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United States v. Georgia-Pacific Corp.

ELR Citation: 27 ELR 20714
Nos. No. 1:96-cv-1818-FMH, 960 F. Supp. 298/(N.D. Ga., 12/23/1996)

The Court approves a Clean Air Act (CAA) consent decree settling a company's liability for allegedly failing to obtain appropriate permits and install appropriate pollution-control devices at 18 wood-products facilities nationwide. The decree requires the company to install advanced pollution-control devices on 11 wood-products facilities, obtain appropriate prevention of significant deterioration major-source or state implementation plan minor-source permits for 18 facilities, undertake environmental audits at 30 facilities, pay a civil penalty of $6 million, and undertake beneficial supplemental environmental projects totalling $4.25 million. The court holds that the decree is fair in that it is the product of good-faith negotiations, reflects the opinions of experienced counsel, and takes into account the possible risks involved in litigation. The decree is reasonable in that it is technically adequate and adequately compensates the public for the alleged violations. The decree serves the public interest because it furthers the statutory goals of the CAA by protecting and enhancing the quality of the nation's air. Further, while the public comments provided were thoughtful and raise interesting issues, none of the commenters have provided a basis for rejection of the decree.

Counsel for Plaintiff
Dianne Shawley
Environment and Natural Resources Division
U.S. Department of Justice, Washington DC 20530
(202) 514-2000

Counsel for Defendant
Gordon R. Alphonso
Georgia-Pacific Corporation
133 Peachtree St. NE, Atlanta GA 30348
(404) 652-4846