March 21, 2012
A Salem tire factory has agreed to pay a $49,340 civil fine for air pollution violations.
The fine is part of an agreement between Yokohama Tire Corp. and the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality.
According to the consent order, Yokohama didn't tell the agency that the factory's ethanol emissions had increased due to a production process change in 2004 when it later requested a change in the facility's status. The status change approved in 2006 resulted in less stringent regulation of the factory's emissions.
Neil Dalton with Yokohama tells The Roanoke Times that the higher ethanol emissions never posed a danger to human health or the environment. He says several production process changes have actually reduced the plant's emissions from what they were 10 years ago.