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EPA reaches agreement with Koppers

Release Date: 04/07/2006
Contact Information: William Omohundro, (312) 353-8254,


CHICAGO (Friday, April 7, 2006) - U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5 has reached an agreement with Koppers Inc. on alleged clean-air violations at the company's chemical manufacturing plant at 3900 S. Laramie Ave., Stickney, Ill.

The agreement, which includes a $138,000 environmental project and an $80,000 penalty, resolves EPA allegations that Koppers violated leak detection, monitoring and reporting regulations for hazardous air pollutants.

"For its environmental project, Koppers has agreed to carry out a three-year enhanced monitoring, repair and prevention program that will reduce emissions of ortho-xylene, a volatile organic compound and hazardous air pollutant," said Regional Administrator Thomas V. Skinner.

Volatile organic compounds contribute to the formation of ground-level ozone or smog. Smog is formed when a mixture of air pollutants is baked in the hot summer sun. Smog can cause a variety of respiratory problems, including coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath and chest pain. People with asthma, children and the elderly are especially at risk, but these health concerns are important to everyone.

Long-term inhalation of xylenes can cause headache, dizziness, fatigue tremors and lack of coordination. Short-term inhalation can irritate the nose and throat and cause nausea, vomiting and gastric irritation.

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