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Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Cleveland Air: Cooper Tire Broke Rules, Coughs Up $$$$

CLEVELAND (TDB) -- An automobile parts plant on Cleveland's west side continued operating after its Ohio EPA air-pollution permit expired and failed to submit "a timely and complete permit renewal application," state officials say. Cooper Tire and Rubber Company and Cooper-Standard Automotive Inc., owned the factory at the time of the violations and have agreed to a $30,000 penalty.

The factory, at 2130 West 110th Street, made plastic exterior body moldings for auto manufacturers. State officials said numerous pieces of equipment were operated in the plant that emitted pollutants into the air. The violations took place before 2005, when another company assumed ownership of the plant, state officials said. Cooper Tire is based in Findlay, Ohio. Cooper-Standard is from Novi, Mich.

Some $6,000 of the Clean Air fine is going into a program that aids Ohio school districts in equipping their diesel bus fleets with pollution controls that lessen noxious emissions. The money also is used to switch school buses to burn cleaner fuels. EPA expects to put about $1 million into the school bus fund from Clean Air Act violations. It started the fund last year.

Full legal details are available about the financial settlement with Cooper. State officials noted: "The violations were documented by the Cleveland Division of Air Quality, Ohio EPA's contractural representative for air-pollution issues in Cuyahoga County."

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