BASSETT, Va. (AP) - Bassett Furniture Industries Inc. agreed to pay a $575,000 fine and undertake $1.6 million in pollution prevention projects in a settlement reached Wednesday with the Environmental Protection Agency and Justice Department.

The company violated the limits of particulate pollution at two plants, a complaint filed Wednesday in federal court in Danville alleged.

The EPA has issued five notices of violation to the company since April 1997, EPA spokeswoman Donna Heron said.

In addition to the penalty, Basset agreed to follow an environmental management plan and to spend $1.6 million on supplemental environmental projects not otherwise required by law.

Bassett said it has worked closely with the EPA on the projects to protect the environment.

``One of our stated goals is to take a leadership role in the area of environmental compliance. Our work with the EPA over the last two years has taken the company a long way toward meeting that goal,'' said Rob Spilman, the company's president and chief operating officer.