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EPA reaches agreement with Degussa on clean-air violations

Release Date: 01/26/2006
Contact Information: William Omohundro, (312) 353-8254

No. 06-OPA015

CHICAGO (Jan. 26, 2006) - U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5 has reached an agreement with Degussa Engineered Carbons LP on alleged clean-air violations at the company's carbon black plant at 11135 state Route 7, Belpre, Ohio.

The agreement, which includes a $105,000 penalty and a $245,000 environmental project, resolves EPA allegations that Degussa used raw material with a higher sulfur content than was permitted and released more sulfur dioxide than was permitted.

For its environmental project, Degussa will replace wood stoves installed prior to 1988 with new, clean-burning EPA certified wood stoves, or natural gas stoves in low-income households by June 1, 2007. Homes in Washington County, Ohio, will have priority.

Carbon black is a powdery compound made primarily from petroleum and used to make such things as tires, printing ink, paint and plastic.

Exposure to sulfur dioxide can impair breathing, aggravate existing respiratory diseases like bronchitis and reduce the ability of the lungs to clear foreign particles. Sulfur dioxide can also cause acid rain and contribute to fine particle pollution. Children, the elderly and people with existing heart and lung conditions are most sensitive to sulfur dioxide.

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