Globe Metallurgical to Pay $2.6 Million Fine, Implement Extensive Emissions Controls, and Limit Sulfur Inputs to Reduce Pollution from Industrial Furnaces in Ohio.
Ohio (STL.News) Globe Metallurgical, Inc. has agreed to a consent decree that would require it to pay a $2.6 million civil penalty (Fine), implement an estimated $6.5 million in new and improved air pollution emissions controls, and limit the sulfur content of inputs in its metal production process to settle alleged violations of the Clean Air Act (CAA) at a ferroalloy production facility in Beverly, Ohio. Emissions of air pollutants, such as the sulfur dioxide (SO2) and particulate matter (PM) emitted from Globe’s operation of five electric arc furnaces, may cause adverse environmental and health impacts, including lung disorders such as asthma and bronchitis.
According to the six-count complaint, filed simultaneously with the settlement Wednesday in the Southern District of Ohio, Globe allegedly violated CAA requirements following the expansion of one of its furnaces, including a failure to assess the best available pollution control technology for the modified furnace and failure to demonstrate compliance with regulations applicable to ferroalloy production plants. The United States also alleged that Globe had a history of excessive emissions of PM from the facility in violation of its existing permits.
“The extensive measures required by today’s settlement will reduce pollution and help prevent future violations of the Clean Air Act, ensuring that the citizens of Southeast Ohio have cleaner air to breathe,” said Assistant Attorney General Todd Kim for the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division. “This case demonstrates that the Department of Justice will work tenaciously to hold accountable companies that violate federal environmental law.”
“This settlement requires Globe to take substantial steps to reduce emissions of harmful air pollutants from industrial furnaces at its Beverly, Ohio facility,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Administrator Larry Starfield for EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. “The result will be cleaner, healthier air for neighboring communities.”
“Compliance with regulations requiring upgrades to aging industrial facilities are critical when protecting the health and the environment,” said U.S. Attorney Kenneth L. Parker for the Southern District of Ohio. “The Justice Department and the Environmental Protection Agency are vigilantly ensuring compliance with the Clean Air Act and other environmental laws.”
In addition to paying a penalty, Globe will now be required to utilize coal and other materials with a specified reduced-sulfur content to limit the generation of harmful SO2 emissions. Globe will also take significant steps to reduce emissions of PM, including the construction of an additional pollution control baghouse and implementation of physical improvements to equipment, and changes to operational practices to reduce emissions of PM both from stacks and directly to the atmosphere from equipment. Globe will also be conducting extensive testing and implementing significantly enhanced monitoring of air pollutants to ensure ongoing compliance.
The consent decree also brings the Globe facility’s pollution control obligations up to date with environmental regulations that post-date the plant’s construction, including stricter limits on PM and carbon monoxide emissions.
The consent decree is subject to a 30-day comment period and final approval by the court. A copy of the consent decree is available on the Justice Department website at www.usdoj.gov/enrd/Consent_Decrees.html.
The Environment and Natural Resources Division’s Environmental Enforcement Section is prosecuting this case in conjunction with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Ohio and EPA Region 5.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Justice