Oregon Door Co., based in Dillard, Ore., settled violations of federal air laws and reporting regulations, according to a settlement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. Department of Justice. The violations were associated with the company’s emissions and reporting of toluene, a solvent for paints and stains. Toluene is a hazardous air pollutant and its release is regulated under the Clean Air Act and the Emergency Planning and Community Right-To-Know Act.
“Companies that use chemicals have to abide by emissions limits and report chemical usage,” says Scott Downey, manager of the Air Compliance Unit at the EPA Seattle office. “Permit limits control what we’re putting in our air, and reporting chemicals is crucial to having accurate numbers about chemical usage across the country.”
An EPA investigation found that between 2005 and 2009, the company repeatedly exceeded emissions of toluene as allowed by state and federal air regulations. The company emitted more than 18,000 pounds of toluene per year, exceeding the limit set by its air contaminant discharge permit. As a major source of hazardous air pollutants, the company was also required to obtain a Clean Air Act Title V permit, which it did not have, according to the EPA.
In addition, the company failed to report its 2007 toluene emissions to the Toxics Release Inventory. Toluene has known health impacts on the human nervous system, kidneys, liver and heart.
Oregon Door Co. released a statement to DWM magazine saying it received an inquiry from the EPA in 2011. Oregon Door Co. cooperated fully with the EPA in response to the inquiry which resulted in the issuance of a Notice of Violation in March of 2012.
“Oregon Door Co. immediately began taking corrective action based on the specifics of that Notice of Violation. Oregon Door Co. and U.S. Department of Justice ultimately entered into a consent decree regarding the violations to memorialize the fixes that Oregon Door had implemented and to impose an agreed upon penalty,” reads the statement.
The company further states that it is currently operating in full compliance with the conditions of that consent decree and will continue to do so.
The company took steps to correct the violations, according to the EPA, and paid a $50,000 fine.