Printed April 17. 2021 07:39AM
The U.S. Environmental Safety Company and Pennsylvania Division of Environmental Safety will maintain a digital public assembly from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Could 4 to take remark from the general public on a proposed settlement with American Zinc Recycling Corp.
In February, the EPA introduced the U.S. and PADEP had settled a federal-state lawsuit citing violations of air, water and dangerous waste environmental legal guidelines at AZR’s facility in Palmerton.
In settlement papers filed on Jan. 19 in federal courtroom in Scranton, AZR has agreed to hold out an estimated $4.3 million in measures to adjust to federal and state environmental legal guidelines.
This settlement is predicted to end in an estimated 47 million kilos of reductions of air pollution from the AZR facility, together with 25 million kilos of electrical arc furnace mud over three years. AZR additionally pays a $3.3 million penalty.
The criticism and proposed consent decree had been filed by the U.S. Justice Division, on behalf of the EPA and PADEP.
The $3.3 million penalty will probably be divided equally between the U.S. and Pennsylvania.
This settlement will assist defend the group of Palmerton from publicity to dangerous pollution in addition to hazardous waste,” mentioned Larry Starfield, EPA performing assistant administrator for the Workplace of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. “Particularly, I’m very happy that the settlement will handle fugitive emissions of lead mud which are posing a public well being threat to households dwelling so far as 3 miles away.”
“This settlement resulted from the dedication and onerous work of EPA’s workers, who labored diligently with Justice Division attorneys and Pa. DEP officers. The negotiated decision protects the atmosphere and public well being of the encompassing group,” mentioned Appearing EPA Mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator Diana Esher.
AZR is the company successor of Horsehead Company, which emerged from chapter in September 2016. The AZR facility in Palmerton is positioned on Aquashicola Creek, which flows into the Lehigh River.
The ability, which has operated for greater than 100 years, reclaims zinc from electrical arc furnace mud, a hazardous waste.
The ability additionally generates waste kiln rubble, which incorporates hazardous lead and cadmium. Aboveground oil tanks on the facility have an combination 61,000-gallon storage capability.
That is the second time that the U.S. and Pennsylvania have collectively taken federal judicial enforcement motion for violations at this facility.
A 1995 consent decree addressed alleged air, water and dangerous waste violations for not complying with necessities for administration of lead focus.
The penalty in in the present day’s settlement contains $500,000 in stipulated penalties that resolve violations of the 1995 consent decree.
At EPA’s request, the U.S. Company for Poisonous Substances and Illness Registry evaluated close by residents’ publicity to steer within the air.
The analysis, launched in July 2018, recognized a public well being concern relating to airborne lead inside three miles of the power, which was mentioned with the group throughout a public assembly in Palmerton in early October 2018 carried out by EPA, ATSDR and Pennsylvania DEP.
Lately, EPA and DEP carried out joint inspections of the AZR facility and cooperated intently in evaluating environmental knowledge. The criticism alleges violations of a number of environmental statutes:
Clear Air Act: violations of lead, carbon dioxide, particulate matter, nitrogen oxide emission limits; violations of fugitive mud emissions limits; violations of file retaining, reporting and testing necessities.
Clear Water Act: violations of allow discharge limits for cadmium pH, and zinc; discharge of contact cooling water; sampling and monitoring violations; violations of stormwater administration safeguards, together with failure to make sure course of wastewater didn’t mix with stormwater; violations of Spill Prevention Management and Countermeasure gear, containment, inspection, coaching, and SPCC plan necessities.
Useful resource Conservation and Restoration Act: violations of RCRA hazardous waste administration and storage necessities, together with operation with no allow; failure to take mandatory steps to stop launch of hazardous waste, failure to conduct required coaching; and failure to adjust to hazardous waste marking, labeling, container closure necessities.
Emergency Preparedness and Neighborhood Proper-to-Know Act: violations of poisonous chemical file retaining and reporting necessities for lead compounds.
The proposed consent decree was topic to a 30-day public remark interval. Throughout the remark interval, EPA acquired three requests for a public assembly. The Could 4 digital assembly is in response to these requests.
To take part, go to https://bit.ly/3x19Jee or name in at 484-352-3221, Cellphone Convention ID: 581 309 786#
American Zinc Recycling operation in Palmerton. TIMES NEWS FILE PHOTO