Release 92-15

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                             CONTACT:            Jerry Martin
November 17, 1992                                                                                             (916) 322-2990

State and Local Air Quality Officials Reach Settlement Over Emissions Violations

SACRAMENTO - The Air Resources Board (ARB), part of the state's Cal/EPA, and the Imperial County District Attorney have reached a $125,000 settlement with a local resource recovery for violations of local air quality rules.

        Imperial Resource Recovery Associates (IRRA) agreed to the settlement for permit violations at their electrical power generating facility in the City of Imperial that were uncovered during an ARB audit of the Imperial County Air Pollution Control District last March. In light of the current economic conditions, the settlement will be paid in 10 monthly installments to ease the financial burden on IRRA.

        The ARB inspected the plant, which burns agricultural waste to generate electrical power, as a routine part of the audit but found the violations that led to excessive nitrogen oxide emissions. The facility also violated emission limits for sulfur oxide and for the density of smoke plumes, largely because of the poor operation of its fuel handling and storage operations.

        The facility was also cited for inaccurate operation of an in-stack monitor.

        The settlement is the third in recent weeks between the ARB and local Imperial County officials over excessive air pollution emissions. Earlier this month, the ARB and Imperial County District Attorney reached enforcement settlements with American Girl Mining Company, Winterhaven for $75,000 and Ryerson Concrete of El Centro for $8,000, the first such settlements ever in the county for violations of air pollution laws.

        The Air Resources Board is a department of the California Environmental Protection Agency. ARB's mission is to promote and protect public health, welfare, and ecological resources through effective reduction of air pollutants while recognizing and considering effects on the economy. The ARB oversees all air pollution control efforts in California to attain and maintain health based air quality standards.

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