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Sierra Pacific Industries

Anderson, CA: (Jun-26-07) The Office of the California Attorney General, the Air Resources Board, and the Placer County Air Pollution Control District brought charges against Sierra Pacific Industries (SPI), alleging violations of air permits that began in 2001. The dispute arose over the misconduct of SPI employees who manipulated air emissions monitoring equipment at a boiler that generates electricity by burning wood waste in Lincoln, California. The practice was discovered in March 2001, by SPI management who immediately stopped and reported it to local, state and federal officials.

Employees who operated the boiler at the Lincoln plant had falsified air pollution monitoring system readings, hiding air quality violations from company management and government regulators. SPI immediately reported this activity to the Placer County Air Pollution Control District, as well as state and federal agencies, as required under state and federal self-reporting procedures. Due to Sierra reporting its violations, federal regulators decided to forego criminal or civil action, though the state and Placer County chose to pursue civil charges against the company arising out of boiler operations at the Lincoln power plant and three other power plants operated by the company in Susanville, Quincy, and Loyalton.

In a settlement reached, $10,000 was paid as fines to the Northern Sierra Air District for alleged violations for Quincy and Loyalton. The alleged violations at Susanville were settled with the Lassen Air District for a $40,000 contribution by the company to the District's wood stove replacement program. [BUSINESS WIRE: EMISSION MANIPULATION]

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Published on Jul-1-07


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