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American Furniture Co. Settles Clean Air Act Violations at Martinsville, Va. Plant
Release Date: 9/8/2004
Contact Information: Donna Heron, 215-814-5113
Donna Heron, 215-814-5113
PHILADELPHIA – American Furniture Company Inc. has settled alleged Clean Air Act violations at the company’s manufacturing plant in Martinsville, Va., the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced today.
Under a consent agreement with EPA, American Furniture (a wholly-owned subsidiary of La-Z-Boy, Inc.) will pay a $17,000 penalty for excess emissions of particulate matter from the facility’s wood-fired boiler. As part of the settlement, American Furniture has also pledged to complete a three-year project to further reduce particle pollution.
In January 2003, EPA issued a notice citing American Furniture for violating limits on particulate emissions in the facility’s Clean Air Act permit. The company shut down the boiler, and implemented an EPA-approved compliance plan including boiler repairs and modifications. The boiler was re-started in November 2003, and retesting showed that boiler was in compliance with particulate emission limits.
As part of the settlement, American Furniture has committed to a special three-year, $220,000 project to further cut particulate emissions beyond the requirements of federal and state regulations. The project will significantly reduce “fugitive emissions” of sawdust, used to fuel the plant’s boilers, by using pneumatic tubes, rather than a front end loader, to transport the sawdust from the production line to the boiler.
The company has neither admitted nor denied liability for the alleged Clean Air Act violations.
Particulate emissions have been linked to asthma and other respiratory ailments, and pose specific risks for children and the elderly. Particle pollution also leads to reduced visibility. For more information on particulate matter and its regulations, visit https://www.epa.gov/air/urbanair/pm/index.html.