DC, February 25, 2004 (ENS): The largest commercial
egg producer in Ohio has agreed to a comprehensive Clean
Air Act settlement under which the company will spend
more than $1.4 million to install and test innovative
pollution controls. In addition the company, Buckeye
Egg Farm, will pay an $880,598 civil penalty.
The controls will cut air emissions of particulate matter
and ammonia from Buckeye Egg Farm's three giant egg
laying facilities at Croton, Marseilles, and Mt. Victory.
The settlement resolves claims filed by the U.S. Department
of Justice on behalf of the U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency (EPA) alleging that Buckeye failed to obtain
necessary air permits for these facilities and failed
to comply with an order directing it to sample its air
The settlement is contained in a consent decree lodged
for public comment Monday by the Justice Department
in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District
"Buckeye has finally taken responsibility for
the adverse effects its practices have had on human
health and the environment in the state of Ohio,"
Phyllis Harris, EPA acting administrator for Enforcement
and Compliance Assurance. "We look forward to improved
operations under the new owner of these facilities."
Buckeye's egg laying operations have the capacity to
house more than 12 million chickens in more than 100
In 2002, Buckeye's facilities produced 2.6 billion
eggs, or four percent of the nation's total.
Exterior exhaust fans surrounding the barns emit particulate
matter and ammonia from the chickens.
Preliminary air emission tests required by EPA indicated
that air emissions of particulate matter were significant
- more than 550 tons per year from the Croton facility,
more than 700 tons per year from the Marseilles facility,
and more than 600 tons per year from the Mt. Victory
Many scientific studies have linked particulate matter
to aggravated asthma, coughing, difficult or painful
breathing, chronic bronchitis and decreased lung function,
among other ailments.
Buckeye also reported ammonia emissions of more than
800 tons per year from its Croton facility, more than
375 tons per year from the Marseilles facility, and
nearly 275 tons per year from the Mt. Victory facility.
Although Buckeye recently sold its three facilities
to Ohio Fresh Eggs LLC, the settlement requires Buckeye
to bind the purchaser to implement the environmental
improvements required under the consent decree. Buckeye
remains liable for any violations.