Release 93-7

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                      CONTACT:   Jerry Martin
April 19, 1993                                                                                                      (916) 322-2990
                                                                                                                             www.arb.ca.gov

Air Resources Board and Mendocino County Air Quality Officials
Settle Compliance Complaint with Masonite

        SACRAMENTO - The California Air Resources Board (ARB), the state Attorney General and Mendocino County air pollution officials today announced settlement of a year long lawsuit with Masonite Corporation and International Paper Company of Ukiah, based on air quality rule violations.

        The agreement includes a $250,000 compliance fee paid by Masonite and a pledge by the company to develop and conduct an enhanced air pollution audit program to detect and repair any future air pollution problems. The settlement ends the investigation of Masonite's Ukiah molded door manufacturing line that air quality officials claim was operated for nearly a year without air pollution permits, and which was the source of public complaints. As a part of the enhanced audit program, Masonite agreed to apply for and maintain all appropriate air pollution control permits.

         The ARB filed the complaint because the operation of the door manufacturing facility had caused gross violations of state air quality standards and had triggered numerous public complaints.

        The air quality complaints also charged that Masonite was more than a year late in filing an inventory of toxic compounds either used or stored at its facilities, even though the firm previously had been notified by Mendocino County of its obligation to report that information. Although the use of these toxic compounds is not illegal, state law requires that companies disclose their presence. The ARB believed that failure to do so was a serious breach of a disclosure law that gave Masonite an unfair business advantage over its complying competitors.

        Masonite's deadline for informing local officials of its toxic inventory was August 1989; it submitted that information in November 1990.

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