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WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Department of Justice and Environmental Protection Agency today announced a settlement that resolves federal Clean Air Act and other environmental claims against True Manufacturing Co., a maker of commercial refrigeration equipment in O'Fallon, Mo., near St. Louis.

True has agreed to reduce its emissions of ozone-causing volatile organic compounds (VOCs) by more than 94 tons per year after settling a Clean Air Act civil complaint. The reductions include more than 44 tons per year of hazardous air pollutants that can be harmful by themselves. The company has also agreed to pay a $1.5 million fine and to spend some $1.9 million on supplemental environmental projects designed to reduce VOC emissions from its plant. True will be reducing emissions even more than required by law and regulations.

Assistant Attorney General Thomas L. Sansonetti said, “This case addresses VOC emissions, which pose a danger to the ozone layer of earth's atmosphere. It also demonstrates that EPA and DOJ will pursue Clean Air Act violators and require them to reduce harmful emissions.”

The settlement resolves a lawsuit filed by DOJ on behalf of EPA. EPA Region 7 Administrator Jim Gulliford, in Kansas City, Kan., said, “This settlement will help give residents of the O'Fallon area cleaner, healthier air to breathe.”

Scientific evidence indicates that certain levels of ozone not only affect people with impaired respiratory systems, such as asthmatics, but healthy adults and children as well. Ozone is responsible for several billion dollars of agricultural crop yield loss each year in the United States alone.

True will replace all of its solvent-based ink presses with presses that use ultraviolet light to cure ink, install three silk-screen cleaning machines that are enclosed systems with solvent recovery, and install a water filtration system. The company's silk screening operation uses large amounts of VOCs, which combine with nitrogen oxides to create ground-level ozone that harms human health and the environment.

The lawsuit alleges that True failed to obtain permits and install controls required by the Missouri State Implementation Plan. The plan, devised by the state and approved by EPA, is designed to ensure that the state meets federal air quality standards. O'Fallon is in the St. Louis area, which was designated an ozone non-attainment area at the time that True installed and operated the equipment.

The settlement, lodged today in the U.S. District Court in St. Louis, also resolves violations self-disclosed by True according to EPA's Self-Disclosure Policy.

True self-disclosed violations of the Federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act and the federal Clean Water Act at its O'Fallon plant. The company must complete an integrated contingency plan for the plant as part of the settlement. It must include a hazardous waste contingency plan and an Occupational Safety and Health Plan. It must also include a storm water pollution prevention plan and a spill prevention control and countermeasure plan under the Clean Water Act.