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EPA ANNOUNCES MAJOR SETTLEMENT WITH LOUISIANA PACIFIC FACILITIES IN CENTER, GA., AND CLAYTON, ALA., FOR VIOLATIONS OF THE CLEAN AIR ACT

 ATLANTA, May 24 /PRNewswire/ -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region IV announced today the settlement of enforcement actions against Louisiana Pacific (NYSE: LPX) (LP) facilities in Center, Jackson County, Ga., and Clayton, Ala., for violations of the Clean Air Act.
 Today's announcement is part of a national enforcement settlement that totals $11.1 million in fines and requires the installation of state-of-the-art pollution control equipment valued at approximately $70 million at 11 of Louisiana Pacific's facilities located in nine states. This action will mean significant emission reductions of carbon monoxide, volatile organic compounds and particulate matter resulting in cleaner air in regions where the facilities are located.
 The $3.33 million settlement with the Clayton, Ala., facility represents the largest penalty for any of the LP facilities listed in the settlement. A penalty was not assessed for the Center, Ga., facility because the state had reached a settlement with the company prior to EPA's action. However, the installation of additional pollution control equipment is also required at the facility.
 "This enforcement action demonstrates the agency's commitment to ensuring compliance with environmental laws," said Patrick Tobin, acting EPA regional administrator. "This case also is an outstanding example of cooperation and coordination between the Alabama Department of Environmental Management, the Georgia Environmental Protection Division and the EPA Region IV office."
 Louisiana Pacific is a Portland, Ore.-based corporation whose primary business is the manufacture of wood products. The company is the largest manufacturer of oriented strandboard (OSB), a plywood substitute, in the country. The Clayton, Ala., and the Center, Ga., facilities are owned and operated by the company's Southern Division which has its central office in Conroe, Texas.
 Both facilities were cited for failing to comply with permitting procedures of the air quality requirements of the Clean Air Act which ensure that air quality is not degraded in areas where national air quality standards are being met. Additionally, the case a violated State Implementation Plans (SIPs) of Alabama and Georgia. The states' SIPs incorporate by reference federal regulations which require sources which emit or have the potential to emit 250 tons per year or more of any regulated pollutant to obtain a permit before beginning construction.
 The Center, Ga., facility produces OSB or waferwood, a plywood substitute product made of resinated wood chips or "wafers" which are compressed into boards. Oriented strandboard facilities, such as the Center, Ga., facility, contain air pollution sources which emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs), particulate matter, carbon monoxide, and nitrogen oxides. This facility was cited because it failed to obtain a Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) permit prior to building the OSB facility and failed to accurately indicate the potential emissions of volatile organic compounds from the dryers and press vents. This is in violation of the general air permitting requirements contained in the federally enforceable state regulations.
 The Clayton plant currently manufactures medium density fiberboard (MDF), which is a plywood substitute product that is produced by coating wood fibers with resins and applying heat and pressure until fibers are bonded together forming a uniform sheet. This facility was cited because it failed to obtain a PSD permit prior to making major modifications which had the potential to increase emissions of regulated pollutants by significant amounts. The facility also failed to accurately indicate potential emissions in its 1979 and 1987 construction permit applications.
 Both facilities have agreed to, among other things, apply for either a revised operating permit or for a PSD permit, install enhanced monitoring equipment, conduct environmental audits of the facility's management and Clean Air Act compliance status, and install state-of- the-art pollution control equipment.
 -0- 5/24/93
 /CONTACT: Carl Terry, press office of the United States Environmental Protection Agency, 404-347-3004/
 (LPX)


CO: United States Environmental Protection Agency; Louisiana Pacific ST: Georgia, Alabama IN: ENV PAP SU: EXE

BR-BN -- AT011 -- 1885 05/24/93 17:33 EDT
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Date:May 24, 1993
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