Bryan Cohen Feb. 4, 2013, 5:48pm

CHICAGO (Legal Newsline) - Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced a consent decree Thursday with H. Kramer and Co. to resolve allegations of pollution regulation violations.

The settlement resolves allegations that H. Kramer failed to maintain and operate furnaces at its copper smelting foundry in Chicago's Pilsen neighborhood in a manner that controls emissions of lead. The company also allegedly violated the Illinois State Implementation Plan by allowing or causing releases of lead into the air, contributed to air pollution and created danger to the environment and public.

On November 22, 2011, the EPA announced that air quality in part of the Pilsen neighborhood exceeded the national air quality standard for lead.

"This settlement will help to dramatically reduce harmful pollution levels in the Pilsen neighborhood and to improve overall air quality in the surrounding community," Madigan said.

Under the terms of the settlement, H. Kramer will spend $3 million on new pollution controls for the foundry, pay a $35,000 penalty, provide $40,000 to retrofit diesel school buses in the area with controls to reduce air emissions, install new filters and other controls on two furnaces to reduce emissions and continue to limit production of two lead alloys until the equipment is installed.

The proposed settlement is subject to a 30-day comment period and final court approval.

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