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EPA cites Tate & Lyle North America for clean-air violations

Release Date: 09/27/2005
Contact Information:

CONTACT: William Omohundro, (312) 353-8254

For Immediate Release
No. 05-OPA185

CHICAGO (Sept. 27, 2005) — U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5 has cited Tate & Lyle North America for alleged clean-air violations at two company wet corn mills. The mills are at 2200 E. Eldorado St., Decatur, Ill., and at 3300 U.S. 52 S., Lafayette, Ind.

EPA alleges that Tate & Lyle made major modifications at both mills that significantly increased emissions of volatile organic compounds, carbon monoxide, or both, without getting permits requiring emission controls.

The alleged violations were discovered during an EPA inspection of the Lafayette mill and from subsequent information requests.

"EPA's mission is to protect public health and the environment," said Regional Administrator Thomas V. Skinner. "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. Tate & Lyle 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. In addition to contributing to smog formation, VOCs can cause serious health problems such as cancer.

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 impair vision, hand movement, learning ability and performance of complex tasks, and can also cause death.