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Boise Cascade Corporation Wood Products Clean Air Act Settlement

The U.S. Justice Department and the Environmental Protection Agency announced on March 13, 2002 a comprehensive Clean Air Act (CAA) agreement with wood products industry giant Boise Cascade Corporation that will require reductions of up to 95 percent of the harmful emissions from the company's eight plywood and particle board plants. The plants are located in Oregon, Washington, Louisiana and Idaho.

The United States claims that Boise Cascade has modified and expanded its panel board operations over the past two decades without installing the proper air pollution control equipment to reduce harmful emissions as required by the Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) regulations under the new source review provisions of the federal CAA and state rules. PSD regulations apply in areas where air quality is good and are intended to keep the air in compliance with national air quality standards.

This is the fifth case against a major wood products producer to be settled as part of EPA's wood products initiative, which started in the late 1980s and was the first industry-wide effort to enforce new source review under the CAA. The success of this initiative demonstrates EPA's determination to achieve
nationwide compliance across industry sectors. EPA will continue to investigate CAA compliance at smaller facilities and to work with the states to quickly resolve any uncovered violations.

The new source review program is designed to prevent deterioration of our nation's air quality, requiring newly constructed or modified sources of air pollution, such as electric utilities and wood products factories, to obtain permits and install air pollution control equipment to reduce their emissions prior to construction or modification.

The proposed consent decree is subject to a 30-day public comment period.