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U.S. EPA settles air pollution case with Kerr-McGee in Henderson, Nev.

Release Date: 7/13/2005
Contact Information: Lisa Fasano (415) 947-4307

Facility installs new equipment that reduces air emissions by 80 percent

     SAN FRANCISCO   The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently settled with Kerr McGee Chemical in Henderson, Nev. requiring the company to pay a $55,392 penalty to resolve alleged air permitting violations at its facility that began in 1993.
    The EPA cited Kerr-McGee for failing to install carbon monoxide emissions controls required under the Clean Air Act when it installed a new open hearth furnace in 1993.

    During EPA's investigation, the company spent $4.8 million to install proper pollution controls at the facility reducing total carbon monoxide emissions 115 tons per year -- an 80 percent reduction from previous levels.

     "This settlement, though long in coming, provides significant air quality benefits for Henderson and beyond," said Deborah Jordan, director of the EPA's Air Division for the Pacific Southwest region. "Installing required control equipment was necessary to minimize pollution and protect public health."

    The EPA discovered the violations during a routine records review of Kerr McGee's air emissions permit.  The case was finally settled last month.

    Under the Clean Air Act, the New Source Review program requires any industry to obtain a permit from the state when modifications are made that increase the facility's pollution emissions. These permits help states achieve clean air objectives by limiting the pollution from new or modified sources and requiring pollution credits to offset pollution increases.

    Carbon monoxide enters the bloodstream and reduces oxygen delivery to the body's organs and tissues.  Exposure to elevated levels of carbon monoxide may cause loss of visual perception and manual dexterity, as well as fatigue, chest pains and breathing difficulties.

     Extreme exposures can cause loss of consciousness and even death.  Young children, senior citizens, pregnant women, people with heart disease and people with asthma or other lung problems are especially susceptible to the effects of carbon monoxide pollution.  
    On a separate matter, the EPA is also working with the Kerr McGee facility to reduce perchlorate contamination flowing into Lake Mead via the Las Vegas Wash.
For more information please visit the EPA's Web site at: 
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