bring suit against the company. The company has 30
            days from receipt of the notices to request a meeting to discuss the
            alleged violations and how to resolve them. 



            Page maintained by: Jeff Kelley, Office of Public Affairs
            Last Updated: March 18, 1998 
            URL: http://www.epa.gov/Region5/news98/98opa077.htm 

Alex J. Sagady & Associates        Email:  asagady@sojourn.com
Environmental Consulting and Database Systems
PO Box 39  East Lansing, MI  48826-0039  
(517) 332-6971 (voice); (517) 332-8987 (fax)

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