Ford to Pay $1.4 M Penalty for Not Upgrading Equipment

Ford Motor Co., has agreed to pay a $1.4 million penalty for failing to upgrade pollution control equipment at its Cleveland Casting Plant in Brook Park, Ohio. In addition, the company will continue decommissioning some of the facility's pollution-generating equipment in preparation for the plant's planned closure in 2010.

The settlement was reached with Ohio EPA and the Cleveland Division of Air Quality (Ohio EPA's contractual representative for air pollution issues in Cuyahoga County) after Ford suspended construction and installation of a multimillion-dollar furnace system. In 2007, the company announced plans to close the plant and halted work on two new cupola furnaces and supporting emissions' controls that were needed to comply with air pollution control regulations.

"While the settlement allows Ford to gradually wrap up operations without the enhanced pollution control equipment, overall emissions from the facility have decreased in recent years and will continue to drop as the company shuts down additional furnaces, core lines, and other casting equipment," said Ohio EPA Director Chris Korleski. "This agreement will ultimately resolve all outstanding permitting issues, provide for an orderly end to operations, and eliminate all emissions by the end of 2010."

The furnace system would have further reduced the plant's particulate emissions, including manganese. Even without the new equipment, an air emissions analysis indicates the amount of manganese released prior to the plant's shutdown is expected to be well within federal guidelines and not pose a potential public health threat.

The settlement dedicates $280,000 of the civil penalty to Ohio EPA's Clean Diesel School Bus Program. The balance of the penalty will help support the Ohio Environmental Education Fund and state and local air pollution control programs.

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