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EPA, DOJ, Maricopa County fine Phoenix company $175,000 for emitting VOCs into air

Release Date: 08/20/2007
Contact Information: Francisco Arcaute 213-244-1815

SAN FRANCISCO -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Department of Justice and the Maricopa County Air Quality Department today fined a Phoenix expanded-polystyrene foam manufacturer $175,000 for releasing excess emissions into the air.

Henry Products Inc., located at 302 S. 23rd Ave., installed a new polystyrene foam pre-expander that increased the concentration of its volatile organic compound emissions. With the new equipment, the facility could not safely operate its VOC emissions control device and vented VOCs directly into the air.

Today’s action was taken shortly after discovering the venting. As part of the action the facility has installed a state of the art emissions capture and control device to reduce 95 percent of its VOC emissions.

“It is important that Henry Products follow the law and operate proper VOC emissions controls to prevent smog-forming emissions from entering the atmosphere,” said Deborah Jordan, director of the EPA’s Air Division for the Pacific Southwest region. “Today's action will improve air quality by substantially reducing emissions of smog-forming chemicals.”

“Today’s announcement solidifies the commitment of Maricopa County and the EPA to hold polluters accountable and clean up the air we breathe,” said Bob Kard, director of the Maricopa County Air Quality Department.

In February 2004 the EPA and Maricopa County jointly inspected the facility and found the violations. In June 2004, when the facility refused to come into compliance, the EPA ordered Henry Products to submit engineering plans for permanent air pollution control by the end of the month. The company failed to comply, and the case was referred to the U.S. Department of Justice in July 2004. Thereafter, Henry Products designed, installed and tested its new emission control device and obtained a revised permit from the Maricopa County Air Quality Department.

The company’s manufacturing process produces VOCs, that in the presence of sunlight, react with nitrogen oxide to create ground-level ozone, or smog. Emissions from industrial facilities such as Henry Products, as well as electric utilities, motor vehicle exhaust, gasoline vapors and chemical solvents, are some of the major sources of poor air quality.

For more information about VOCs and smog visit: or for more information about the EPA's enforcement programs, visit:

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