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EPA cites Degussa Goldschmidt for clean-air violations

Release Date: 5/26/2005
Contact Information:

CONTACT: William Omohundro, (312) 353-8254

For Immediate Release
No. 05-OPA076

CHICAGO (May 26, 2005) — U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5 has cited Degussa Goldschmidt Chemical Corp. for alleged clean-air violations at the company’s specialty chemical plant at 8300 W. Route 24, Mapleton, Ill.

EPA alleges that Degussa violated its state operating permit and state air pollution control regulations by failing to control emissions of organic material from its effluent water separators by 85 percent. In addition, EPA said Degussa emits more than 8 pounds an hour of organic material from three of its reactors without using required control equipment. The organic emissions include methyl chloride, a hazardous air pollutant.

"EPA’s mission is to protect public health and the environment," said Acting Regional Administrator Bharat Mathur. "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. The company has 30 days from receipt of the notice to meet with EPA to discuss resolving the allegations.

Breathing very high levels of methyl chloride can have serious effects on the nervous system. Lower exposures can cause dizziness, fatigue, nausea and vomiting. Methyl chloride can harm the liver and kidneys and affect heart rate and blood pressure.

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