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EPA cites Meridian Automotive for clean-air violations

Release Date: 07/13/2006
Contact Information: William Omohundro, (312) 353-8254,

No. 06-OPA114

CHICAGO (July 13, 2006) - U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5 has cited Meridian Automotive Systems for alleged clean-air violations at the company's composite plastic manufacturing plant, 1020 E. Main St., Jackson, Ohio.

EPA alleges that Meridian violated its state permits and state regulations by emitting excessive amounts of styrene, a hazardous air pollutant and a smog-producing volatile organic compound, from January 2001 through May 2006.

"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. Meridian has 30 days from receipt of the notice to meet with EPA to discuss resolving the allegations.

Styrene vapor irritates the eyes, nose and throat. It can also affect the human nervous system causing adverse eye effects. Health effects associated with breathing small amounts in the workplace over long periods of time include alterations in vision and hearing loss.

Volatile organic compounds contribute to the formation of ground-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, 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.

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