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EPA Reaches Agreement with Carrollton-Based Industry to Reduce Hazardous Air Emissions

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reached a settlement agreement with Decostar Industries, Inc. (Decostar) to address violations of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act. Under the terms of the settlement, Decostar will take steps to control levels of hazardous air emissions from their facility in Carrollton, Ga., in order to protect workers and the surrounding community and improve overall air quality. As part of the settlement, Decostar will implement a leak detection and repair program, perform a supplemental environmental project valued at over $2.7 million, and pay a $377,900 civil penalty.

“I’m pleased to announce that through this agreement, Decostar is making improvements that will reduce hazardous air emissions at its Carrolton facility,” said EPA Region 4 Administrator Trey Glenn. “These improvements will protect the health of workers and improve air quality in the surrounding area.”

Additional Information

The injunctive relief addresses specific violations at the facility concerning leak detection and repair by instituting a program to ensure compliance. Aspects of the program involve specifying the roles and responsibilities of all employees and contractor personnel assigned to monitoring; a tracking program or system that ensures new pieces of equipment added to the facility are integrated into the equipment program; and removing pieces of equipment that are taken out of service from the program.

In addition, Decostar will implement a Supplemental Environmental Project (SEP). The SEP includes the replacement of existing robots and paint applicators with devices that increase transfer efficiency. This project is expected to reduce hazardous waste generated at the facility by 4,130 pounds per year, hazardous air pollution emissions by 1,385 pounds per year and emissions of volatile organic compounds by 1,972 pounds per year.
Overview of Company

Decostar manufactures parts for automobile manufacturers, including, but not limited to, Nissan, BMW, Hyundai, and EZ Go. The facility is located in Carrollton, Georgia. Decostar has operated at this location since 2003.

Violations

On May 26, 2016, Region 4 EPA and the State of Georgia conducted a RCRA Compliance Evaluation Inspection at the facility, as part of the Organic Air Emissions National Enforcement Initiative. Numerous generator violations were noted during the inspection including RCRA Organic Air Emission violations (RCRA Subparts BB and CC); failure to conduct inspections; failure to maintain and operate the facility to prevent a release; failure to provide required training; and failure to establish and maintain emergency preparedness and prevention procedures. Specific violations of Subpart CC were: failure to properly and/or adequately determine the level of air emission controls; failure to design and install the fixed roof and or closure device; failure to properly monitor hazardous waste for leaks; failure to make repairs within 5 days; and failure to maintain records on tank defects and repairs taken.

Injunctive Relief

Decostar took proactive steps to repair Subpart CC violations while the settlement was negotiated, requiring no further injunctive relief for that area of the regulations.  Within sixty days after the Effective Date of the Order, Decostar will develop a “BB Equipment Program” document that ensures the company will meet the requirements of Subpart BB in its ongoing operations, including cataloging all regulated equipment, monitoring and recordkeeping activities, a tracking program and implementation plan.

Pollutant Impacts

In addition to stopping the emissions from leaking equipment at the facility, the Supplemental Environmental Project (SEP) to be completed by the company provides for environmental and pollution prevention benefits of 4,130-pound reductions in annual hazardous waste generation; 1,385-pound reductions in annual hazardous air pollution emissions; and 1,972-pound reductions in annual volatile organic emissions.

Health Effects and Environmental Benefits

The facility quickly and proactively eliminated volatile organic emissions detected during the inspection. Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) play a major role in the atmospheric reactions that produce ozone, which is the primary constituent of smog. People with lung disease, children, older adults, and people who are active can be affected when ozone levels are unhealthy. Ground-level ozone exposure is linked to a variety of short-term health problems, including lung irritation and difficulty breathing, as well as long-term problems, such as permanent lung damage from repeated exposure, aggravated asthma, reduced lung capacity, and increased susceptibility to respiratory illnesses such as pneumonia and bronchitis.

Civil Penalty

The CAFO includes a penalty of $377,900 with the remaining penalty amount mitigated by an equipment upgrade SEP valued at over $2.7 million. The SEP includes the replacement of existing robots and paint applicators with devices that increase transfer efficiency.

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