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EPA reaches agreement with DaimlerChrysler

Release Date: 02/09/2005
Contact Information:

CONTACT: William Omohundro, (312) 353-8254

For Immediate Release
No. 05-OPA009

CHICAGO (Feb. 9, 2005) — U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5 has reached an agreement with DaimlerChrysler Corp. on alleged clean-air violations at the company's Kokomo Transmission Plant at 2401 S. Reed Road, Kokomo, Ind. EPA assessed a $110,000 penalty.

EPA also issued an administrative consent order that requires DaimlerChrysler to remove three coal-fired boilers at the plant. The company intends to replace them with cleaner-burning natural gas boilers. EPA said this action will cut annual sulfur dioxide emissions by 700 tons, nitrogen oxides by 100 tons and particulates (smoke, ash, soot) by 60 tons.

These actions resolve EPA allegations that DaimlerChrysler violated federal clean-air regulations by making significant modifications to its plant, increasing air pollutant emissions without getting a permit requiring control of these emissions and without adding required control technology. EPA said the company also failed to provide enough information about these modifications in its Clean Air Act Title 5 operating permit application.

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 cause acid rain and contribute to fine particle pollution. Children, the elderly and people with heart and lung conditions are the most sensitive to sulfur dioxide.

Nitrogen oxides contribute to the formation of gound-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 and 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.

Inhaling high concentrations of particulates can lead to heart and lung diseases. Children, the elderly and people with heart and lung diseases are the most sensitive.