Michigan attorney general Mike Cox and the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality have agreed a court settlement under which General Motors Corporation will pay $US92,349 in civil fines and initiate a variety of environmental projects to resolve air pollution violations at its Saginaw Metal Castings Operations in Michigan.

"I am appreciative that General Motors has stepped up to the plate and reached an amicable settlement with the State of Michigan," Cox said. "The environment is a resource that we all share, and therefore we all must abide by the law to ensure its preservation."

The settlement requires GM to comply with limits contained in a new permit recently issued by the MDEQ. The company is required to the fine for use by the Environmental Protection Agency to settle air pollution violations.

In addition, GM will spend $113,000 on two environmental projects to reduce mercury pollution and detect mercury releases. The projects consist of donating $33,000 to the Michigan Association for Local Public Health to fund a mercury thermometer exchange program within the Saginaw Bay Watershed, and spending $80,000 on mercury vapour analysers to be donated to six county health departments. Another $65,000 will be spent to install a filtration unit to reduce soot and to assess whether use of the unit can eliminate the solid waste generated by pollution control equipment. General Motors has also agreed to retire pollution "credits" valued at approximately $185,000 in the current market that it could have used to increase emissions.

As stipulated by the settlement, in the event GM fails to comply with the limits in the new permit, there will be additional fines.