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Bay Area company to pay penalty to settle violation of Clean Air Act

Release Date: 09/29/2006
Contact Information: Mark Merchant, 415-947-4297

(09/29/06 - San Francisco) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has settled a case with Green Products Co. of Richmond, Calif. for alleged violations of the federal Clean Air Act.

Green Products was assessed a reduced penalty of $2,000 because of the company’s limited ability to pay a fine.

Green Products, of Market Street, will pay the civil penalty for manufacturing Plasticure, a concrete curing and sealing product that released more volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, into the air than allowed under federal law.

This is the first opportunity the EPA’s Pacific Southwest regional office has had to enforce the architectural coating standards section of the Clean Air Act. This standard applies to all architectural coatings manufactured for sale in the U.S.

Green Products exceeded allowable VOC limits in Plasticure from September 2001 to November 2004. During that time the EPA estimates emissions from the use of Plasticure resulted in approximately 218 tons more volatile VOCs than the Clean Air Act allows. Plasticure was manufactured in Richmond, Calif. and was used in Reno, Nev. during the time of the violation.

“It’s imperative that companies comply with all sections of the Clean Air Act,” said Deborah Jordan, director of the Air Division in the EPA’s San Francisco office. “Volatile organic compounds can cause smog levels that violate air quality standards and can cause health impacts.”

VOCs combine with other chemicals in the air on warm, sunny days and form ground–level ozone, or smog. Smog can cause breathing problems, reduced lung function, eye irritation and reduced resistance to infections. Ozone can also aggravate asthma and speed up the aging of lung tissue. Asthmatics, children and the elderly are especially at risk.

The architectural coating rule of the Clean Air Act limits the VOC content of products such as exterior and interior paints, industrial maintenance coatings, wood and roof coatings, and primer and traffic paints