Two of the nation’s corporate giants, Alcoa and Archer Daniels Midland, have agreed to settle charges of violating the New Source Review rules of the federal Clean Air Act by making upgrades ballparked at some $700 million, according to people familiar with the settlements. Alcoa, the world’s largest producer of aluminum, has 12 months to cut sulfur dioxide emissions at a plant in Rockdale, Tex., by 95 percent (or over 52,000 tons per year) and nitrogen oxide emissions by 90 percent (or 17,000 tons per year). In addition, the company will pony up $1.5 million in fines and $2.5 million for habitat conservation and reduction of school bus exhaust. Meanwhile, ADM promised to cut more than 60,000 tons of carbon monoxide, particulate matter, organic volatile chemicals, and other pollutants from 42 plants in 17 states. Those cuts will cost hundreds of millions of dollars — not counting the $4.5 million the company will pay in penalties and the $6 million it will pay to support environmental programs.
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