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E-M:/ FW: Region 5 EPA cites Michigan Sugar for clean-air violations

Enviro-Mich message from "Rita Jack" <rita.jack@sierraclub.org>

Hello Michigan:  News from EPA Region 5 about Michigan Sugar and Clean Air


                   U.S. EPA REGION 5 NEWS RELEASE

 CONTACT: William Omohundro, (312) 353-8254

 No. 05-OPA087

 EPA cites Michigan Sugar for clean-air violations

 CHICAGO (June 7, 2005) - U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5 has 
 cited Michigan Sugar Co., 4800 Fashion Square Blvd., Saginaw, Mich., for 
 alleged clean-air violations at the company's sugar beet processing plants 
 in Sebewaing and Bay City, Mich.

 EPA alleges, among other things, that MSC built pulp dryers at both plants 
 without getting state permits requiring best available technology to 
 control emissions of volatile organic compounds and carbon monoxide. EPA 
 said work began on the Sebewaing dryer in 1980 and on the Bay City dryer 
 in 1984.

 "EPA's mission is to protect public health and the environment," said 
 Acting Regional Administrator Bharat Mathur. "We will take whatever steps 
 are needed to ensure compliance with the Clean Air Act."

 These are preliminary findings of violations. To resolve them, EPA may 
 issue a compliance order, assess an administrative penalty or bring suit 
 against the company. MSC has 30 days from receipt of the notice to meet 
 with EPA to discuss resolving the allegations.

 Volatile organic compounds contribute to the formation of ground-level 
 ozone, or smog. Smog is formed when a mixture of air pollutants is baked 
 in the hot summer sun. Smog can cause a variety of 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.

 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. Persons with heart disease have the 
 greatest risk when exposed to this pollutant.

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