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EPA cites three companies for violation of architectural coating rules

Release Date: 01/13/2005
Contact Information:

CONTACT: William Omohundro, (312) 353-8254

For Immediate Release
No. 05-OPA002

CHICAGO (Jan. 13, 2005) — U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5 has cited three related companies — one in Wisconsin and two in Ohio — for alleged violations of federal architectural coating rules. Architectural coatings are paints and similar coverings used on building exteriors, pavements and curbs.

The companies are Rust-Oleum Corp., 8691 109th St., Pleasant Prairie, Wis.; The Euclid Chemical Co., 19218 Redwood Rd., Cleveland, Ohio; and their parent company, RPM International Inc., 2628 Pearl Rd., Medina, Ohio.

EPA alleges that since Jan. 1, 2001, the companies have made coatings that exceed limits on smog-producing volatile organic compounds. Together the companies were allowed to produce a limited amount of these coatings. But both Rust-Oleum and Euclid Chemical are alleged to have individually produced the limited amount allowed by the rules.

"Smog can cause serious health problems — especially for children and the elderly,” said Acting Regional Administrator Bharat Mathur.

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

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.