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EPA cites Champion for clean-air violations

Release Date: 07/21/2006
Contact Information: William Omohundro, (312) 353-8254,

No. 06-OPA122

CHICAGO (July 21, 2006) - U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5 has cited Champion Packaging and Distribution Inc. for alleged clean-air violations at the company's facility, 1840 Internationale Parkway, Woodridge, Ill.

EPA alleges that Champion built and operated a plant that emits methanol, a volatile organic compound and hazardous air pollutant, without first getting state construction and operating permits.

The company makes a variety of products at the facility, including automotive windshield washer fluid and bleach. Windshield washer fluid contains methanol.

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

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.

Woodridge is located in metropolitan Chicago, which does not meet the national outdoor air quality standard for ground-level ozone.

Short-term exposure to methanol may result in blurry or dim vision as well as damage to the nervous system. Long-term exposure may result in headache, giddiness, insomnia, gastric disturbances, visual disturbances and blindness.

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