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EPA reaches agreement with Vesuvius on clean-air violations

Release Date: 10/17/2008
Contact Information: William Omohundro, 312-353-8254,

No. 08-OPA166

CHICAGO (Oct. 17, 2008) - U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5 has reached an agreement with Vesuvius USA Corp. on alleged violations of EPA regulations to protect stratospheric ozone at the company's ceramic parts manufacturing plant in Charleston, Ill. Vesuvius has agreed to pay a $25,000 penalty and complete an environmental project costing $215,000.

The agreement resolves EPA allegations that Vesuvius violated, among other things, leak repair, testing and planning requirements for one of its industrial process refrigeration units that leaked excessive amounts of ozone-depleting refrigerant from August 2002 until September 2003.

For its environmental project, Vesuvius will replace a thermal oxidizer with a new, more efficient thermal oxidizer that will control volatile organic compound emissions from the plant. The new thermal oxidizer will use less energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 236 tons per year.

EPA discovered the alleged violations when it inspected the facility and reviewed maintenance records in August 2006.

When CFC refrigerants deplete the stratospheric ozone layer, dangerous amounts of cancer-causing ultraviolet rays from the sun strike the earth. Production of some of these refrigerants was stopped in 1995, and federal law strictly controls their use and handling.

Information on EPA Region 5's air enforcement program is at Potential environmental violations may be reported at

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