FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                         ENR
THURSDAY, JULY 18, 1996                            (202) 616-2765
                                               TDD (202) 514-1888


      GEORGIA-PACIFIC AGREES TO SPEND MORE THAN $35 MILLION
            TO SETTLE ALLEGED CLEAN AIR ACT VIOLATIONS


     WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Georgia-Pacific Corporation will spend 
more than $35 million to settle a major environmental suit alleging
it failed to control the amount of pollution it poured into the air
at its wood product factories in 8 southeastern states, under an
agreement reached today with the Justice Department and the
Environmental Protection Agency.
     Under the settlement, filed today in U.S. District Court in
Atlanta, the company will install pollution controls at 11 of its
plants where wood products are made.  The controls will reduce
pollution emissions by an estimated 10 million pounds per year.
     Today's settlement affects more facilities than any other case
ever brought under a provision of the Clean Air Act, which is
designed to ensure that air quality does not deteriorate in areas
of the country that have been deemed to have clean air.  Under the
provision, companies in these designated areas must obtain permits
before building new plants or modifying old ones. 
     The facilities where the violations occurred are located in
Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina,
South Carolina and Virginia.
     "By limiting the amount of pollution, this agreement will help
protect the environment and health of people for hundreds of miles
around these plants," said Attorney General Janet Reno. 
     "Today's settlement fulfills the commitment we made in 1993 to
protect public health from excessive air pollution from wood
products plants," said EPA Administrator Carol Browner.  "This
action alone will reduce ozone-forming emissions from many of these
plants by at least 90 percent, or 10 million pounds of harmful air
pollution per year--a major step in ensuring that Americans have
cleaner, healthier air to breathe."
     In a complaint, filed together with the agreement, the Justice
Department alleged that the company failed to obtain permits before
modifying 18 of its wood processing facilities, as required under
the Act.  
     It further alleged, on behalf of the Environmental Protection
Agency (EPA), that the company did not accurately report the amount
of volatile organic compounds (VOC's) that it emitted into the air
and neglected to install pollution control technology at 11 of its
facilities.
     Today's agreement requires Georgia-Pacific, one of the largest
producers of engineered wood products, to:
    spend $25 million installing state-of-the-art pollution
     control technology at 11 of its wood product facilities and
     obtaining appropriate state permits for all other facilities;

    pay a $6 million fine to the U.S. treasury;

    spend $4.25 million on projects in the southeast that will
     benefit the environment; and,

    conduct comprehensive clean air audits at all its wood product
     plants and pay stipulated penalties if it does not comply with
     emission limits.

     EPA estimates that the pollution controls will reduce air
emissions significantly, and by 90% at many facilities.  It will
reduce by 10 million pounds per year, the amount of VOCs which are
produced by the dryers that dry the wood at the facilities.
     "Today's agreement makes clear that companies that pollute our
air will have to come into compliance in order to protect public
health and will have to pay a stiff penalty," said Lois J.
Schiffer, Assistant Attorney General for the Environment and
Natural Resources Division.  "The technology to control this
pollutant is not new and Georgia-Pacific is doing the right thing
now by agreeing to the install those controls."
     Ozone-forming VOCs can lead to breathing problems, reduced
lung function, asthma, eye irritation, reduced resistance to colds
and other infections, and may speed up aging of lung tissue,
especially for the young, the elderly, and people with existing
respiratory problems.  These pollutants also cause damage to plant
life by reducing crop yields and impeding plant growth.
     "Today's action sends a signal that we will attack national
problems on all fronts," said Kent Alexander, U.S. Attorney in
Atlanta.  "Pollution does not respect state boundaries.  While the
company's headquarters are in Atlanta, its problems were national
in scope."
     In 1993, EPA reached a similar settlement with Louisiana-
Pacific for 11 facilities and began an initiative to bring the wood
products industry into compliance with the Clean Air Act.
     "This is an important national settlement of an action against
a company that operates in the national arena," said Steve Herman,
Assistant Administrator for Enforcement and Compliance Assurance of
EPA, "It demonstrates the necessity of EPA's national enforcement
abilities as no single state could have brought this entire company
into compliance through its own action.  We have just taken a big
step in leveling the playing field amongst the states and leveling
the playing field within this industry."
     The agreement will now be put out for a 30-day public comment
period.
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