Company To Pay $75,000 Penalty, Spend $620,000 On Projects To Settle Clean Air Violations

EPA and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced on Aug. 23 they reached an agreement with A. Finkl & Sons Co. on alleged clean-air violations at the company's steel forging plant in Chicago. The company agreed to do two environmental projects totaling $620,000, to pay a $75,000 penalty and to comply with the Clean Air Act.

For one of its environmental projects, Finkl will spend $545,000 to install burners on one of its gas-fired furnaces that will cut smog-producing nitrogen oxide emissions by at least five tons a year. The company also will spend $75,000 to retrofit approximately 34 city of Chicago vehicles with diesel emission reduction devices.

"Exposure to diesel emissions is the leading public health risk in the six states that make up EPA Region 5," said acting Region 5 Administrator Bharat Mathur. "One of our priorities is to reduce diesel emissions through retrofits and other technologies. By retrofitting city of Chicago vehicles, Finkl is helping us meet that goal."

The agreement resolves EPA allegations that Finkl violated New Source Performance Standards ("NSPS") by making equipment modifications that caused an increase in particulate matter (smoke, dust, ash) emissions and by not getting Clean Air Act Title V permits that would have required better controls.

In addition, EPA said the company failed to comply with operational and equipment standards as well as maintenance, record-keeping and reporting requirements.

The public has until Sept. 18 to comment on the agreement. The consent decree is on the DOJ Web site at http://www.usdoj.gov/enrd/Consent_Decrees.html.

This article originally appeared in the 08/01/2006 issue of Environmental Protection.

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