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newsrel -- Lawson Products settles air quality violations with $126,000

Posted: 06 Jul 2012 11:29:06
Consumer products manufacturer self-reports violations; steps up
to rectify problems
. 

Release #:12-30
Date:07/06/2012

ARB PIO: (916) 322-2990

CONTACT:
Dimitri Stanich
916-322-2825
dstanich@arb.ca.gov


Lawson Products settles air quality violations with $126,000

Consumer products manufacturer self-reports violations; steps up
to rectify problems

SACRAMENTO - The Air Resources Board today accepted $126,000 from
Lawson Products to settle clean-air violations caused by the
company’s sales of consumer products that exceeded the legal
limits of smog-causing and toxic air contaminants.

Lawson discovered the non-compliant products during an internal
-audit in 2009, reported the infractions to the ARB, and worked
with the state agency to assure no other violations would occur.

“While the illegal emissions are regrettable, the efforts made by
Lawson to fix the problems are commendable,” said ARB Enforcement
Chief Jim Ryden. “We took the company’s forthright behavior into
account in assessing the final settlement.”

In the 2009 audit Lawson, which is based in Chicago, discovered
several products they sold in California did not comply with
state clean air regulations for so-called volatile organic
compounds and toxic air contaminants. Lawson supplies chemical,
automotive and specialty coating products for commercial,
institutional, and maintenance, repair and operations customers.
Further examination coordinated with the ARB revealed more
violations. Because the company reported the issues to the ARB,
however, the penalty was significantly reduced.

State regulations limit use of volatile organic compounds because
when mixed with other pollutants and exposed to sunlight they can
create ozone and particulate matter, the main ingredients of
smog. Both ozone and particulate matter are a health threat
exacerbating cardiopulmonary diseases.

Toxic air contaminants are compounds recognized by the state as
causing or contributing to an increase in deaths or serious
illnesses, or posing hazards to human health. Health effects
occur at extremely low amounts and it is typically difficult to
identify levels which do not produce adverse health effects. For
this reason these compounds are banned from use in consumer
products.

ARB reduces emissions of volatile organic compounds and toxic air
contaminants from the widest possible range of sources in order
to comply with the federal Clean Air Act.

To date, ARB consumer-product regulations have eliminated 225
tons per day of volatile organic compound emissions compared to
1990 levels. However, ARB estimates that emissions from consumer
products continue to produce 245 tons per day, about 12 percent
of the state’s total burden of these smog-forming compounds.

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.

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.

Office of Communications 1001 I Street, Sacramento CA 95814. Ph:
(916) 322-2990

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