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Pittsfield printer to pay $385k for clean air violations

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Press release from the issuing company

Boston – A printing company in Pittsfield has agreed to pay a penalty of $80,000 and to spend $305,000 to replace old, polluting wood stoves in western Massachusetts with new, cleaner models to settle claims by the US 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 counter tops, flooring, furniture, and store fixtures. In the printing process, Interprint uses large amounts of inks that contain volatile organic compounds and hazardous air pollutants.

Interprint built a new printing facility in Pittsfield in 2004 without applying for a permit 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.

Interprint began operating in Pittsfield in 1988 at 125 Pecks Road. In May 2004, the company began construction of its new facility at 101 Central Berkshire Boulevard. The Pittsfield location is Interprint's only U.S. facility.

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

The consent decree, lodged in the U.S. District Court, will be subject to a 30-day public comment period and approval by the federal court. Once it is published in the Federal Register, a copy of the consent decree will be available on the Justice Department Web site at http://www.usdoj.gov/enrd/Consent_Decrees.html.


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