Local News in Brief : Plant Shutdown Ordered

The South Coast Air Quality Management District moved Wednesday to shut down nearly all metal-plating operations at a Glendora plant whose emissions of acetic acid fumes last week made teachers and students of a neighboring school ill.

Edward Camarena, AQMD deputy executive officer in charge of operations, said the shutdown was ordered after an inspection of the Plato Products Inc. plant showed that its pollution control equipment was not working efficiently. The company can petition for an emergency variance to resume operations or install automatic pollution control devices, he said.

Fumes from acetic acid--the prime ingredient of vinegar--escaped from the plant last week during nickel-plating operations because of failure in a ventilation system and drifted across city lines to Arma J. Shull Elementary School in San Dimas. Teachers and students complained of eye, nose and throat irritations, headaches and upset stomachs, and at least 11 children stayed home from school the next day.

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