The EPA is signing off on a Bridgestone Americas company settlement of Clean Air Act violations in the Town of Normal. The Off Road Tire plant in Normal neither admits nor denies it released more than 38 tons of industrial solvent into the air per year. That amount is the legal limit allowable under EPA permits. The violations happened several years ago. As part of the settlement, the company is changing its record keeping. The EPA could have fined the tire maker nearly $300,000 for the violations. Instead, the company will pay about $63,000 in penalties. Roughly half of that is in direct fines to the government. The other half will go to the City of Bloomington Parks and Recreation Department in what the settlement document calls a supplemental environmental project. In this case, the goal is to reduce smog and greenhouse gas emissions in the community by using propane powered lawnmowers instead of diesel mowers. City Parks Director John Kennedy says the 72 inch and 60 inch mowers are working well.
"Just a cleaner burning operation. It has been able to hold up the power and we have had no issues with it and have not seen a drop off in the quality of cut we are getting."
Kennedy says if the propane powered mowers continue to work out, the City might look at expanding use of that kind of cleaner burning equipment. The EPA filing notes the fine against Bridgestone is relatively low because of the company's prompt return to compliance, and the willingness to do the project with Bloomington.
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