Major Clean Air Act settlements announced

Settlements address 28 industrial plants and require pollution control upgrades, acceptance of enforceable emission limits, and payment of civil penalties.

02/08/2010


The UnitedStates has filed two major Clean Air Actsettlements to reduce air emissions from container glass and cement plants.

The settlements cover 15 U.S.plants owned by Saint-Gobain Containers Inc., the nation's second largestcontainer glass manufacturer, and all 13 U.S. plants owned by the LafargeCompany and two subsidiaries, the nation's second largest manufacturer ofPortland cement. These settlements are reportedly the first system-widesettlements for these sectors under the Clean Air Act and require pollutioncontrol upgrades, acceptance of enforceable emission limits and payment ofcivil penalties.

The facilities are estimated to reduce a combined41,000 tons of sulfur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen oxides (NOx), and particulatematter (PM) each year.

These settlements are part of the federalgovernment's focus on improving compliance among industries that emitsignificant amounts of illegal air pollution, including cement manufacturing,glass manufacturing, acid production and coal-fired power.

In compliance with the settlement, Saint-GobainContainers Inc. of Muncie,IN, has agreed to installpollution control equipment at an estimated cost of $112 million to reduceemissions of NOx, SO2, and PM by approximately 6,000 tons each year. Thecontrols to be installed include what is said to be the first-ever installationof a selective catalytic reduction (SCR) system at a container glass plant inthe U.S. Saint-Gobain will also install continuous emission monitoring systems(CEMS) at all of its glass plants. In addition, as part of the settlement,Saint-Gobain has agreed to pay a $2.25 million civil penalty to resolve itsalleged violations of the Clean Air Act's new source review regulations. Of the$2.25 million civil penalty, Saint-Gobain will pay $1.15 million to the United Statesand $1.1 million to the 10 states and two local regulatory agencies that joinedthe case.

The complaint that led to the settlement allegedthat the company constructed new glass furnaces or modified existing ones overthe course of two decades without first obtaining pre-construction permits andinstalling required pollution control equipment. The alleged violations werediscovered after an EPA investigation that included inspections, file reviews,information requests, and the review and analysis of data obtained from thecompany. The Clean Air Act requires major sources of air pollution to obtainsuch permits before making changes that would result in a significant increasein emissions of any pollutant.

Likewise, Lafarge North America Inc., based inHerndon, VA, and two of its subsidiaries have agreed to install and implementcontrol technologies at an expected cost of up to $170 million to reduceemissions of NOx by more than 9,000 tons each year and SO2 by more than 26,000tons per year at its cement plants. In addition, as part of the settlement,Lafarge has agreed to pay a $5 million civil penalty to resolve allegedviolations of the Clean Air Act's new source review regulations. Of the $5million civil penalty, Lafarge will pay $3.4 million to the United States and $1.7 million tothe 13 participating states and agencies.

Lafarge has agreed to install an SCR system at itscement plants as well as seven selective non-catalytic reduction (SNCR) systemsat long dry cement kilns. Lafarge will also install CEMS at all of its cementkilns.

In the complaint against Lafarge, the United Statesalleged that Lafarge and its subsidiaries, or their predecessors, modified oneor more of each of their facilities without first obtaining pre-constructionpermits and installing required pollution control equipment as required by theClean Air Act. These violations were discovered as a result of EPAinvestigations and review of company submitted data.

For more information on Saint-Gobain settlement: www.epa.gov/compliance/resources/cases/civil/caa/saintgobain0110.html

For more information on Lafarge settlement: www.epa.gov/compliance/resources/cases/civil/caa/lafarge.html

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- Edited by David Greenfield , editorial director
Control Engineering Sustainable Engineering
News Desk





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