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newsrel -- $13 million settlement from Sierra Pacific

Posted: 06 Aug 2007 13:11:49
Please consider the following ARB press release announcing the
recent settlement with Sierra Pacific Industries.  You can
review the release online at:
http://www.arb.ca.gov/newsrel/nr080607.htm .
Thank You
Dimitri Stanich


Release 07-30
August 6, 2007

Dimitri Stanich
(916) 322-2990 

State, local effort collects $13 million from Sierra Pacific

One of largest air pollution settlement cases in California

SACRAMENTO: In one of the Air Resources Board's largest-ever
penalty cases, Sierra Pacific Industries, a lumber company
headquartered in Redding, Calif. recently paid $13 million to
settle allegations of air quality violations at four of the
company's Sierra foothills sites.

The California Air Resources Board, in cooperation with the
California Attorney General and the Placer County Air Pollution
Control District, jointly investigated the alleged violations
against Sierra Pacific, and then filed a civil complaint in
2004. The complaint alleged failure to comply with air pollution
control regulations at some Sierra Pacific sawmills and
wood-fired boilers located in Lincoln, Quincy, Loyalton and
Susanville (now closed).

"The cumulative effects of numerous small, scattered air
violations can compromise air quality just as much as larger,
more visible violations," said ARB Chairman Mary Nichols. "This
settlement should send a clear message to companies throughout
the state that the environmental cops are on the beat."

Among the alleged air quality violations in the civil complaint

    * Falsification of emission reports as a result of operator
tampering with monitoring equipment;
    * Failure to report emissions above allowable limits;
    * Exceeding numerous permit emission limits over several
    * Failure to operate and maintain air pollution control
equipment; and,
    * Discharging soot from the Lincoln facility that caused
nuisances to nearby residences. 

Sierra Pacific has since taken steps to address the problems,
including a $17 million investment in its Lincoln cogeneration
plant to replace a turbine and boiler.

The settlement includes $8.5 million for public agency costs,
fees and penalties, and $4.5 million for programs to benefit air
quality, including facility improvements not otherwise required
and extensive compliance auditing, monitoring and oversight. As
part of the settlement, Sierra Pacific will ensure that all
alleged conditions will not occur in the future.

Ninety percent of Californians breathe unhealthy air during some
part of the year. Assuring compliance with emission regulations
is critical to public health protection and is part of ARB's
overall plan to meet state and federal air quality goals.

Information from the Placer County Air Pollution Control
District can be found here:

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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