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U.S. EPA, GENERAL MOTORS SETTLE CHARGES OF CLEAN AIR VIOLATIONS

U.S. EPA, GENERAL MOTORS SETTLE CHARGES OF CLEAN AIR VIOLATIONS
 SAN FRANCISCO, Aug. 20 /PRNewswire/ -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) and U.S. Attorney for the Central District Lourdes G. Baird today jointly announced an agreement with General Motors Corp. (GM) settling charges that the automaker violated rules governing emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) at its manufacturing facility in Van Nuys, Calif. As part of the agreement, GM will pay a civil penalty of $57,000.
 In a civil complaint filed concurrently with a consent decree in U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, U.S. EPA alleged that GM used paints and primers at its Van Nuys facility that exceeded limits on VOC content set forth in California's clean air plan. California's plan is approved by U.S. EPA under requirements of the federal Clean Air Act.
 "The filing of today's Clean Air Act action is part of our continuing effort to protect the environment," said Baird. "The use of paint containing excess volatile organic compounds in violation of federal law is a significant contributor to air pollution in our area."
 General Motors completed installation of all necessary control equipment at its Van Nuys facility by late 1986, which gave GM the ability to limit the facility's actual VOC emissions to the level permitted by California's clean air plan. However, since GM failed to obtain approval of its alternative emissions control plan, and at times exceeded VOC emissions limits, it remained in violation of California's plan.
 The consent decree establishes an emissions control plan for the Van Nuys facility and requires GM to certify that it is meeting limits on VOC emissions through efficient operation of incineration equipment and other control measures. The decree also provides for stipulated penalties for any violation of its terms.
 The Clean Air Act provisions enforced against GM are intended to protect the public from exposure to ground-level ozone, or smog. Coatings containing excess levels of VOCs emit those compounds into the air, contributing to ozone formation. High ozone concentrations can impair breathing, irritate mucous membranes in the nose and throat, and may have depressive effects on the body's immune system.
 -0- 8/20/92
 /CONTACT: Dave Schmidt of U.S. EPA, 415-744-1578; or Peter Hsiao of U.S. Department of Justice, 213-894-6117/ CO: U.S. EPA; General Motors Corp. ST: California IN: SU:


DG -- SF006 -- 1926 08/20/92 17:13 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Aug 20, 1992
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