LODI (CBS13) – A commercial bakery in Lodi will pay $1.3 million for releasing harmful chemical vapors into the, according the EPA.

Ralcorp’s Cottage Bakery has been ordered to pay a penalty of $625,000 after an investigation revealed it never applied for air pollution permits to install and operate the facility’s ovens and associated air pollution controls that minimize the release of ethanol, says the EPA. Ethanol is generated during the leavening stage of baking and is considered a precursor to ozone and particulate pollution.

Cottage Bakery installed three ovens between 1997 and 2006.

The company also paid $750,000 to install an apparatus that will cut down on these harmful emissions by 95%.

“Air quality is a critical human health issue in the San Joaquin Valley,” said Jared Blumenfeld, EPA’s Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. “Our enforcement action requires air pollution controls at the plant to protect the communities in the Valley from illegal emissions.”

Cottage Bakery employs approximately 625 people and produces frozen bread and cake products.


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