CHICAGO (Legal Newsline) - A consent decree has been signed between H. Kramer and Co., the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the state of Illinois to resolve violations of the Clean Air Act and state air pollution violations.

H. Kramer will spend $3 million on state-of-the-art pollution controls, $35,000 for a penalty fee, and provide $40,000 to retrofit diesel school busses operating in the neighborhood and surrounding areas with controls to reduce air emissions, according to the terms of the settlement announced Jan 31.

Violations occurred at the firm's copper smelting foundry in the Pilsen neighborhood of southwest Chicago, where air quality has been deemed exceedingly high according to the national air quality standard for lead and the EPA.

Allegedly, H. Kramer violated the Illinois State Implementation Plan by causing or allowing releases of lead into the air.

Illinois also claims H. Kramer's activities at the foundry resulted in lead emissions that caused or contributed to air pollution and creating danger for the public and the environment.

H. Kramer is required under the consent decree to install new filters and other controls on two furnaces to reduce emissions. The company must limit production of two lead alloys until the new equipment is operational.

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

The proposed settlement is subject to a 30-day comment period and final court approval in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.
Documents related to this case are available on EPA's website:

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