Ohio AG files lawsuit against Cleveland business for alleged pollution emissions

By Bryan Cohen | Aug 1, 2013

CLEVELAND (Legal Newsline) - Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine announced a lawsuit Wednesday against a manufacturing facility on Cleveland's west side that allegedly produced hazardous air pollution emissions.

NewKor Inc., a facility that produces paper roller tubes, allegedly emits hazardous air pollutants like formaldehyde, phenol and methanol. The pollutants allegedly contribute to strong odors coming from the facility that cause choking, throat irritation and nausea for nearby residents.

"Protecting the health and safety of citizens is a priority when it comes to environmental enforcement," DeWine said. "When residents are experiencing nausea and other noticeable problems because of the businesses they live near, something needs to be done. Our goal is to bring this facility into compliance and to protect residents' health."

Since 2008, the Cleveland Division of Air Quality received complaints about the facility's odors and conducted multiple facility inspections. The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency requested that DeWine's office file a lawsuit after the agency was unable to convince NewKor and Gordon Barr, the company's owner, to correct alleged violations.

The lawsuit alleges that NewKor and Barr knew about the emissions problems but failed to correct them, even after agreeing to administrative orders with the EPA.

DeWine's lawsuit alleges multiple violations of Ohio's air pollution control regulations and nuisance laws. The state seeks compliance with emissions requirements, odor elimination, civil penalties and other costs.

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