$13 Million in Fines Paid by Sierra Pacific Industries

This page finalized August 8, 2007


In late June, 2007, the California Air Resources Board, the Placer County Air Pollution Control District, and the California Attorney General reached a nearly $13 million civil settlement of a jointly prosecuted air pollution enforcement case against Sierra Pacific Industries (SPI), a timber operations company and California’s largest private landowner. SPI, headquartered in Anderson, agreed to settle a civil complaint brought in 2004 alleging numerous violations of air pollution regulations. The complaints alleged that SPI operated sawmills and wood-fired boilers at their Lincoln, Quincy, Loyalton, and Susanville (now closed) facilities in violation of their air pollution control permits. Among the alleged air quality violations in the civil complaint were: falsification of emission reports as a result of operator tampering with monitoring equipment; failure to report emission exceedences and exceeding permit emission limits on a multitude of occasions over several years; failure to operate and maintain air pollution control equipment; and discharging soot from the Lincoln facility that caused nuisances to nearby residences. The settlement includes approximately $8.5 million in penalties and public agency costs and fees. SPI will also spend $4.5 million for projects to enhance future compliance of their operations in California or to benefit air quality. As part of the settlement, SPI will ensure that all conditions alleged in the complaints do not occur in the future.

Case Settlements