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E-M:/ Ford tries to keep violations secret



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Enviro-Mich message from ecaa@igc.org (ecology center)
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Recently discovered memo's show that in 1997 Ford attempted to use
Michigan's Environmental Audit Immunity &  Privilege Act to avoid
enforcement action & hide from public view major violations at it's Wayne
Assembly Plant which produces the Ford Escort & Mercury Tracer.  The
violations occurred over a 4 year period, 1994-1997, and resulted in 250
tons of VOC emission being emitted above and beyond permitted levels at the
plant.  The violations stemmed from exceedances of both monthly and yearly
permit limits for emissions from cleanup and purge solvents.

In March 1997 Ford attempted to claim audit immunity, which would have
allowed Ford to resolve the violations without enforcement action or public
disclosure.  DEQ staff rejected Ford's attempts and today Ford is on EPA's
Significant Violators List.  Both the EPA and the DEQ  are currently
pursuing enforcement action against Ford at Wayne Assembly and two other
plants in SE Michigan.  However, this remains a clear example of how
industry intends to use Audit Priviledge to avoid enforcement and public
scrutiny of their actions, and the intent of the Engler/Harding regime to
allow industry to pollute with impunity in our communities.  One has to
wonder how many other violations have actually been swept under the rug
using this law?

Jeff Gearhart
Ecology Center

___________________________
Ecology Center of Ann Arbor
117 N. Division
Ann Arbor, MI  48104
(734)663-2400 or (734)761-3186(ph)
(734)663-2414 (fax)
*please note new area code



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