Johnson Crushers International, a construction equipment manufacturer based in Eugene, Oregon, released air pollutants into the environment in excess of federal limits, according to a settlement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Department of Justice. The company has agreed to pay a $147,788 fine for the Clean Air Act violations, as well as $27,212 in past permit fees.
"Under this settlement, Johnson Crushers International will achieve compliance with the Clean Air Act and reduce harmful emissions," said Amanda Marshall, United States Attorney for the District of Oregon. "This marks another positive step in our efforts, along with EPA and local authorities, to improve our environment."
"Air pollution creates respiratory problems for people and degrades air quality," said Ed Kowalski, Director of the Office of Compliance and Enforcement in EPA's Seattle office. "Companies must report air pollutant emissions and abide by permit limits to protect the air we breathe."
The company emitted xylene in excess of the National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants for operations that apply coatings such as paint to metal products. They also failed to obtain an air operating permit and avoided paying permit fees. Xylene is a hazardous chemical that can damage the eyes, skin, blood, liver, and kidneys as well as the respiratory, nervous and gastrointestinal systems.
EPA and Lane Regional Air Protection Agency inspectors identified the violations, which occurred between 2004 and 2009.
For more information on the Clean Air Act, visit http://www.epa.gov/air/caa/ .