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EPA cites Daramic for clean-air violations

Release Date: 4/19/2005
Contact Information:

CONTACT: William Omohundro, (312) 353-8254

For Immediate Release
No. 05-OPA047

CHICAGO (Apr. 19, 2005) — U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5 has cited Daramic LLC for alleged clean-air violations at its battery separator plant at 3430 Cline Road, Corydon, Ind. The plant makes thin plastic sheets for use in lead-acid batteries and other applications.

EPA alleges that Daramic violated its state operating permit by failing to use best available technology to reduce emissions of trichloroethylene, a hazardous volatile organic compound, from its production lines by 95 percent. EPA said Daramic has released hundreds of tons per year of trichloroethylene from the plant.

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

"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."

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.

Hazardous air pollutants may cause serious health effects, including birth defects and cancer. They may also cause harmful environmental and ecological effects.

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