Environmental Protection

In Addition to $80,000 Penalty, Printing Company Will Pay $305,000 to Help Replace Homeowners’ Polluting Wood Stoves

A printing company in Pittsfield, Mass., has agreed to pay a penalty of $80,000 and to spend $305,000 to help homeowners replace old wood stoves with cleaner models in order to settle claims that it violated the federal Clean Air Act.

A printing company in Pittsfield, Mass., has agreed to pay a penalty of $80,000 and to spend $305,000 to help homeowners replace old, polluting wood stoves with new, cleaner models in order to settle claims by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that it violated the federal Clean Air Act.

Interprint Inc., which is owned by a German company, has agreed to help homeowners replace their wood stoves with EPA-certified wood stoves or other cleaner, more efficient home heating equipment such as gas or propane heaters. Interprint will provide a voucher – typically for $1,000 per household – as an incentive to replace pre-1988 woodstoves. Pre-1988 woodstoves are a significant source of indoor and outdoor air pollution. A new wood stove installation costs about $3,000.

“The Pittsfield area will benefit from this wood stove change-out project,” said Curt Spalding, regional administrator of EPA’s New England regional office. “Homeowners will get help with buying new wood stoves, which will burn cleaner and more efficiently. This project will create green jobs, reduce fuel consumption, and improve air quality in communities by reducing the harmful pollutants that come from wood smoke.”

Interprint designs and prints decor paper used as the design layer in laminate surfaces such as countertops, flooring, furniture, and store fixtures. In the printing process, Interprint uses large amounts of inks that contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and hazardous air pollutants.

Interprint built a new printing facility in Pittsfield in 2004 without applying for a permit as required under the Clean Air Act’s new source review provisions. In addition, Interprint began operating the new facility in 2005 without complying with new source review requirements for VOC emissions, Title V operating permit requirements, and the National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants for Printing and Publishing Facilities.

The consent decree, lodged in federal court and requiring approval by the court, requires the company to come into compliance with the Clean Air Act by getting the proper permits and significantly reducing its VOC and hazardous air pollutant emissions. Interprint has reformulated its inks to reduce VOC and hazardous air pollutant content, and has demonstrated that its new inks provide emissions reductions equivalent to those achieved through stringent add-on controls. As a result, Interprint’s new formulations represent the lowest achievable emission reductions.

The EPA action grew out of a joint EPA and state DEP inspection of the facility in July 2007.

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