Ford Motor Co. will pay a $1.1 million penalty and conduct an environmental project expected to cost more than $12 million for alleged violations of the Clean Air Act.
The agreement was reached with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ).
Ford failed to comply with permit requirement and emission limits for volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which is a precursor of ground-level ozone, at three of its Detroit-area assembly plants.
As a result, Ford must pay one-third of the $1.1 million penalty to the United States, one-third to the Michigan general fund, and one-third to Wayne County.
The consent decree incorporates Ford''s plan to close its existing Dearborn Assembly plant by Oct. 31 and move its assembly operation to a new plant being built next to the existing plant.
In addition, at its Wayne Assembly and Michigan Truck Assembly plants, Ford undertook actions necessary to comply with air regulations, including obtaining the required permits and installing air pollution control equipment.
As its next environmental project, Ford will install a waterborne primer system at the new Dearborn Assembly plant that will replace a previously permitted solvent-based primer system in the guidecoat booth.
The waterborne primer solvent-based system will significantly cut VOC emissions at the new Dearborn Assembly plant.
Ford has also agreed to take lower VOC emission limits in its permit for the new Dearborn Assembly plant.
This will be one of the first high volume light duty truck facilities in the United States to use waterborne primer.
by Virginia Sutcliffe