Contact Us


All News Releases By Date


EPA orders Phoenix company to stop venting emissions into the air

Release Date: 5/20/2004
Contact Information: Wendy L. Chavez, (415) 947-4248

SAN FRANCISCO -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today ordered a Maricopa County expanded-polystyrene foam manufacturer to comply with air quality permits that limit the amount of volatile organic compounds released into the air from its operations.

The EPA order requires Henry Products Inc., located at 302 S. 23rd Ave., to select and install a temporary air pollution control system within five days of the order. The order also requires HPI to submit to the EPA engineering plans for permanent air pollution control by June 30. The company must comply with the EPA order or face fines of up to $32,500 a day.

"It is important that Henry Products follow the law and not vent its emissions directly to the atmosphere," said Deborah Jordan, director of the EPA's Air Division for the Pacific Southwest region. "Today's action has a very real impact and will result in substantial reductions in smog-forming chemicals."

Maricopa County inspectors issued a notice of violation in October 2003 after discovering that the facility installed new equipment and air emissions were being vented into the air -- a violation of state and federal law. The EPA and Maricopa County conducted a joint inspection on Feb. 26 and discovered a continuation of the same violation. The EPA issued a violation notice to HPI on March 5 for those violations.

HPI's polystyrene foam manufacturing process produces pentane, a volatile organic compound. In the presence of sunlight, VOCs chemically react with nitrogen oxide to create ground-level ozone, or smog. Emissions from industrial facilities such as HPI, as well as electric utilities, motor vehicle exhaust, gasoline vapors and chemical solvents, are some of the major sources of NOx and VOCs.

For more information about VOCs and smog visit: or for more information about the EPA's enforcement programs, visit:

# # #