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U.S. EPA cites Shasta County company for Clean Air Act violations

Release Date: 1/6/2005
Contact Information: Mark Merchant, 415-947-4297

SAN FRANCISCO -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency this week fined Burney Forest Products $34,650 for violations of the federal Clean Air Act.

BFP is a joint venture which operates an electric cogeneration power plant in Burney, Calif., which is in Shasta County.

Under the terms of a consent agreement and final order with the EPA, BFP will pay the administrative penalty to the agency and correct the alleged Clean Air Act violations at its Burney plant.

BFP operates two wood-fired boilers at its Shasta Co. facility. Each boiler has opacity and nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions monitors which BFP is required to calibrate, maintain and operate. Burney Forest Products is also required to submit regular reports with the EPA detailing its emissions of opacity and NOx.

In the presence of heat and sunlight, the chemical reactions between NOx and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) cause ground-level ozone, or smog. Emissions from electric utilities, industrial facilities, motor vehicle exhaust, gasoline vapors and chemical solvents are some of the major sources of NOx and VOCs.

The EPA alleged that BFP failed to submit excess emissions reports to the agency every six months between Jan. 1, 1999 and July 1, 2003. These reports are used to help determine if the facility is operating in compliance with the Clean Air Act. The EPA also alleged that BFP failed to conduct certain quarterly calibration tests on its emissions monitors.

"Providing correct and timely emissions information is critically important to the EPA and the local air district so we can accurately carry out our public health mission," said Deborah Jordan, the director of the EPA's Air Division in the Pacific Southwest. "Our mission also includes ensuring that the public has timely access to information about their communities information that we cannot provide without receiving correct information from local industry."

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