Foam Firm Fined $450,000 for Volatile Organic Compound Emissions

The Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Justice, and the South Coast Air Quality Management District announced that Lifoam Industries Inc. will pay $450,000 in fines, claiming the company violated the federal Clean Air Act and state air quality laws at its polystyrene manufacturing facility in Vernon, Calif.

Under the terms of a settlement entered in U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, Lifoam Industries is required to pay the fines and vent all of its manufacturing emissions through an air pollution control device.

According to EPA, Lifoam Industries failed to ensure that the volatile organic compound emissions were less than 2.4 pounds of volatile organic compounds per 100 pounds of raw materials. The South Coast Air Quality Management District, which oversees air regulations in the Los Angeles Air Basin, allows polystyrene foam product manufacturers to meet this federally-enforceable emissions limit by using raw materials that release less volatile organic compounds or through the use of an adequate air pollution control device.

“The effects of illegal air pollution in the Los Angeles basin are insidious, and local residents suffer a disproportionate impact,” said Jared Blumenfeld, EPA’s regional administrator for the Pacific Southwest. “To protect public health and the environment, we will vigilantly track down violators and bring them into compliance.”

“Since Southern California has the worst air pollution in the nation, for the sake of public health we must ensure that all businesses are operating in compliance with air quality regulations and doing their part to help improve our air,” said Barry Wallerstein, executive officer of the South Coast Air Quality Management District.

Lifoam Industries manufactures expanded polystyrene foam products that contain pentane, a volatile organic compound that contributes to ozone pollution, or smog.

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