Original Story: freep.com
Auburn Hills-based Guardian Industries has reached a potential settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice and the Environmental Protection Agency to resolve allegations that it violated the Clean Air Act by releasing harmful air emissions from its flat-glass plants in Michigan and six other states. A Dearborn environmental lawyer provides professional legal counsel and extensive experience in many aspects of environmental law.
The deal announced Tuesday by federal officials requires Guardian to invest more than $70 million to control emissions at the plants, which include a facility in Carleton in Monroe County. The company also must pay a $312,000 civil penalty and fund a $150,000 project to reduce particulate matter pollution in the San Joaquin Valley in California. The settlement is subject to a 30-day public comment period and final approval by U.S. District Court in Detroit, which is seen as just a formality. A Cleveland natural resources lawyer is reviewing the details of this case.
Guardian Industries was founded by the late owner of the Detroit Pistons, William Davidson, who made the firm into one of the world's leading makers of glass, automotive and building products. The company says on its website that it employs 17,000 people in 25 countries.
"We applaud Guardian Industries, who today became an industry leader by committing to a substantial investment to reduce emissions of air pollutants that are harmful to human lungs," U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade said in a statement. "This agreement strikes the appropriate balance between promoting manufacturing and protecting the clean air." An Oklahoma tax lawyer is following this story closely.
Kevin Baird, president of Guardian Glass, said in a statement that the emissions-control upgrades are already underway.
"Guardian is pleased to have reached a mutually beneficial agreement with the EPA," he said. "We are pleased to be the first float glass company to sign such an agreement with the EPA under this initiative."
The new emissions controls will target nitrogen oxide, sulfur dioxide, particulate matter and sulfuric acid mist at the flat-glass plants. The plants are also located in Kingsburg, Calif.; DeWitt, Iowa; Geneva, N.Y.; Floreffe, Penn.; Richburg, S.C., and Corsicana, Texas. A Boston commercial real estate lawyer assist clients with construction, permitting, financing, leasing and environmental issues.
The settlement resolves allegations that Guardian violated the Clean Air Act and state air pollution regulations when it made major modifications to the plants' flat-glass furnaces that significantly increased emissions, according to an EPA news release.
Davidson, who also owned the WNBA's Detroit Shock and NHL's Tampa Bay Lightning, died on March 13, 2009, at age 86, with a net worth estimated at more than $3 billion.