EPA settles with Abbott over air pollutants

Across the wires: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5 has reached an agreement with Abbott Laboratories on alleged clean-air violations at the company's health care products manufacturing plant at 1401 Sheridan Road in North Chicago, Ill. The agreement, which includes two environmental projects costing $418,300 and a $57,372 penalty, resolves EPA allegations that Abbott failed to comply with leak detection and repair requirements for hazardous air pollutants. "Abbott has agreed to implement an enhanced leak detection and repair program that will cut hazardous air pollutant emissions and help protect the health of its neighbors," said EPA deputy regional administrator Bharat Mathur. "In addition, the company will reduce vehicle pollution by replacing 27 of its sales vehicles with hybrids." The alleged violations were discovered during an EPA inspection in June 2004, and from a July 2004 information request. Hazardous air pollutants may cause serious health effects including birth defects and cancer. They may also cause harmful environmental and ecological effects. -- PWT